The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Boys with Books

Seven junior high school boys are on a sort of field trip by bus. They chat in small groups, look over my shoulder at my notebook, annoy an old man who decides to move to the back rows. All of the seated boys are moving their legs, bouncing knees up and down, restless, growing, aiming to fit in.

One boy with brown hair and glasses holds a paperback. He offers his seat to their teacher, but she declines, moving to stand closer to two of her more troublesome charges. This paperback boy joins in on the small conversations with his classmates, but perhaps he would rather be reading.

A beautiful woman with a map boards. She is trying fold the map in such a way that she can inspect the route and also hold onto a railing to steady herself. Paperback offers her his seat, delighted to stand for her. And as the visitor gives him a “gracias, gracias,” he blushes madly. The guest even inspects the book in his hand–squinting at the Hungarian title without a flicker of recognition–and then she smiles right at him. The other students elbow each other and whisper. Then the paperback boy glances up at the sky and then over at his teacher, so relieved she didn’t accept his chivalry first.

–Budapest, Hungary
Buda overlooking Pest

7 comments on “Boys with Books

  1. joannerambling
    March 28, 2016

    I like how I can just picture the scene

  2. Maccabros
    March 28, 2016

    always a pleasure to read you..

    liebe Grüße


  3. Darlene
    March 29, 2016

    There are still polite young men in the world. All is not lost!!

  4. sweetexp
    March 29, 2016

    Sounds Dreamy! I wanna’ go Paige!!!

  5. Beauty Along the Road
    April 3, 2016

    a sweet story and, as usual, carefully observed and narrated.

    • Thank you! I loved a chance to get a little entertained when I’d arrived. Sometimes when I am exhausted, I can find the nicest moments. 😀

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