Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.
i was reaching down to grab the last bag, my hair swung down around my shoulder getting caught in the handle. i took it and threw it back behind me. i could feel someone’s gaze on me, but that wasn’t unusual. i always felt like i was being looked at by everyone all the time and it usually ended up being no one at all. “should have brought a hair tie” i thought to myself as i wandered over to grab the bus into the city. my bag rolling behind me, being pulled against its will.
i still couldn’t let go of that feeling i was being watched though. sometimes my high sensitivity was right, the trick was knowing when that was.
the bus was late, i looked to my right and saw people waiting, kids chasing each other while adults looked out languidly at the heat waves already rising above the shuttles and cars winding their way through the airport road.
“i need a coffee” i said to myself. always the addict looking for my release. but i could be dramatic at 7 in the morning. the bus pulled up, hot and heavy, letting passengers off before we could get on. as i paid the driver i looked back into the vehicle for a seat, an aisle seat preferably, one close to the front. sitting down that feeling came back of someone observing what i always thought as a very boring life being played out before them. honestly, who takes so much care in seeing how i was going to arrange my luggage my body on a seat built so small i had to take a deep breath to avoid the panic that always set in when i could feel the warmth of someone’s body too close to mine. it was worse when i didn’t know them and yet somehow better. is it even rejection when you don’t know someone?
the bus pulled out of the terminal and started it’s long and bumpy ride into the city. i loved this city. it was cool and windy and hot and stifling and always let you in on a secret if you waited and even if you were a bit impatient. i pulled a strand of hair behind my ear. my right cheek turning hot from what i could only assume was that gaze. i turned to the left and shifted my hair back to the right. cheek getting cooler. “would they know?” i thought, trying to avoid the stare, “would they be able to see it in my eyes? is that kind of thing showing?”
i looked at the person opposite me, i had been trying to stare out the window behind them but they didn’t notice, or seem to care, that i had stopped to look at them. “maybe it’s just me. that can’t stand being looked at.” i tried to console myself with my status as a freak of nature by putting a piece of gum in my mouth. “mmm-mint, that’s supposed to be relaxing, right?”. the woman opposite me readjusted her purse over her stomach, she was almost asleep, her chin softly resting on her chest, white work shirt, black pants clean and pressed, seemed like she was going to work.
we rode into the city stopping and going for over an hour as we met the traffic joining us over the toll bridge. the express lane helped, but not by much. i had five stops to go before i could finally get off, “i wonder what state the apartment’s in?” to myself, “i can never be gone too long without it going to crap.” the intensity of the stare was increasing the closer i got to disembarking. finally, i could no longer stand it and decided to look over to see once and for all who it was. i had intended to offer them a horrifying glare, meant to scare them off but as i looked over there my resolve melted, as usual.
turning to the right, i saw clean, polished shoes, business attire looking up and finally i was met with clear, comforting hazel eyes, the kind that changed based on mood. i took in a sudden breath. now that i had met their gaze that connection seemed to strengthen. i quickly pulled the stop and started moving towards the mid door of the bus. as the bus stopped and the door opened to let me out i could feel them pulled out with me. the sun melted the building anxiety i had been holding onto. “surely, i could lose them just by walking around, yes?” i ducked into the nearest coffee shop preparing to steel myself for whatever interaction might come next. as i turned around though, the space behind me was empty and much to my surprise i was slightly disappointed. but more than slightly.