Lonely, Wasn’t She?

A Short Story

By Joni Norval

I was sitting alone at the bus stop, waiting patiently. It was cold out, rain threatening at the fringes of the clouds. Thunder rumbled somewhere far off and I remembered I had skipped breakfast.

I sat.

All was quiet in this predawn hour. I heard a sound behind me and I turned. A girl was approaching. She was quite young, no older than 15. She appeared to be neatly dressed and immaculately groomed as she sat down next to me. I tried to study her so she wouldn’t notice, sneaking surreptitious glances at her. I needn’t have bothered, she was very much in thought, lost somewhere I could not see.

Still, I sat.

Suddenly she reached into her handbag and produced a box of matches.

“Mind if I smoke?” She asked me.
“No, go ahead.” I said.

I was looking off to the right when she lit the match and as I turned to look at her she applied the flame to her dress. She stared at me calmly as the flames licked at her hair.

And still, I sat.