Outrunning the Bus

On Saturday evening, I went out to celebrate the birthday of one of my very best friends. I had a delightful time and got to taste the luxury that is a banana and peanut butter smoothie. However, towards the end of the evening, there was a cause for tension.

My friend Dalfino and I had just gotten off the train and our bus home (the last of the evening) was due to depart in four minutes. Quite a close call. That would have been fine, apart from the fact that Dalfino didn’t have the change for the bus fare. So what were we to do?

Well, I went to the bus station and Dalfino went to the cash machine, I hoped that I might be able to hold it up or something. Sadly, this was not the case. I was standing right next to it as I watched it drive away. Dalfino arrived about ten seconds and I broke the bad news to him.

“Well, what do we do now?” he asked.

“We could sprint to the next stop,” I suggested.

Now, considering the fact that the bus must have had a good thirty second head start on us, our chances seemed slim. Or, at least, they might seem slim to those who are unaware of my super power.

So we set off. I ran along as fast as I could (wearing my office shoes, a blazer and a buttoned collared shirt) dodging all of the late night party people as I did. It was fun and exciting in a way, but the stakes were high as I didn’t want to have to pay for a taxi.

I gave a look behind me every now and then, just to make sure that Dalfino was still keeping up. Concerningly, he seemed to be drifting a little further behind each time I looked back, so I tried to offer him some encouraging hand gestures.

At one point the bus drove past us and for one pessimistic moment, I thought that our chances of catching it were completely lost. But as I sped round the corner, I saw it standing at the next stop. As I got there, the door was still open, but I didn’t want to get on with Dalfino so far behind.

The driver gave me a strange look and it was clear that he’d seen me standing outside at the first stop too. I stepped onto the bus and pretended to take a long time to find my bus pass. Eventually, once I could not stall any further without it seeming unnatural, I took it out, but Dalfino was still not there, so I didn’t want to get on.

“Is it okay if you wait just one second for my friend?” I asked. “I don’t want to make you late, but he won’t be a moment.”

The driver shook his head. Understandable. He probably wanted to get home.

I turned around and looked out of the bus. No sign of Dalfino. I awkwardly faced the driver again. Then I turned to look for Dalfino once more – and there he was!

“Ah!” I said. “Here he is!”

I then sat down in a comfortable seat on the and realised that though I had managed to catch the bus, I was now utterly exhausted. I had not physically exerted myself in such a way in a long time.

Dalfino and I shared a celebratory high five as he sat down and sat in the silent contentedness that comes when you know you’ve acquired an anecdote which will serve you well for many years.

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