Pre-dawn sleet melts diamonds onto the girls hat as she finds her position on the bus. Half-term has wiped the roads clean, the lights through the one way system are green and we’re two minutes early. The driver stops outside the newsagent. I watch him through the window as he flirts with the lady behind the till. He buys cigarettes and rests his hand on hers. Light shines through the open door like a wedge of homemade butter and spreads itself onto papers tied up with string. The window of the shop is a screen that reflects the lights in the bus. Words are borrowed from a silent movie. Two minutes. As the credits roll the driver locks himself behind a sheet of Perspex, with holes so he can breathe and a slot for tickets. He closes his eyes and releases the brake, she is the only person he will touch that day.
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