The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Waiting for Eve

The mix of humanity at the Budapest bus stop included backpackers, Spaniards, grandmothers with grandchildren, and the Miss Eden Contestants of 2011.

Several of the teenage girls stood by pink rolling suitcases.  Nearly all were clenching their hands or tugging at their clothing. As new competitors arrived, each received stares and hair flips and thin smiles, all mannerisms stolen from the movies and executed with a lack of skill. One girl broke the facade completely and exhaled while looking sadly up at the clouds.

A guy with hipster glasses and Converse shoes kept a cell phone at his ear and a strained look on his face.  It was his job to gather the girls and half-embrace them as he put on their sash.  He took pains to make it appear painful. Their private bus slowed and parked behind an idling discount line to Prague, whose ticket-holders slowly realized they would not be traveling with Beauty that day.

There were only two sashes left to distribute as a tall brunette approached, walking ahead of her industrial-strength father and zebra-print suitcase. After eyeing the Hipster as he sashed his daughter, Big Dad took her aside for a conference and a fraternal pat on the shoulder. Since there was one more sash, there must be one more girl and hence no hurry.

However, the other bus was scheduled to depart. So the less-polished riders took hesitant drags on cigarettes and began to board. Those in the far right seats kept looking out, waiting for the last more-than-fashionably-late contestant to arrive.

She still had not appeared as the bus to Prague rolled away. There wasn’t an audible groan, but a collective rustle of passengers pretending that they weren’t all that interested anyway, as they turned quickly to their newspapers, their armrests, their settling in.

-Budapest, Hungary.

jewely shop, scary mannequins

Mannequin heads that make me not want to go within 100 feet of this shop. Izmir, Turkey.

6 comments on “Waiting for Eve

  1. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    February 1, 2013

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    At a conference. I heard a lot about various “Eve”-type characters and remembered these beauty queens…

  2. petchary
    February 1, 2013

    Oh, dear. I wonder who was the one who got away, whose sash was unsashed. Perhaps she was the most beautiful of them all! This is really wonderful. The pink rolling suitcases…

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 2, 2013

      I like the idea of not seeing her. Maybe she would have been a disappointment for all those eagerly awaiting folks. This way, they could imagine her as they wished. 😀 It’s a great way to pass time on a drive…

  3. Browsing the Atlas
    February 2, 2013

    Love it! You have such a way with words. Your descriptions put me right there with you.

  4. lioness
    February 3, 2013

    Sometimes, not knowing leaves room for the imagination and everyone’s idea of true beauty.

    It’s great to think you’ve made us think and, perhaps, bless the one that may have missed the bus, a prayer for a stranger.

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2011 by in Observed, Travel and tagged , , , , .

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