That I was the spitting image of the woman next door.
That I could’ve easily been her daughter, and that was why she’d asked.
That strangers didn’t talk enough on the bus.
That a little polite conversation could really make a journey worthwhile.
That she’d like to sit with me until her stop, if I didn’t mind.
That the battered teddy bear sticking out of her handbag wasn’t hers, it was her son’s.
That she’d discovered it while she was clearing out the attic with her husband.
That she’d found a home for everything else, but couldn’t bear to get rid of it.
That she was on her way to see her son right now, to give it back to him.
That he’d been ever such a good boy, so enthusiastic.
That she visited him weekly, but still missed him terribly.
That her husband missed him too, but never accompanied her.
That this was her stop, just coming up.
That it’d been a pleasure talking to me.
That she’d say hello to him for me, if I liked.
I watched her get off the bus, and head through the cemetery gates.