Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
At the border crossing from Croatia into Bosnia, my bus pulls to a stop next to a bus parked and pointed in the opposite direction. There’s an elderly couple in the set of seats just outside my window, and we smile and wave at each other while we wait. He wears a yellow and blue plaid shirt and she wears gold earrings that dangle from under a puff of white hair. The man unearths a bottle of schnapps, pours a few drops in the lid for his wife, and they hold up their bottle and thimble in a toast to me. I laugh and hold an imaginary glass so I may join in. They slug down their drinks, and she taps her chest as he gives a visible, “Ahhh,” of refreshment. I am so delighted that I can barely contain myself, pressing my hand against my heart and dropping my shoulders forward.
I love oldsters.
A man a row behind the pair has spotted our interaction and contributes his smile to the cause. He’s handsome, at least he seems handsome from where I’m sitting. He nods at me. He waves. I try to smile at him in a way that I am not smiling at the elderly pair, toggling back and forth between flirting and friendship. Then a bus comes to life. The departure is near, so we offer last minute grins and gazes and gestures, waving goodbye to all that kindness and possibility.
–Border Crossing between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina