Ron had put in a long day. While he waited at the bus stop replaying the conversations of the day, organizing files in his mind for the next morning to start, he became aware of two people standing behind him.
They were two high school girls. By their matching plaid skirts and navy sweaters he assumed that they attended the private school two blocks over. It had a reputation of catering to the brightest minds in Chicago. You didn’t need deep pockets or blue blood for this school, just grades and test results. Ayn Rand could give her creepy smile knowing someone had listened to her finally.
“Hey” the brunette girl smiled.
This caught Ron’s attention. Most girls didn’t pay attention to him, or the kind of attention that a boy in his 20’s would hope for. His deep brown eye’s peeked up and a small voice nervously stirred “hello.”
“You work around here?” The blond girl asked.
“Yes, yes I do.” He said with a smile. “How did you know?”
“Just a guess.” She replied.
He wasn’t sure what to say next, but before he could let the moment go blurted out the obvious. “You go to Xavier’s?”
“Yeah. How did you know?” The blond tilted her head tucking her hair behind the ear and letting it drape over her shoulder.
“Just a guess.” Ronald replied.
The brunet broke his gaze on her friend with an odd question. “Can we… can we get our picture with you?” She removed a cell phone from her purse.
The girls stood on each side, the brunet extending her arm, there was a flash and click. She looked at the image on the screen. “It didn’t turn out, lets try again.”
Once again she extended her arm, the girls smiled, and they pressed in closely to him. Ron could feel the pressure of pressed padding against his shoulders. The warmth from the skin on their cheeks nearly touching his filled him with a heightened awareness of the moment.
Again there was a flash and click. “It turned out perfect! Thanks.”
He watched the two get on the next bus, which wasn’t his route, as they chatted and cooed over the photo.
It made him a little sad. Even when he clocked out for the day he still had to work. He may well have been the saddest, most lonely clown in the world.