The Girl I Never Got to Know

Imprisoned. That was precisely how I felt during what was to be a routine trip home on the city bus. I was not claustrophobic, so clearly the physical meaning of imprisonment didn't apply here. Rather, I felt trapped within myself.

The reason why was because about five minutes before I felt this way, a gorgeous red-haired girl in a black T-shirt took the seat next to me. She glanced towards me, and her green eyes shimmered as she smiled at me. I desperately wanted to smile back, but I just couldn't due to how nervous and shy I was feeling. I was never really an outgoing person when it came to girls. The only thing that kept me from teetering on the brink of insanity was the cry of Chuck Schuldiner's guitar solos. Oh, how I wished that my earbuds had speakers on the other side so that she could hear the masterpiece I was listening to called Voice of the Soul (by Death)!

As Schuldiner's solos reached incredible heights, I kept quickly glancing her way as if her head had its own gravitational field. Suddenly, her leg bumped mine as she reached down to grab her iPhone. A wave of electricity and heat coursed through my entire body. I didn't know it at the time, but my cheeks were beet-red as she apologized to me. That was when I finally took my left earbud out. I opened my mouth to respond, but my voice was trapped within me. A gag-like sound came out instead. Turning my head away, I felt even more embarrassed. Part of my conscience was telling me to get away from her so that I wouldn't feel so awkward, but I also just couldn't bring myself to leave her side. Thankfully, she made the decision for me as she gave me a radiant smile. At that moment, I felt much more at ease, but I was still too shy to utter even a single word. I put my left earbud back in and continued listening to my favorite Death album. Leaning my head against the wall of the bus, I closed my eyes and let myself get fully absorbed into my music.

More than an hour had passed before I opened my eyes again. To both my relief and my dismay, she was still there. I really, REALLY wanted to at least say a quick "hello" to her and introduce myself, but my vocal cords seemed to have turned to stone ever since she took the seat beside me. Just say the words, I screamed inside my head. SAY THE WORDS!

Suddenly, I heard a dinging sound that came from the front of the bus. Clearly someone had pulled the yellow overhead cord to request a stop, and to my dismay, the seat next to me was now empty. The doors opened and closed. The bus began to move, and she vanished out of sight in just four seconds. She was gone, and I never asked for her name, her number, her email, her Facebook profile, nothing. A massive wave of despair washed over me as reality sank in. It also didn't help that a man in his late eighties occupied the seat which she previously occupied. I almost wanted to yell at him, to allow no one to sit in that spot. Instead, I pulled the cord and got off at the next stop. I wanted to sprint up the sidewalk to see if she was still in the area, but it was no use, and I would likely come across as a creepy stalker otherwise. I just decided to sit down on a nearby bench, foolishly crying over a stranger. The thing was, though, I didn't see her that way. She truly was the most beautiful girl that I ever saw, but I was so angry at myself because we sat together for more than an hour and yet I never even said one word to her. She was quite friendly to me, yet I never returned a smile, looked her in the eye, complimented her, nothing.

I knew that there would still be many more bus rides ahead of me since I rode this route daily, but I never saw her again since then, and the chances of meeting her anywhere else were next to none. I could try and tell myself to forget about it for the rest of my life, but no matter what, it will never change. She was the girl I never got to know.