John walked along the sidewalk. His dirty white sneakers squished in the mud that collected at the sides due to the sprinkler system from the park on his right. John wasn't in any hurry; he left 30 minutes before he should have. He figured that by the time he got to his bust stop, he would still have at least ten minutes to spare before the bus came.

His hands were shoved the pockets of his long navy blue coat. The autumn wind licked at John's cheeks as he turned a corner. John smiled when he saw the metal pole with the bus stop sign perched at the top. All he had to do now was just wait for the bus.

John had nowhere to go, to be honest. He didn't have work or any classes (yet). His family weren't the most welcoming people in the planet, so they were definitely out of the question. There was a café that John liked. It had a lot of people that were just like him. Lurkers.

Of course, John could walk there; it wasn't that far away (only a 35 minute walk, by John's estimates). But today was too cold, unfortunately. So the only option John saw open for him was to simply to wait for and take the bus, while observing the people around him. John walked towards the brown metal bench at the bus stop, where there were already eleven people waiting as well.

The first two appeared to be a young couple. The woman had her hands cupped together in front of her chest. She looked a bit uncomfortable when her boyfriend slipped his beefy arms on her lanky form. Her green eyes darted to the couple in front of her, who simply ignored her.

There were two bundles of school kids huddled together around the pole. They whispered among each other, but John couldn't make out any of the words. A small gust of wind passed the group, making John wonder why the girls of the group didn't look so cold. Even as the cold breeze passed their stocking covered legs, they acted as if nothing even touched them.

John sighed from his position behind the bench; he wanted the bus to come so desperately. The barking dogs from the park behind him was starting to annoy him, the smell of the freshly cut grass was starting to give him a headache. The wind was starting to scratch at his eyes, and cold air was starting to numb his body. John started to wonder if he should turn back.

Then he saw her. Well, the back of her, really. She was in the only one sitting on the bench, and he managed to miss her. Strange… Her short raven hair barely moved when the wind blew, she barely moved. Her head was tilted to the left, and her navy blue covered shoulders hunched over a bit.

John heard the engine of the bus come nearby. Everyone else seemed to notice this as well, all of the conversations ended as everyone (including John) took out their bus fare, passes, or transfers.

The people waited by the pole anxiously. It was like waiting for the ice-cream man to come by. But instead of letting out excited screams at the buses arrival, the people let out a collected sigh of relief when they saw the dirty, graffiti-ridden bus edge into their sights.

John hadn't realized just how cold he was outside until the bus door opened. The smell of cigarettes, dust and stale fast food blew at John. And as displeasing as it sounded, John welcomed the warm smell.

John kept his eyes on they mystery woman. The nervous couple stood between John and the raven haired woman but it was the lady speaking behind the bus driver that caught John's attention.

"And just out the blue," she said, "he jumped at me!"

John knew this lady well, she was here everyday, telling the driver the same story every time. John never really knew how the bus driver could stand such a thing; he just couldn't be that patient.

The story, according to John was about how she became homeless… or how her brother got arrested (according to the lady).

From what he understood, the lady's name is Annie Sinn. She use to be a 6th grade teacher (or was it counsellor?) at the small junior high school nearby. Supposedly, there was this big riot at the school that Annie was apparently a part of (though she's claimed that she had nothing to do with it at certain times). The riot, started with one little boy, who thought it would hilarious to start a food fight… in first period.

Then a whole grip of people thought it would great to make a full on riot from it.

Genius, right?

Nope… far from it.

The principal, in a heated rage, chewed out the other teachers (and staff members). Somehow, this caused a teacher strike… which resulted in a lot of teachers loosing their jobs… didn't see that coming.

Most of the teachers headed off to other states and countries in order start over, but Annie decided that she would stay, that she would be perfectly fine and what not. But John saw the fading colour of her eyes, and the slightly dead look that came with it. Annie was far from fine.

But that wasn't who he was supposed to focus on, not today, anyway. His mystery girl was heading towards the back of the bus, obviously not paying attention to older woman gabbing on the front. Or to him. Or anything else, actually.

Which served in John's favour, if he was going to watch this pretty lady, he wanted to be sure that she didn't know that she was watching him. Otherwise she'd think that he was some sort of sick weirdo…

But he really didn't have a real good reason to follow her, to be honest; he just needed something interesting to do (though if you look at it, it doesn't seem that interesting). John looked at everyone in the bus (but also kept a close eye on his mystery lady).

He knew a lot of things about these people. There was an old lady with a little girl. The little girl, about seven or eight, with long blond hair, had a deep fear of bald people. It had something to do with her uncle, though the true reason seemed to a mystery, even to her grandmother. That was something John picked up when he sat next to her three months ago.

John showed the bus driver his pass and with a nod from the driver, headed towards the bus. On his way there, he caught a glimpse of a very young lady (20 years old, John estimated), with a sleeping baby, sitting across the little girl.

The baby, no matter how alike they may look, isn't hers. Her brother was the child's biological parent, their mom leaving them (father's orders) as soon as she was aloud out of the hospital. Her brother had died in a car accident, and since she was already listed as the child's godmother, and her real mom wouldn't take the baby in, she became the mother. John got that from the girl herself, and since became the girls' "emergency babysitter."

Finally making his way towards the back, John sat directly across the raven haired lady, avoiding looking at her to stare at the big man in the business suit. From what he gathered, this guy was obviously not from America.

He didn't speak much, but when he did, there was a big Russian accent laced in that deep voice of his. He spoke of his little sister, though only to John, she was going to college back in Russia. John had remembered him wanting to do something in art or construction (maybe he was going to an interview today), John hoped that he ended up doing art… he was really good at that.

John noticed that even if he didn't speak as much, his semi-unique accent was fading away, slowly.

And as John silently greeted the big guy, he finally realized that he never really had a good reason to know any of these people. Curiosity must have gotten him real good for these past years.

John ran his hand through his short, light coloured hair; the sudden movement caused the necklaces to shift a bit, the cold metal touching his neck. John shivered a bit.

Maybe John wasn't curious, maybe he was just bored, or highly empathic (John held back a laugh at his last thought), maybe he just wanted to know, for reasons completely unknown to him.

John sent his gaze to the woman in front of him, starting from her boots. Nice boots, he thought. Black, buckled up, leather… fake… if she can't afford a ride, she can't afford leather (John's theory). Her baggy jeans were covered by her long navy blue coat (must be cotton). As John sent his gaze up towards the left side of the girl (John's right) and saw a black and scarlet red purse.

She was reading that thick book again; her fingers were graced with silver rings, her nails covered with scarlet red nail polish. Red must be her favourite colour, aside from the near black blue and black, red was the only noticeable colour on this woman.

John let his blue eyes rest on her face, which at the moment, was only focused on reading the book in front of her. The girl was slightly pale, not ghostly pale, just the type of pale that said that a person didn't go out much.

Her left ear showed three small silver hoop earrings, and with her hair covering her right ear, John could only guess that there were three piercing on her other ear as well.

Her lips was covered in scarlet red lipstick (adding on to John's theory), in a thin line. John's eyes drifted to the girl's neck, he was being drawn by the four necklaces and the magenta choker. The first necklace was really a blank dog chain, the second being silver happy face. The third was a slightly small locket, and the fourth had a simple, silver "W" on it.

John set his eyes on the woman's eyes, which was covered heavily with black eyeliner. John couldn't get a good look at the colour of her eyes, her eyes were slightly lidded, and her long lashes created a slight bridge on her eyes. If only she would…

Goal!

The woman looked up at John, and even if John was surprised, he sure as heck didn't show it. And what really what surprised John was the expression on her face. John expected to be glared at, but the look on her face was simple indifference. She almost looked bored.

The woman's eyes were blue, but darker in comparison to John's. John wondered if this lady knew if she knew that he was studying (staring) at her. Maybe she was just humouring John. Hopefully she was flattered at John's actions. Though, she could be annoyed.

John resisted the urge to squirm in the firm, black, leather seat. The scenery of bus started to hit him again. The Annie was still talking in the front, the school children were gone, the only baby on the bus was awake, and crying.

The smell of dust suddenly blew at John again; the bus driver was calling out the next stop (only one more stop left before John would get off). John looked away from woman, almost embarrassed at the contact.

"Pine 'n' Melrose!" the driver shouted.

Stop's comin' up, John thought. A thought hit John and he instantly shoved his right hand in his pocket, searching for pen and paper. Improvise, John felt a crumpled unused napkin and an old bitten up pencil. He brought it out and started writing as if his life depended on it.

The bus shifted on the stop and John stood up. The raven haired lady looked up at him and John gave the lady the napkin before slipping out of the bus.

He slipped his hands in his pocket as the huge cold gust of wind hit him. He could see the café within his sights. Ball's in your court now, lady.


A/N: Been a real long time since I've been on here... hope this makes up for it. This is a short story project for my English class. Needs a little work, but I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions?