Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be inside a snow globe ? You know the ones children love to shake up and down to watch the flakes swirl in unseen currents.
Well, first, it’s freazing cold.
Second, it feels as if you are trapped, stuck in a tornado of snow flakes. It doesn’t feel like you’re been shaken up and down, but as if the world around you is turning around so fast, it is shaping a barrier from which youn can’t escape.
Third, you wonder. There must be a whole world out there. Beyond the barrier and beyond the blizzard, there is a whole world out there. And it feels as if it is just waiting for you.
Now, imagne that inside the snow globe is a small bus. You could even see the tiny figures in it. If you look closely, you could see the frightened expression on the faces of some and the annoyed expression on other faces. Look closer, peek at a young lady looking out the window. She’s not thirty yet but she’s not in her early twenties either. She’s crawled up under her warm tall scarf. Hugging herself through the cold. That’s me.
‘ It’s been an hour and he’s still talking !’ whisperes a beautifull women, long auburn hair with glowing blue eyes. ‘ I don’t know what’s worse, stuck in a freazing bus or having to hear his complaints for hours’.
The women she’s talking to is sitting next to her, not paying any attention to her. She’s rubbing her hands together to fight against the cold.
To their left is sitting a man, about mid fifties. He’s strongly gesturing at the driver who has been pretending to hear him for the past hour.
‘ Technology ! ‘ He screams as if he had found the answer to the world’s biggest issue. ‘ It was meant to make us smarter, to bring us closer, but it’s done the exact opposit and it’s as if no one has noticed.’
Behind him is sitting a young man. I can only see his back. He’s been rubbing his hair and twirling around in his seat. When he looks back, I finally see his face. He looks like a Joey, or a Johny. No, a Brody. He definitly looks like a Brody.
He has been staring at the beautiful, auburn long hair girl for some time now. Man up, Brody ! Just go talk to her.
‘ And the rate of divorces has increased because of technology. All with those social media, how can one remain faithfull ?’
The word ‘divorces’ felt like a punch to my stomach. I glance at my left hand. Just a few months ago there was a three year old dimond ring there. The last time I had seen it was when I threw it at Ralph’s face.
To me divorce meant nasty arguments at courts, endless fights about shared goods and giving away Ralph’s clothes to the nearest shelter.
The whole thing had been torrid. But I actually thought I was doing better lately. Untill this morning.
You see, Richard was a friend from college. He went off to become a fancy lawyer. I have never doubted for an instant choosing him to represent me. Richard is good, tough and direct. I admired these qualities of his. That was before he used them against me.
‘ Do you remember what was the first thing you told me ? ‘ He had said with that those tiger eyes ‘ you said you didn’t want to end up bitter. ‘
‘ I’m not bitter.’ I backtracked eagrly.
‘ I had set you up for a date with a friend and he said you kept talking about Ralph’s underwears’.
To my defense, there was a lot to say about Ralph’s underwears. And my date seemed interested. Was he faking it ? Had everyone been pretending ?
Richard’s words had haunted me more than I’d care to admit. Had I really became a bitter shrew ?
‘I love that show !’ Shouts the auburn long hair lady. ‘ I’ve never met anyone who’d ever even seen it !’
Her and her neighboor seem so connected, they are talking as if they were the only ones in the bus.
Brody is just peering at them. He seems to have lost all hope.
The old man is now explaining how robots will inevitably control humanity.
The two other passengers are a women who has been restlessly praying and a man who seemed about my age.
Okay. That was the second time I caught him glance at me.
‘Can I help you ?’ I spit out.
He suddenly bursts into a hysterical laughter.
‘ Don’t you remember me ? ‘ He asks.
I take a hard look at him than make a small hop on my seat.
‘ Noah !’
‘ Right ! Joshua, the chemistry class.’ I quickly ammend.
Of course I remembered him. I had a serious crush on him. He wasn’t the hottest in high school, but so clever and hilarious, it was impossible not to fall for him.
‘ So, what are you up to now ? Not chemistry I hope. You weren’t the brightest.’ He teases
I give him my biggest smile.
Auburn long hair girl and her friend are bonding over the 80’s shows. The driver seems suddenly fascinated with his interlocutor’s speeches. Brody is talking about the common aquaintance he and his next seat neighboor share. Apperently his mother and her grew up in the same neighborhood. I was catching up with Joshua. Turns out, he’s now a physicist who likes skiing on the weekends
He swiftly slides over to the seat next to mine. I feel a jolt of electricity crossing through my body. Images of our younger versions sitting next to each other in labs suddenly resurfaced. I was sixteen. I thought I understood life better than any other adult. I believed I was about to change the world.
‘ Don’t you miss it ? ‘ He asks as if he was reading my thoughts.
He took at deep look at me. I had forgotten what that felt like. Flirting or just staring in each other’s eyes.
It felt as if the snow globe was strongly shaken. The flakes were slowly reaching the ground during an instant you wish could last forever.
‘ So, how come no one snitched you away ?’ He asked looking at my left hand.
‘It happened. But it wasn’t the right guy.’
That ruins it a bit. Talking about your recent divorce with a potential mate.
‘ Divorced ?’
‘Yes.’ I sigh.
‘ I’ve heard divorces could be brutal. How was yours ?’
Brutal ? You want to hear something brutal ? Well, just wait.
I take a deep breath, get my speech ready. Than I suddenly shut my mouth. Richard’s words come back to me. « You said you didn’t want to end up bitter ».
‘ Actually my divorce wasn’t brutal at all’. I hear myself say in a voice I couldn’t recognize.
‘ Really ?’ He seems impressed, it felt like I had just told him I could hold ten eggs on the back of each hand.
‘ Absolutley. We were done with it fairly swiftly.’
He simply nods. Yet, somehow I believe I wasn’t convincing enough.
‘ When we realised it didn’t work we just called it off. No one had to get hurt. We’re good friends now. ‘
I think about a good lie I could add. We usually meet up for brunch ? His sister and I play tennis together ? I helped him apartment hunting ?
‘ He must be a very reasonable man.’
‘ Ralph ?’ I say. ‘ He’s terrific, kind, very reasonable.’ My head is spinning. It physically pains me to say anything good about my ex husband. It’s bad for my health. ‘He’s also super helpful, generous and he’s a… ‘ it was like a sneeze, it had to come out. ‘ a bastard’. I say out loud and every passenger turns to me.
The lady talking to Brody blenched, covering herself with her scarf like she was trying to protect herself with it. The two babbling ladies are laughinhg. And the old man is judging me with his dark eyes. Then, they all turn over and get back to their discussions.
‘ I’m sorry, I lied. My divorce was like a nuclear war zone.’
I expect him to walk away. Except, we’re stuck in a bus and outside it looks like the world is about to end.
‘ You know, if it wasn’t for this weather, we could have gotten in this bus without recognizing each other. I’m glad we’re stuck her. I missed those crazy eyes of yours. ‘
I catch him staring at my waist. I picture having his arms around me. My hand through his hair. My leggs crossed against his back. And I can tell he’s thinking about the same thing.
To be honest. I’m gagging for it. Not that I’ll ever admit that to him. Or say that I have been longing for a relationship. One not related to work or familly. Or any kind of intimacy. No. That’s what I won’t say.
‘ That is a beautiful pair of shoes.’ Launches Brody’s new friend to the long auburn hair lady. ‘ Don’t you think young man ?’
We’re all looking at Brody. Waiting for his next move. I think we’ve all figuered out he had crushed on her. Except for the concerned lady of course.
‘ They’re lovely. Just like the girl wearing them.’
Owch, Brody. You’ve wrecked it. No women could fall for this line.
‘ Thanks.’ She says, practically blushing.
Well, go figure.
‘ So ?’
Joshua turns back to me.
‘ So ?’
Meaning, is this heading somewhere or am I just living a fairy tale in my head ?
‘ Do you want to get a cup of coffee ? Provided, we actually get out of here someday.’
Picture the snow globe. You’ve shaken it up several times now. So much so, the flakes appear to be floating in a white storm. But now, you’ve put it down and you follow each flake make its own path toward the white dunes that is slowly starting to build up. You hope this peaceful instant never ends. But eventually, it all clears up, leaving a beautiful white blanket.