The bus-stop sign had long since rusted beyond recognition, but the place was marked by an ancient bench of concrete and rotting wood that was in the process of returning to the earth. The look of it did not inspire confidence but he had waited at this place before and eventually a bus had come along. Paul was not someone who could sit patiently on a bench. Instead he leaned against the side of it to indicate his intentions, without committing himself to the wait. Shielding his eyes, he peered down the highway to where the bus had materialized before, as if directing his impatience in its direction would help hurry it along. He wiped his brow with his hand and then ran it back through his short brown hair.
After a few minutes he heard someone come up behind him and he turned. He was startled to see a beautiful young woman looking back at him. She immediately looked away. Her skin was light brown but there was a paleness about her, like someone who did not like the sun. Her hair was auburn and long, with a slight wave to it. She had it gathered in the back with a carved wooden clasp. Her eyes were dark, almost black and her features were fine except for her lips which were full and wide. She wore no makeup that he could see. The fine wrinkles at the corners of her mouth and eyes spoke of someone who liked to laugh but her expression was serious, maybe even a little angry. The plain white dress she was wearing clung to her thighs in the humid air and she clutched her tattered canvas bag against her chest like a shield. He held his glance a little too long and finally, she glared back at him with a look of contempt that startled him for a moment.
"My name is Paul," he said, by way of apology.
Exceprt Monday: The Shepherd Sleeps by Wallace F. BrownLauren J
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