• Will Schuck

Pete's Sake - Part 3

I felt odd hearing this, like it was a story in the news that I wish I hadn’t read about an average person getting killed doing something he does everyday — going to work or dropping off his kids at school. Pete was excited to talk about Michelle and his excitement grew as he spoke. I decided to listen only and not offer any advice. His talk tasted of danger to me, and I didn’t want any part of it. I listened nonetheless.

A number of weeks passed. On a hot day in mid-summer I got on the 5:10 bus to go home. The bus’s air conditioning felt like an arctic blast as I got on. My eyes and Michelle’s met as I looked for an open seat, and we smiled our mutual greetings as I headed toward the back of the bus where the air was more frigid. I read the day’s news for a few minutes and closed my eyes to melt away the day’s side effects. I fell asleep until the stop-requested bell rang about a mile and a half from our stop at the park-and-ride. I was determined to keep my eyes open and I fought to do so through a few more waves of encroaching sleep. The bus’s abrupt stop, however, jolted my eyes open and we were at the lot. The usual group of riders got off, Michelle among them. Pete was not.

As we crossed the street to the parking lot, a light breeze caught the edge of a small slip of white paper tucked under the wiper of Michelle’s black car. I knew what it was and I wanted to see the result, but I just couldn’t that day.

It’s now winter again. Neither Pete nor Michelle have ridden the bus since that day. Each week I check the divorce announcements in the paper, expecting to see one or both of their names, but nothing has turned up yet.

#commuting #relationships #shortstory


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