426

The coach hums, eager to get on its way. Contented, happy. Carefree, which is more than can be said for the passenger.

She bites down on the side of cheek, her gnawed fingers clutching the folder in her lap as the driver(a man in a yellow jacket as fat as a bumblebee) takes his seat. Lifting her head when she hears a seagull screech, she watches the world around her pulls away to make room for York, room for uni, room for a million new books and a billion new people.

Even as a kid she'd lacked the knack for making friends. A memory creeps to the front of her mind of her primary school, back when she wandered in Dreamworld with the cloud fairies. She wasn't totally alone, she'd had two friends; a boy who'd talked to her for a few year before he found his own group, and a orange-haired girl with a constant scowl who'd accuse her of things that made her feel terrible for uncommitted crimes. Perhaps she had been lonely after all. Secondary school had been better- she'd found four girls there. She barely had a synapsis in common with any of them, but who cared? They'd liked each other. Even now she still saw them now and again; she'd walked the dogs with Jules earlier that month, comforted Daisy about her ex at Daisy's eighteenth, and social networking sites kept her in touch with Karen and Chloe. She'd missed them when they left school. She misses them now.

If she keeps thinking this way she's going to fall into the abyss: What the you doing? Go home, you aren't wanted here. Just bugger off and stop bothering everyone! The first spike stabs her soul- time to think of something else. She waves at someone's baby, glances about, pushes her fringe out of her way, opens her file, scribbles third person in red ink. The page looks to her like it's bleeding which for some reason leads her mind on to Jack the Ripper. Probably not a good idea to be morbid today.

She slashes through a half-sentence, wanting to focus on a story idea instead. Watching a dead leaf drift outside, she tries to picture her characters; the two-faced bully, the Victorian family, the cliché peasant girl with trouble on the way. If that last one was real, she'd probably have given the girl a good slap for everything that had happened, especially since the mumbling, bumbling little cow of an author hadn't even wrote an ending. She ought to get on with it.

She shouldn't be writing on the bus. Someone might see. Someone might laugh. Pushing her glasses back up, she half wants to laugh at herself. People had seen her writing before, and she'd never had an issue showing it to penpals or anyone anonymous. Then again, she could half-justify that mentality to herself. None of those people know her face- it just feels safer. So far only two people she knew have seen anything she'd written; her dad had read her first crappy poem(he'd kept asking), and Neil, who'd showed her his stuff first. She mentions that she writes now and again, but never more than "I write sometimes." Something that made her sound a little less dull. She used to sing once, too- not so much now. She might upload a video of herself if she ever grows a spine.

What time was it? She plucks her phone from the pocket of her leather jacket(worn for bravery). Ten minutes to nine. Two hours till she has to get to the uni. Five minutes till she gets off the bus. That went quick. Pressing her thin lips together she tries to sort out her hair(straightened, for once) and clicks her pen so that the ballpoint vanishes. In petrified silence she stares out the window. Time to brace herself.