Like the air conditioning was non-existent, small sweat drops tickled my skin. I wanted to survive the journey without throwing up, or embarrassment, or any contact with people. I was in the drunken-survival mode, hating myself as usual, begging for the teleportation effect to come. I wished to wake up in my bed in the morning, not remembering anything I had done tonight.
Then, I noticed her in the artificial light of the bus and imagined how beautiful she would be in real sunlight. She wore a flowery dress, which enlightened the dull colours of the interior. When she looked at me, I swallowed, then tried to organise the collar of my shirt.
She laughed at my futile attempt to make myself presentable. At this point, I realised that we were alone on the night bus, several stops away from my flat; a lot of time to spend in silence.
But the words didn’t come. She was too pretty. So, instead of saying anything, I shamefully turned my head away and closed my eyes.
“You’re so beautiful, Chaz,” she said.
“Pardon?” I said, wondering how she knew my name.
“You heard me. You must be not shy because you are a little bit tipsy. You are still beautiful.”
She had an unfamiliar accent. It gave me the courage to open my mouth.
“Thanks, you too,” I said and immediately cursed myself. But she didn’t give up on the situation. She stood up and sat next to me. As the adrenaline filled me up inside, I forgot about my drunken state, and nothing else existed but her face about three inches away from mine.
“I want to show you something,” she whispered. Then, I felt her mouth touching mine, and before I could do anything, my body and soul went along with her enchantment.
Her tongue was soft as silk; her lips wet and like the finest dessert wine: sweet and smooth.
The thoughts disappeared, replaced by joy. I opened my eyes because I didn’t believe this was happening. The flowers on her dress became alive. They jumped off the fabric and danced, climbing onto my shoulders. Then, they melted into a flying animal made of colours. When I touched it, it shimmered and disappeared like a frightened fish under the water. Her dress sparkled in pure white now.
I tried to wake my sanity as such thing couldn’t exist, but the experience continuously escalated, and I got washed away in this strange new world.
Suddenly, she withdrew from me, saying: ‘You’re so beautiful.’
I started to believe. Such an incredible creature wouldn’t have chosen anyone on a dirty bus. I must have awakened some kind of hidden attraction in her, a pleasant memory in her subconscious.
“Who are you?” I asked, but everything seemed awfully slow, and she started to float away. The gears of reality began to move around us, evaporating the wonder. Pieces from the bus popped up through the sheet of this magical space-time. As dirt, pale light and blue seats took over again, a nauseating noise paired with a nauseous feeling spread over my existence. Drunkenness, the thing I welcomed the least, crawled back slowly, erasing pleasure, beauty, love.
I opened my eyes and saw a small saliva river starting on my shoulder, making its way towards my upper arm like the trail of a slug. Disgusted by my own foulness, I wiped my mouth.
My dark, self-loathing ruled world rose again until I glimpsed at her. She wasn’t a dream after all. The flowers bloomed on her dress without motion, reminding me the best experience of my entire miserable life. It didn’t matter whether the kiss was real. It changed me.
The bus began to slow down, and the automated voice of a woman announced the next stop. She stood up. My approaching courage retreated at once, shattering to pieces within me, replaced by panic. I didn’t want her to go.
I followed her with my gaze and tried to make a move, but my drunken body didn’t oblige to my request. I fell over, gasping after her as she walked to the door. I had never felt more disgusted with myself.
She turned and sent me a kiss, and I could taste the sweetness again. She stepped down onto the street, the door closing behind her. I pulled myself up. I couldn’t hear her voice, but I recognised the words formed by her mouth.
“You are beautiful,” she said. And then, I watched her flowery dress fading into the darkness, as the bus headed into the night.
However, I felt beautiful, maybe for the first time in my life, and I knew I was heading towards light.
Sandor Kovacs is a Hungarian writer, creating stories in the genres of general fiction, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. His work was published on The Writer’s Notebook blog and in the May issue of Devolution Z. Sandor lives in London and enjoys reading, writing, listening, watching, and being.
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Photo by Pete Bellis