It was a pure accident. He’d been staring mindlessly out of the window of the bus, just casually watching Britain go past on his trip home from his therapists when he’d seen her at the bus stop, fumbling around in her pockets, she’d looked up momentarily and he’d caught a tiny glimpse of her face, but as all poets will probably tell you all the time a glimpse is enough, she’d gotten on to the bus and handed over some money, he heard her saying she was 20p short she was really sorry, the bus driver looked at her unenthusiasticaly and said, sorry, if you don’t have the money you can’t get on.

She’d looked dejected at the idea of stepping back off the bus, but she hesitantly started to back off, the next customer pushed past her and she stood outside. He didn’t know what had come over him but before he knew it he was on his feet fishing around in his pocket for loose change, he pulled out 18p, and had hustled to the front of the bus and looked at the girl, I have 18p, do you want it, she’d looked over at the bus driver who just sighed and started printing off a ticket.

She took it from the bus driver then smiled at him and said thank you before moving down the bus.

He stayed rooted to the spot and the bus lurched forwards, almost sending him flying, he grabbed on to a bar and headed back to his seat. But she was sitting in it, his bag was still there so he headed over.

And now it was valentines day almost four years later and she was crying, do you ever pay attention to anything, it’s like you’re not even here any more.

I’m sorry, it’s just work is really busy and I just, i’m sorry.

Am I even real to you any more? Am I even a person to you? Because you treat me like a certainty, like oh, I can not text her back and let her know if we’re hanging out, she’ll wait around for me, she’s not going anywhere, but I have a life too. I have things I should be doing when instead i’m just sitting around with you, when i’m just waiting for you, i’m not just a fucking lamp you can turn on and off whenever you want, i’m real, i’m real.

I’m sorry, he stuttered, I can make it up to you.

You always say that, you always say that and then you just fall back in to the same pattern and i’m sick of it, i’m so sick of it, it’s not even change, it’s just adaption, it’s just minor adaption, i’m not asking for the world, i’m just asking to be a tiny piece of yours.

I can make it up to you. He said and walked past her out of the living room.

He could still hear her crying from the attic, a soft gentle sob.

He looked down at the lamp in his hands, should he do this.

He rubbed it and rubbed it, the Genie popped out, Master, I am at your command, you have three wishes and you may do as you please.

I want to go back and relive the 7th of January, 2013.

The genie nodded.

He woke up and got dressed, he tied his shoes and read for a while, he got on the bus to the therapists office, he got out and talked about his problems for fifty minutes then left and waited outside in the rain for the bus that he knew would be ten minutes late.

When it came he got on and took a seat and stared out the window, he looked to the front of the bus at all the stops until eventually she came on fumbling around in her pockets, she looked around hesitantly the next customer pushing past her. His hand automatically went to the change in his pocket as the bus pulled away.


Author: angus macnaghten

cynical and cyclical, hit me up, ajmacnaghten@hotmail.co.uk

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