“Walk me to the bus stop,” she said.
He didn’t have to look out of the window. The pitter and patter was enough to convince him that walking her to the bus stop was a decent idea if only she hadn’t objected to the use of an umbrella.
“No one looks cool holding onto an umbrella,” she made that declaration one day. He was only way too eager to please her.
“Shall we wait for the rain to stop?”
“No. I have to go.”
Within minutes, his nipples were modestly concealed by Rick Dees on the rain-soaked T-shirt and the bottom of his white school pants were stained with mud. She was saved from the lustful looks of the horny old men because her pinafore covered everything that would pique or arouse unwanted interest.
Their shoes would probably need to be placed under the refrigerator for them to be dry in time for school tomorrow. But that was the least of their concerns then.
So, in the pouring rain and attracting the gawks of passers-by, the two of them negotiated their way to the bus stop. On a sunny day, it would have been a pleasant but somewhat sweaty 10-minute stroll. It was a different story altogether because this was a heavy downpour.
They walked in silence. As absurd as it seemed, his heart was simply lifted by how she spent two hours after school hanging out at his home. They did nothing funny though. They watched a video recording of The Chart Show, which she brought, and commented on the various indie acts. What made him happy too was the smile on her face when Axl Rose was prancing in the music video for “You Could Be Mine”.
The bus driver frowned at them when they boarded the bus. The passengers, like the passers-by just now, gawked at the sight of two rain soaked school kids. But in his world, they didn’t quite exist. There were only her and her words.
The journey in that stuffy bus took 45 minutes. They didn’t talk much, perhaps because they had already spoken all they wanted. Only a few words that were exchanged and the brief exchanges about how she was writing down the lyrics of all the Guns N Roses songs she knew in a little sketchbook.
“I’m doing this for you,” she reminded him. “I want to turn you into a Guns N Roses fan.”
He walked her to the lift. The rain had eased by then, but they were still attracting curious glances from gawking passers-by. As the lift doors started to close, she made a hand signal which he recognised as that of the phone. “Call me tonight,” was what she meant.
It was another long 45 minutes of embarrassment on the bus ride home in that rain soaked Rick Dees T-shirt and having to converse with no one but his thoughts.
Yet, that simple hand gesture of hers made him smile. There was something to look forward to tonight after a nice and warm shower.
It would be her voice.