the girl with the beret on the bus … … …

i saw at the bus-stop on a bitterly cold winter morning, her beret tilted to the side.

we exchanged polite smiles and furtive glances, till along came our ride.

we sat across each other and soon we spoke, breaking the ice with talk of the ice battering our bones.

we spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we’d encounter, and we spoke of life’s pathways and where we were headed.

thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything about the other except our names.

we often laughed about duelling parents, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking our selves.

our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trustful of the depths in our eyes.

we spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent hours in those short-haul trips baring our souls to each other.

she was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing and still wanting to know, as was I on those mornings so long ago.

we spoke of lovers lost, of lost loves, of our ache for something tangible, something less gaudy, something more true.

I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, as we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes.

there was nothing romantic about us, nothing but truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold, cold world understands, though never judges.

our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing no one else knew us except ourselves.

her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all.

then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones.

I often think of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting still for the ride in the morning chill.

I think of her often, and I know that I always will … … …