Stalker-ish: a short story by Tina

This is a story I published on figment two years ago. This morning I made a few minor changes to it (because I can’t leave well enough alone), but it’s still by far my favorite out of all the short stories I’ve written so far. The title is Stalker-ish.
I hope you enjoy ^_^

Clem gazed out the window of a large city bus. It had just stopped, taking on and dropping off strangers. Some were eager to get where they were going, others dreaded their destination. She repeatedly bent her knees up and down waiting for the bus to be on its way again. The engine flared up and they were off.
Clem took out a pair of large headphones from her bag and put them on. The bus was now far too noisy for her taste. She soon was hypnotized by the soothing melody and blur of the passing buildings.  It made her feel like the only creature on the planet at that moment. The only thing that could awaken her was the screaming the bus’s breaks. It was not her stop, Clem played her music again and put her hand on the seat next to her. Her face flushed as she felt something other than the hard plastic seat. She slowly looked at her hand and was relieved that there was no one sitting next to her. There was however, a small note book beneath her fingers. She examined the little book. Whatever color the cover once had been she couldn’t tell, for it was covered in stickers. Not the ones of a child either, some were from bands that she recognized. Others were labels from different brands of beer. All of them crowded and fighting for the eye’s full attention. The little book looked like it had an exciting life. The edges of the pages were ripped and wrinkled. It was worn by use, not time.

Clem knew she could find its owner by looking at the contents, but she felt a pang of guilt for invading the person’s privacy. “It probably caries a lot of memories, it would be awful if they never got it back.” She assured herself.

She opened it to the first page.
April 12th, 2014

I said goodbye to my family today. My mom had an extremely difficult time. Sending her son off to hike alone in another country for three months was heartbreaking for her. I assured her that I’d be fine, but I have to admit I cried with her. I’m going to miss all of them. But is something I’ve always wanted to do. I decided I’d go for it before I moved to the city this winter.

The man signed every entry with T. Dawson. About every three days he’d write the memorable happenings of hiking in Canada. Of his minor injuries, animals he saw, the weather, a few hikers he encountered. At first he had trouble keeping on time and lost his way often. He soon caught on from his mistakes.

June 9th, 2014

My journey is almost over. I only have a short time before I leave the trees, I feel as if I’ve lived almost them my entire life. I wish I was more articulate, I wish I could describe the wonders that are in this forest. I did take many pictures, but they don’t do any of it justice. I guess words can’t either. I hope one day I come back and bring someone with me. I want to rediscover everything through their eyes.

Clem looked up from the pages, a feeling warmth slowly creep into her bones. The next few pages were about packing up his belongings and moving to the city in which they both lived in. He described his neighborhood and apartment. But there was no address, it could have been anywhere in the city.

October 17, 2014

I have no funds for a car, and I doubt a car would do me much good in this city anyway. The traffic is horrific.  So I’ve been taking the bus every morning to my new job. As I write this, a beautiful woman is sitting across from me. She’s completely content with staring out the window with her head phones on. I don’t even think she realizes there are other people around her. She has her jacket unzipped and I can see her Two Door Cinema Club t-shirt. They’re one of my favorite bands. I wonder if she got it at one of their shows last year.

Clem instinctively looked at the shirt she wore, it was not the same one as he described, but she new that one was on her apartment floor waiting for a washing.

October 29th, 2014

Today the woman still ignored everyone and had her nose pressed on the window. What was so interesting to think about for the entire bus ride every single day? I haven’t the faintest idea, but I’d like to ask her sometime.

November 14th, 2014

I’ve seen her every day since mid October. She’s in her spot when I get on, and I always leave with her still there. I joked to myself that she might be a ghost, only seen by the ones who notice. A ghost stuck on the bus, forever observing the world pass by her.  I thought this at first because she has a certain glow to her. But I realized the glow isn’t death, it’s life.

They came to a stop. Clem collected herself and realized it was hers. She slung her bag over her shoulder and gripped the notebook in her hands. “Thank you, Bert.” She said to the driver, her voice was soft and airy. The doors opened, a young man stood in front of her. He was out of breath, “Excuse me could you-,” He wheezed, “I need to get on the bus.” She stood on the last step of the bus and examined him. He was tall and broad, wearing jeans and a brown blazer. His hair was orange and pulled back in a ponytail. What gave him an allusion of handsomeness was his well-kept beard and small bright eyes.

“Are you T. Dawson?” Clem asked. The man’s face flushed when he noticed Clem clutching his journal. Realizing she must have read its contents to get that information.  ” You can call me Toby.” He laughed nervously as she handed him his possession.

“Clem! You’re holding up my schedule!” Bert called. Embarrassed, Clem hoped off the last step. The bus left the two on the side walk of a busy street. “I-um, I’m Clem.” She said holding out her hand to the stranger. He took her hand briefly, his grip was gentle. “I’m Toby.” He said. Clem laughed, “I know, you’ve just told me!” Toby’s face turned red again, “So um, you read my journal? I’m sorry if I seemed a bit stalker-ish.” He said. “Maybe a bit,” Clem laughed,”I’m sorry for reading it, I just wanted to make sure it was returned.”
“And I’m grateful,” Toby smiled, “It’s something that can never be replaced.” They stood silent for a few moments. Both thinking of what was going to happen next.

“Do you wanna get a hot beverage?” Clem asked.

“I would love that.” Toby smiled.

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