Before the breakup

They were looking out of the window without talking, leaning on one of the poles of the bus. Their bodies were close and almost touching each other, but a light tension was tangible between them. He kept his hands busy by clasping his backpack. She was holding her handbag with one hand, while the other, flabby, was close to her body, ready to grasp a hand which was not extended to her.  She turned her head from time to time, looking at the passengers boarding, counting how many couples got on the bus holding hands, or observing women who pressed themselves tight to their men, as these held the hand grip, one arm on their women’s shoulders. An old lady got on with a couple of large shopping bags, barely walking. When the bus started off with a brusque movement, she lost her balance and hands with the shopping bags in front of her, her heavy body started falling towards his direction. With the reflex of an athlete, he let go of his backpack, which fell on the floor, and he caught the old lady, avoiding her fall, only a couple of oranges rolled on the floor. He swiftly collected the fruits and gave them back to the old lady, deflecting the woman’s thanks with his gentle smile. With a lump in her throat, she thought she would miss him very much, if he never hugged her again.

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