I sat at the back of the bus because it was empty. Almost all the seats toward the front were taken. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to play my Nintendo 3DS for the twenty minutes to work.
Three stops later and the bus was filled with college students. Three stops later, Ian spotted me.
“Travis,” he yelled and then pushed through the standing passengers because all the seats were then taken. I nodded.
“You should sit,” I said.
“How’s the leg?”
“Better. I’m going back to the doctor’s next week.”
“So no operation?”
“We’ll see when I go to the doctor’s next week.”
The bus stopped at the university and almost all the passengers hopped off. I stood up with them.
“You really should take my seat,” I said.
Ian shrugged his shoulders and sat down. I then realized that almost all the seats at the back of the bus were then empty. No more college students.
“Playing anything good?” he asked.
“Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.”
“Cool cool. I played Omega Ruby in the hospital.”
I shut my 3DS and shoved it in my bag. Travis shifted in his seat and stuck out his left leg. The cast was thick and had names scribbled all over it.
“If I had a sharpie I’d let you sign it right now.”
I smiled and looked straight ahead. The bus started to fill again with workers headed downtown just like the two of us. Some wore suits and others wore jeans and flannels like me. No one else seemed to have a broken leg.
“I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other more,” Ian said.
“I usually grab a later bus.”
I sat down next to Ian and pulled out a sharpie. I kept markers and pencils and a sketchpad in my bag because I recently got into drawing. Or rather, I got back into drawing, after a fifteen year hiatus.
I leaned over and looked for a spot to sign my name. Only the bus driver slammed the break and I toppled over. I stood up and looked down at my flannel and saw a black streak across the top.
“It’s not that noticeable,” Ian said.
I signed and put the sharpie back in my bag. “Let me sign the cast another time.”
“We should grab a drink after work. It is Friday.”
We said nothing for the next minute and waited for the bus to stop in front of the building where Ian worked. Only a few small companies worked in the building and Ian’s was in the process of relocating to the larger building across the street.
“I’m serious. I haven’t seen you since you left.”
“I’ll text you,” I said.
He then got up and hopped off the bus. Literally. He balanced on his crutch and used his good leg to hop down the two steps. I pulled out my 3DS because closing the system only put it in sleep mode and I wanted to save the battery.
Two stops later I got off the bus. I then removed my flannel shirt, stuffed it in my bag and walked to the cheapest coffee shop in town.
I suppose I could tell you how Travis broke his leg. I was there. We went to a bar to celebrate my last day. But that’s a story for some other time.