The Fool On The Bus

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Two women were having their lunch break so Risa decided to join them. The two ladies' lively chat was cut short on Risa's arrival. Or rather, the subject of the discussion changed.

“I thought you were going to have your lunch by yourself today..” the lankier woman said, with a pout.

“Oh come on, I was just finishing up some stuff at my station, Jules.” Risa replied.

“By the way, we were just talking about your father,” the other woman quipped.

Risa let out a slight groan, "It's all I ever hear about these past few days, Ana.."

"Your 60 year old dad stopped a robbery in broad daylight! How can we not talk about it?" said Jules.

"Rumor has it he even made the gang leader cry," added Ana.

"It's all just rumors lah.. Truth is, the 'gang leader' was a student of my dad's.. They recognized each other, that's why. For all I know he might be the one who taught the guy how to rob!" Risa said with a laugh.

"Your father is still a brave man in his sixties.." said Jules.

"He must've been a hit with the ladies back in the day," Ana suggested.

Risa giggled,"You girls talk about the silliest things.."

"Hey, I know why Risa was late coming to the break room.." Jules said while gently nudging Ana with her elbow. "You were checking out Nik again, weren't you?" she added with raised eyebrows. Ana started to smirk.

"I can't help it, he's cute."

"You know you can ask him out right? He's not attached," said Ana.

"No no no, you have to check the guy out first. He seems a," Jules opined.

"Off how?"

"Well, He always seems to laugh at the most unfunny things," Jules answered. "He is also kinda geeky." she continued.

"How do you know?" asked Ana. "I've talked to him a few times before and he does have a.. unique sense of humor—"

"See?" Jules interjected.

"—but liking science fiction movies and esoteric literature doesn't mean he's a geek," she resumed, giving Jules a look.

"It does to me," Jules replied, unfazed by Ana's look.

"Are you saying Haruki Murakami is a horrible fantasy/scifi author?" Ana asked with a frown.

"I'm saying that Jap author of yours is also a geek," Jules answered, with a smug little simper on her face.

"You take that back!" Ana demanded, a hint of anger in her voice.

"Let's settle this like adults. I'll make a civil bet," Jules suggested with a twinkle in her eye.

"Fine." Ana agreed.

"What's a civil bet?" Risa asked.

"It's something Jules here invented when she found out that any form of gambling is not allowed in Islam,"

"How was I supposed to know that? No one ever taught me.." Jules interrupted.

"It's like a normal bet, but only one party is ever risking anything, so it isn't really a gamble." Ana continued.

"Okay, enough exposition. The deal is as follows: Risa here, will try to spend some time with Nik—"

"Hey, don't drag me into this!" Risa implored.

Ignoring Risa's plea, Jules continued, "—and if they hit it off and go on a date, nothing happens and we'll be happy for her, but if Nik does something stupid while being with Risa before the first date, I'll buy you lunch. Deal?"

"Sounds fair. Deal." the two women shook hands. "Do this for me please, Risa?"

"Yes, do it for her. She won't win anyway.." Jules added. "Besides, you've always wanted to get to know the guy.

"Alright then," Risa relented, not entirely regretting the decision her friends made for her.

* * *

It's almost closing time, Ana and Jules have left early to make it easier for Risa to make her move. And for some reason, most of the men left also. Another machination of Jules, Risa thought.

"Hey, we're the only two left." observed Nik while looking around.
"Uh, yeah.." Risa said.

Why am i so nervous, I see him all the time

"So," Nik said while absent-mindedly scratching the back of his head, "I heard about your father. It was pretty cool."

He knows about my dad! wait, of course he does, it's all over the papers, what's wrong with me

"It would be even better if he had busted out some fighting moves."

Does he know any martial arts? He might be a practitioner. He works out. Oh dear god he works out. Why am I thinking this?

"Well, it's not like he's been working out.." Risa replied.

"You never know, I mean Yoda is pretty fit for his age."

That's from star wars, right? oh yeah—

"The crinkly green midget." Risa said, thinking out loud.

Nik let out a guffaw. "Haha, yeah. I always call him that small guy with the sword, but yours is much better." he continued, still laughing.

Huh, he doesn't have a weird sense of humor at all. As far as this conversation goes. Okay, risa, time to bring this one home

"I guess it's pretty funny," Risa said, careful to pepper her words with giggles. "Anyway, since we're all done here, I have to go now, I don't want to miss the bus,"

"Oh, let me go with you, I'm all done here, also."

They both closed up the shop and walked together, making their way to the bus stop.

"You know," said Risa, "Jules says you're kind of a geek."

"I know, she says that to me sometimes. Everyone is kind of a geek in their own way." he theorizes.

Really? Is he calling me a geek?

"I mean we all have our little quirks and idiosyncrasies. It's just that some are more open about them than others," he added, pointing to his face.

Risa let out a small laugh.

He's right on that one. I never thought of it that way. He's so refreshing to talk to. What?

"All this time I've never asked you where you lived.. I mean you have to take the bus, so I guess it's quite far.."

"Not really, It's just that today I have to go to Precinct 5 and pick up some stuff for my father."

"Precinct 5.. that's close to where Meor lives, right?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"I guess I'll ride with you then. I need to give back his book I borrowed. It's—"


"Yes, how did you know?"

Yeah, how did i know that?

"I like how he weaves science fiction and fantasy. It's really fun to read"


"Huh, I didn't know you like him. I thought it was just Ana, Meor and me. The more you know, huh?" he added with a grin.

He's always smiling..

The sound of a crying baby derailed Risa's train of thought.

"That is such a cool ringtone!" he said with a bigger grin this time.

"Sorry, I've got a message."

From: aNaBaNaNa
Monday 04/02/06

So how is it? :P

"Anyone I know?" asked Nik, leaning closer to see her cellphone.

"No, just some," she replied quickly.

He smells fruity..

Reply to: aNaBaNaNa


"They send you ads at the most odd times.."

Think of something to say!

"And selling the weirdest things, too."

"They're mostly promotional stuff for a concert or event or whatever," said Nik. "At least I can ignore it. Not like the ads they show in cinemas. I mean, do they really need to advertise drinks to someone who will be sitting in front of a big screen trying to hold it in?"

Risa chuckled.

He's really funny. No he's not. Yes he is.

"Here's our bus, lets get in."

They both went on the bus and found and empty seat and sat next to each other. The bus started to move as Nik looks out the window.

Think of something to say!

"So, now that you know where I live, maybe you can come over sometime?" asked Risa.

Nik is still staring at the window, his expression unreadable.

Did i say something wrong? I gotta save this conversation!

"Don't worry, my dad won't bust out his fighting moves at you, haha." she added a giggle at the end that sounded more than a bit nervous.

Nik is still looking hard out the window.

The baby starts to cry again. Risa let's the tone play for a few seconds to see if it gets a laugh form Nik. It doesn't work.

From: BizkutJoolie
Monday 04/02/06

So, how much of a geek is he?


Reply to: BizkutJoolie


Before she can hit send, Nik burst out laughing.

"I'm sorry I ignored you there for a bit," he spurted in between fits of laughter.

What's wrong with this guy? This is getting weird..

"I was, I was, I was," Nik enunciated, barely coherent amidst the laughing.

He's a maniac. Definitely.

Nik's laugh continued for a bit longer before he calmed down enough to be able to say, "I'm sorry, I was just looking out the window and noticed that I'm on a bus with you.." he snickered.

He can't believe i'm here with him? Is that funny somehow?

"I don't get it.." Risa said softly, slowly tilting her head.

"I'm on a bus," he said, with more emphasis on the last word.


Does he have bus phobia and is coping with his fear with violent, nervous laughter?

"And the bus is moving," he's starting to laugh again.


He has fear of moving buses? This is getting crazy!

"What's so funny?" Risa demanded, getting a little huffy.

Nik sits himself straight in his seat, and with the air of a magician, puts one hand palm upwards in front of him, puts the other hand in his pocket—


—and pulls out his car keys.


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