Let me tell you a story. It’s a story about a very small moment, a moment that might easily pass by many of us, but something that I found to brighten my day, even by a little bit.
It was a hot day, as it always was it Montreal during the summer. I had finished shopping at had gotten on board the bus, listening to Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. The trip on the bus was always long, so listening to music seemed like a good way to past the time faster.
Then, as I started to look out the window, a school bus rolled beside the bus I was in. It wasn’t the full length, but rather the shorter version, consisting of only 10 rows instead of the 20 or so in the full one. At first glance, it looked empty, but then I saw two small heads at the back row.
They looked to be coming from elementary school. One was dark skinned, but had her hair braided into pigtails while the boy sitting next to her was pale, almost white in skin, said something while adjusting his glasses.
Curious, we kind of stared at each other for a while. I waved to say hello and the two waved back. I wondered what they were saying since the windows in their bus were closed and I couldn’t hear with all of the other noises. They looked innocent, oblivious to the troubles that their adult selves would have to later face, and discussing something while we waited for the green light.
Normally, such a moment only lasts for a couple of seconds, but this lasted for a few minutes. As the seconds passed, I glanced back at the two kids. They were still looking at me, being curious as they were. I smiled mischievously and the girl smiled back while the boy next to her seemed to be growing anxious (maybe he thought I had something evil planned).
The green light finally came and the STM bus went first. I showed them a peace sign with my fingers as I passed them, thinking that I wouldn’t see them again. It only took a second or so to realize that the school bus didn’t turn.
When I saw the school bus catch up, it reminded of something that some kids would do. Without meaning to, the kids would turn the situation into a race, where they wanted to see which vehicle would go faster. Kids made almost any daily situation look fun.
As the buses lined up once more, I saw the kids once more. I made a face of surprise, as if their bus was going to beat the one that I was in. I knew that the drivers had no idea of what was going on in the back of their buses, but I didn’t care.
Finally, the school bus made a left, and we finally parted ways. When I looked back into the STM bus, everyone was still doing whatever it was that they were doing. Some were listening to music, others on their phones and others still reading a book.
For me, that little time seemed to be longer than it actually was. For everyone else, it was only a part of the time needed to get to their destination. I wonder how many of them noticed the school bus. I wonder if they saw the kids’ smiles and their curious eyes, looking out the window of their small school bus.