A Chance Encounter


Today’s Daily Prompt was this – Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow. (I highlighted the sentence in question)


I loathe public transportation.  Every nuance of its existence offends me. The platforms are loud and over-crowded, the blended fragrances of the vast array of perfumes, cologne and foul body odors are noxious and people are overtly rude.  I don’t like crowds and I certainly don’t like feeling like a sheep being herded into a confined space.  I wish I had a car.

I purposely took a seat in the station far from the gathering crowd.  If I could begin my holiday with some personal space, I might have a fighting chance of surviving the journey without incident.  I buried my nose in the latest Oprah Book Club selection, The Poisonwood Bible, and tuned out the din of the increasing population of travelers.

I felt his stare before I actually looked up to take notice of him.  He was staring directly at me.  His eyes were so fixed on my face that he had seemingly forgotten to blink for about three minutes.  His face was worn, and it carried with it a lifetime of pain.  The deep-set lines in his forehead reminded me of the lines carved into a sand-blasted sign.  To say he had character would be a gross understatement.  But nothing about his gruff complexion made me uncomfortable.  There was a genuine sadness in his eyes and, for the first time in my life, I wanted to talk to a complete stranger.  I made the first move and closed the distance between us.

He was the one who spoke first, “You look like her.”

He blinked and a single tear traced through the jagged pattern of wrinkles on his cheeks.  The words he uttered almost came out in whispers.  He had lost his daughter, and every day he would come to the bus station just to catch a glimpse of someone who resembled her, to help him hang on to her memory.  We chatted about ourselves briefly and I became so intrigued by this man that I barely heard the metallic voice announcing the arrival of my bus.  I stood to gather my things, but I didn’t want to go.  I didn’t want to leave him.

I missed my bus that day.  My family was angry that I was late for the festivities, but when I explained what had happened, they were moved to tears, as was I.  The sweet man who stared at me in the bus station and I now have lunch together every Friday.  I now call him my friend.

14 thoughts on “A Chance Encounter

  1. Reblogged this on polysyllabic profundities and commented:

    I must admit when WordPress began adding the “related posts” at the bottom I wasn’t too keen on it. But one of my recent posts brought me back to this one that I had long since forgotten. It made me misty reading it again. It seems to be a fitting post for our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend when we think of the things that are truly important and what we are most thankful for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.