The girl on the bus

I was leaving Nelson, New Zealand on a bus to Queenstown; from There I’d then fly to Bali, Denpasar. It was supposed to be a normal, twelve-hour trip. When I got on the bus, my seat was in the first row with an impeccable view of the front. I always like to travel with a window seat, but unfortunately this time I had the aisle, next to a robust man who was taking up part of my seat. It wasn’t the best way to start a trip, but I couldn’t blame him.

All the other people began to board, and when the bus was almost full, a girl sat down on the seat across the aisle, just a further forward than me, so I couldn’t quite see her clearly. She looked like she might be pretty, but without a clear view I couldn’t guarantee her attractiveness. I knew that she noticed me too because we exchanged a quick glance and probably shared the same question.

The bus started moving and I fell asleep for the first few hours. Sometimes, I vaguely woke up from the small movements of the vehicle. Also, sometimes I secretly observed the girl, but I was just able to see one side of her face with blonde hair and sunglasses. I really couldn’t tell if she was attractive or not, something that started to bother me.

We made our first stop. I could have gotten down first, but instead I watched the girl do it. She turned her head and her eyes met mine. Our gazes locked. I was enchanted, she was lovely. We maintained eye-contact for some moments. It was nice. We looked directly into each other’s pupils, as if we could see inside of the other, naked… Or perhaps that was just my desire. Someone behind us got impatient and crossed between us, breaking our trance. We didn’t speak. I got up and went outside to eat the chicken sandwiches I had prepared. For some reason, I expected her to magically appear at my side, but she didn’t.

I climbed aboard the bus again, and there she was. Sitting in my seat, I realized that she could watch me all the time from where she was, and that she probably had been. I broke the silence by asking her if she was from England. “No,” she responded, “Sweden. And you?” “Argentina.” Our conversation continued and she told me some of her stories from around New Zealand.

While we were talking, I was observing and admiring her face as well as her body. Something that always takes my attention are a woman’s hips because for me that determines a large part of their attractiveness. It’s said that men are instinctively attracted to some types of hips because they indicate the most fertile woman. Also, the ratio between the hips and the waist determine how attractive a woman is for the majority of men. I have no idea what her hip-to-waist ratio was, but I didn’t care. Like the animal I am and acting intuitively, her hips allured me.

Our gaze was penetrating, like we both knew we liked each other. Sometimes, silence fell and I kept quiet to see if she’d re-initiated the conversation, and she did. Also, she started playing with her hair. I love it when they do that. It’s like being told directly: “I like you” but…without actually saying it. Passengers started returning to their seats. Our situation became a bit more difficult as people surrounded us and we lost the intimate connection we had had. In spite of this, we both continued talking for a long time, until we fell asleep and some hours later, arrived.

We went in search of our bags. I took mine and then moved to the side to wait for her. She found hers and came to me. “What are you going to do now?” she asked. Sometimes I have the feeling it’s the women who pick me up, and I like that. “I was going to ask you the same,” I answered. “Do you know any hostels to recommend?”

She gave me a couple of names, but then said she wasn’t going to stay in Queenstown because she was going to take another train immediately. I felt a bit disappointed, but there wasn’t much I could do. There were small brushes and touches between us, simple things like touching hands or arms.

I thought about asking for her number, but she did it first. I gave her my hand and told her it was nice to meet her. She asked when I was leaving Queenstown, and I responded with the following day. It was there that she showed some disappointment, which I could see in her expression. I supposed she had some idea of returning to the city.

We both put on our backpacks and tossed around a couple of words until we said good-bye again. I extended my hand again, but she, rather than taking it, hugged me. Something I didn’t expect. I tried to wrap my arm around her back, but with her backpack I couldn’t, so instead I placed my hand on her waist and caressed her gently. She slowly pulled away from me, without looking away and smiling.

I had spent the night before at a party organized by the owner of the hostel I had been staying in. I had talked with him and his brother, who had asked me about the girl I had gone out with. Kai, one of the owners, asked me: “What do you always say to pick up women?”

It’s a question I often get, as if there’s a secret formula for love. I told him: “There are two things you have to keep in mind.” Both men listened intently. “First of all, we’re never going to pick up all the women; some just won’t like us and we’ll have to accept that.” They both nodded, as if I had said something very serious. “Second,” I continued, “It’s not so important what we say as how we say it, but personally I used to begin conversations by saying ‘I like you’ (depending on the context).

I was about to explain what my words really meant, when Josh, without waiting a second half-turned and said the same words to the first girl who passed. He said it such an unnatural way that his intention was obvious. I was about to interrupt him, when the girl timidly started towards him. “It works!!!” he exclaimed. “Whatever,” I thought.

Our gazes continued to penetrate in the bus terminal. “I like you,” I told her, a little timidly but sincerely. To tell the truth, it wasn’t that easy for me to say it, I felt a chill running through my body as I spoke. She smiled and looked away, looking down shyly.

I held out my hand and she took it. I encircled her with my arm and leaned in to kiss her. Our lips met, generating a strange sensation at first, but exciting. We were two strangers in a bus station, kissing.

We began slowly, getting to know each other’s’ lips. I took her neck with my hand and stroked it. She placed the palm of her hand on my beard, brushing it slowly. I always enjoy that. Not more than a few seconds passed, but I still feel the moment as I’m writing these words. Then she said, “I hope to see you again,” before kissing me lightly and quickly leaving to catch her train.

Perplexed and standing with my backpack, I watched her go. “I hope so too…” I thought.

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