When Trudy Love awoke on December 14, there was a fresh dusting of snow on the ground.  There was something comforting about how the snow softened the earth and made for a quiet walk to the bus stop.  Trudy was lost in her own thoughts when she was bumped from behind by a huge stack of wrapped gift boxes.

“Oh!  I’m SO sorry….” came a voice from behind the boxes.  Just as Trudy was about to scold the gift bearer for being so rude, the boxes moved to reveal a kind face with rosy cheeks and electric blue eyes.

“I can’t believe I did that…please accept my apology.”  The man was young and so friendly that it was impossible not to be forgiving. 

“Apology accepted.”  Trudy said, as she brushed the non-existent lint from her coat.  She had never before felt so unsettled by another person.

The young man went on to say, “I knew I should have stopped sooner, but you know how it is…you’re caught up in your thoughts when walking and the next thing you know….” he took a breath.

Trudy simply smiled and nodded and wondered where her bus was – it was usually never late.

“My name is Chris,” said the stranger.  Trudy pretended to be lost in thought; it seemed like the man could not be detered.

“Is this your bus?  I’m waiting for the 9 bus,” continued Chris, as Trudy stood ready to board.

“Well, Merry Christmas, Miss” was the last statement she heard as the bus doors closed.  But as Trudy made her way to a seat, she glanced out the window and watched as Chris rearranged his packages and looked for his bus.  It was then that she noticed that her heart had been pounding.

As she processed loan applications at her desk and almost missed lunch, Trudy’s thoughts continued back to those friendly blue eyes.  “Why can I not shake this feeling?” she mumbled to herself.  She was so deep into her own thoughts that even the “it’s 11 days to Christmas, and my Tru Love is giving me” jokes flew right over her head without so much as disturbing her.

As Trudy rode the bus home, as she did every day, she realized that she was anticipating the stop more so today than any other time.  Would he be there?  Should she speak first?

When she stepped off the bus, she was alone at the stop.  She glanced furtively around, sighed and then slowly made her way home.  She tried to read her novel while eating her tuna fish sandwich for dinner, but was disturbed to find herself reading the same line over and over.  She could not shake Chris’ face from her mind.

Trudy fell to sleep that night, wondering if she would ever see those wonderful blue eyes again.

To be continued…