The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

A Seat of One’s Own

A boy and his little brother–each armed with a sack of groceries–board the bus and rush to pile onto a single vacant seat. The younger boy’s brown eyes flash as he wriggles to fit between the window and his slightly older, seemingly wiser, clearly more serious sibling. A woman on the aisle seat beside them, wearing a leopard print coat and a black hat with flowers, stares dead ahead and refuses to yield an inch to the children.

People rest in their thoughts–or at least in faraway stares–until their stop, until they can continue their worries in a less confined area. A similarly distracted woman across from the boys rises for her stop. She carefully guides herself past the collection of feet, dogs, and bags of produce that line her exit.

In a move of instinct, the smaller brother bolts to the open space and makes a show of the luxuriousness of his new location.ย  He climbs up and pats the seat cushion on either side of his tiny legs, he kicks out the feet that no longer touch the floor, he stretches his arms wide–with a wingspan so narrow that he could barely touch either the window on his right or the annoyed passenger on his left. The older brother breaks his own grown-up gaze to offer an approving nod, making himself more comfortable as well. The small brother smiles in the direction of the window, through he can barely see out, and hugs the sack of bread to his chest in satisfaction.

-Vienna, Austria

Stil Laden. Vienna.

Stil Laden. Vienna.

16 comments on “A Seat of One’s Own

  1. Suzanne Casey
    January 23, 2012

    I can see the joy on the face of the younger boy. How lovely to be reminded of these priceless moments of childhood. Thanks for the memories!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 28, 2012

      I loved these little boys. It’s been a great chance to see other people’s priceless childhood moments, especially the ones they may be likely to forget. Thanks so much, Suzanne!

  2. Pingback: Saturday-Ja-Vu: The Bus Boys | The Nice Thing About Strangers

  3. billduff
    September 8, 2012

    I feel the essence of youth when I read this story. Beautiful observations. I think I’m going to like your blog very much! TTFN

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 8, 2012

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you being here to read it. I think we’ll be fast friends!

      • billduff
        September 8, 2012

        Yes! I’d love to see the world through your eyes!

  4. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    February 7, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    Collected a handful of new stories today. Yay! Here’s a refresher on how they usually proceed. Have a great weekend! -Paige

  5. billgncs
    February 7, 2014

    the young can value each moment for its treasure.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 8, 2014

      I just loved these boys! I agree. Perhaps seeing the world as a child is really a way to see it fully.

      • billgncs
        February 8, 2014

        yes, being an adult brings discernment – but to lose the ability to see ( even in the smallest way ) as a child costs us wonder and joy.

  6. M. R.
    February 7, 2014

    I can never understand adults who won’t respond to children. How sad and caged must their lives be …

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 8, 2014

      Hi M.R.,
      I’m usually better about seeing the elderly than really noticing children, but I am working on trying to see everyone. Sometimes even seeing those grumpy adults as just little children after all. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Enjoy your weekend,

  7. Ellen Morris Prewitt
    February 7, 2014

    I am enjoying your entries so much – I look forward to the emails arriving in my inbox. Thanks for sharing your eye.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 8, 2014

      Thank you so much, Ellen! I appreciate that you let me visit your inbox! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend–

  8. heavenhappens
    February 8, 2014

    What a lovely mind picture you have painted for me x Thank you it made me smile x

  9. photographymemoirs
    February 8, 2014

    You have such a beautiful way of portraying your experiences; simplistic, realistic yet so vividly beautiful.

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2012 by in Europe, Happiness, Travel and tagged , , , , , .

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