Bus Stop In Scarlet

In the pocket of Madison’s sweatpants, her phone vibration irritates as she waits in the chill of twilight for the uptown bus to speed her home. Startled by the vibration, Madison is no longer lost in her daily indulgence of fried smells that waft from the burger restaurant behind her. This simple peace is shattered by the shaking intrusion against her thigh. Reluctantly, she retrieves the phone and examines the caller ID. Just as she expected. It is him, Donald, his shit-eating grin spread across the entire face-plate of her smartphone. Her almond-shaped eyes narrow as if to bore eye-beams of disgust through the phone. A moment passes and she decides to answer. Madison sucks in a deep breath of cold air, holding it so the oxygen will add courage to her blood, then she exhales deeply. Madison is in control now when she presses the answer button.

“What do you want?’ she says with attitude.

Madison impatiently listens to Donald stutter like a horror movie car engine. 

“What do you want?” she demands louder, but not enough to bring attention to herself from bystanders.

Again she listens as Donald cannot form coherent sentences.

“What do you want, — to scream at me again? Is that it?” Madison asks. Although her voice is even-toned, it drips with anger.

Madison listens again to the line. A weak reason about letting her know he’s ‘meeting his buddies now’ is given for the call. She is not listening. Madison is done listening to Donald’s excuses, well she’s done for tonight at least.

“Of — course that’s what you’re going to do,” Madison responds; sarcasm draped all over her words like a shroud.

She is not surprised when he asks her what has he done wrong.

“What did you do?” Madison mimics. “You know what you did. I don’t have to tell you.”

Donald’s plea that he has done nothing wrong is brushed aside by Madison. “That’s so typical of you. Totally clueless to the crap you do wrong.”

Madison listens for a few more seconds but has begun to think about what she wants to eat for dinner. Will it be the leftover pasta or maybe grab some Chinese?

“You know what D…,” She can’t even pronounce his name. “You do what you feel you need to do. Tonight, I’m doing me.”

No longer listening, Madison disconnects. Triumphant, she stows away her phone. Energized, Madison does not know what do with herself. Her breaths come in short deep bursts, so she steps out from the bus line, looks down the street and anxiously wills a bus to come. No bus obeys, so Madison steps back and examines, from head to toe, the cute guy standing in line next to her. Madison is pleased.

He concentrates on the music blaring into his ears from oversized headphones. Clearly able to hear the song that is playing, Madison nods in approval and thinks to herself, “The song’s absolutely right; a change is gonna come!”


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