She stood under the shelter at the bus stop in deep thought almost in a world of her own, not conscious of the snow still falling. one could tell she was new to Canada, her overall appearance tells it all. From the baby which is clutching tightly on her back with a kind of wrap carrier to keep warm, to her scanty coat and her shoes, which were not thick enough for the snowy weather to the confused look on her face as a bus pulls up at the stop.
She approaches the bus quietly allowing everyone to board before she climb up to speak to the driver. She adjusts the wrap as if to keep her baby warmer, then stretch a piece of paper to the driver.
“is this the bus to Finch and Lawrence” she asked in barely audible voice.
“Yes “the driver replied.
She stretches the ticket towards the driver, the driver takes a peep.
“Oh lady, your ticket has expired”
She adjusts the baby again, with fallen face. she tried to get off the bus when she catches the attention of another passenger.
“No stay, I will pay for you” the passenger said.
Relieve flooded her face as she thank the good Samaritan and the driver. Then stood close to the front of the bus since it was packed full. Another passenger noticed she could barely hold firm, got off his seat for her, again relieve flooded her face. As she sat with head bowed, the passenger close to her could hear her sobbing quietly, she was in silent pain one could see. The passenger on the right, a woman in hajib stretched out her arms, pulled the sobbing woman with the baby close and began to rock her back and forth as she too began to cry quietly.
No one spoke, the other passengers watched. Some wiping away tears from their cheeks with the back of their hands. The bus came to a stop at Weston Road at Finch Avenue West South Side, the driver a lady got off her seat walking into the aisle towards the African lady.
“This is your stop” but could not complete her sentence as she beholds the emotional moments taking place in the bus.
“What the heck is going on” she asked but the shake of the head by an elderly man almost openly crying, stopped her short.
It was a whole tensed moment, no one spoke. Passengers at the back moved forward to see what was going on, all they saw, was a black woman with a baby tied to her back with a wrap carrier and an Arab woman hugging her both weeping silently.
As if on cue, they both raised their heads at same time. Embarrassed at the sea of faces looking down at them.
“Oh, I am so sorry” said the Arab woman, letting go of the lady with the child, as she recognised the drivers face among the others.
“Its ok, we all understand. This is supposed to be her stop” she said, “but take your time, and is she ok? she concluded.
Everyone nodded and moved back to their seats.