A chill ran down my spine as I looked up the stairs, up at the driver. His face was stunning, a face you could never forget. His bone structure was sharp, with prominent cheekbones, almost to the point of being too thin. His eyes were a dark grey that beckoned the wandering eye. I would have lost myself inside them if not for his hair. His hair mirrored the grey of his eyes, despite his youth. The grey, though, was not the aspect that drew my attention; it was the length. The strands were arranged in messy dreadlocks, weaved through the seats and the windows of the bus, attaching him to it. He looked like a prisoner, his hair acting as the chains that held him there.
He was leaning forward slightly, his hand on the handle that opened the bus door, grinning menacingly down at me.
"Hello Rose," he said with a smooth voice, his smile growing slowly. My body began to shake slightly when he said my name, which he had no way of knowing. I had never seen him before. I was sure of that. If I had, I would never have forgotten his face. I should have turned and ran, but I was frozen.
"A new one?" a voice inquired as a small, red head peered around the doorway. "And a girl!" she squealed excitedly. "It's been years since there's been another girl". Her hair was in disarray, her pigtails giving the impression of being secured by a toddler.
Her outburst frightened me, and I took and involuntary step backwards. My foot found only air and I immediately felt myself tipping backwards. Before I could hit the ground a cold hand caught my arm: the driver. His laugh echoed around me. The vibration rippled deep through my chest. I looked up at his face just in time to see his smile grow. He pulled me up toward him, bringing his lips close to my ear.
"Be careful", he whispered. "If I hadn't caught you I may not have waited for you to get back on the bus, and laying unconscious in the middle of the road invites all the wrong company."
We continued to stare at each other, and I mindlessly tugged at my arm to get away, but to no avail. The strength of his grip reminded me of steel. I relaxed suddenly. My thoughts had grown cloudy. Details began to escape my memory. Why had I been waiting outside on my own? How did I get there? Who would have wanted to find me? Did I want them to? My breath caught, when I couldn't remember my name. A loud screech shattered the silence.
"Bring her in already!" The read head bounced on her toes impatiently, then finally fed up, reached a hand toward my arm without waiting for a response.
I felt myself being pulled the rest of the way into the bus. The girl chose the second seat from the front, pulling me beside her. I looked over at the doors, seeing them close, but I felt no panic. I felt safe inside the bus, and my separation turned to relief.