Afternoon, In a congested bus. Many people coming back from their jobs. Some of them standing, gripping on the handles, the oldest ones sitting with their eyes closed. Worn out, tired from their jobs and everyday cares. The little polluted city draft from the open window was the only thing that was breaking the gloom and the odour of sweat a bit.
In a stop near the sea, a group of young boys got into the bus. The sand that was faling off of their bodies during their every movement was indicating that they were returning from a swim in the sea. After pushing awkwardly the already stuffed up passengers, they started screaming. Our “national word” (Malakas) replaced almost every word in their centences. Other than that, they were’t talking. They were just screaming inarticulately and laughing histerically.
The other passengers were annoyed but their reactions were limited to some slight stretches in their faces. They remained closed, in their shells of their loneliness and fatigue. Untill someone couldn’t get it anymore.
A man around his seventies, approached the boy that was near him and the most noisy of the bunch. He politely asked him to stop.
“my son, we are all tired, please, unless you are deaf, be a little quiet” he said.
The other passengers got encouraged for a moment as the screams and swears stopped for a moment just to start even louder and more defiantly than before.
From stop to stop, the party was leaving the bus one by one, until the one single boy that the old man talked to remained in the bus. Alone, quiet, looking to the ground and doing some weird movements with its lips.
It was his turn to go off the bus. He pushed the buton for his stop and as the door opened he leaned quickly to the man who dared to talk to him and spat him in the face. Then he descented the bus and gave the finger through the window to the old man that just received the spiting.
The old man didn’t see the gesture. He was petrified, not believing what’s just happened. Only when the bus started again he brought out from his pockets a handkerchief made out of white fabric.
The people who witnessed the incident looked away, leaving him discretely to wipe himself. He wiped his eye, his cheek and his shirt. Then he folded his handkerchief into two, four, eight. He didn’t raise his head until his stop. He was looking his fingers and the napkin. He was shaking.
Nobody spoke, nobody commented. But at some point someone muttered; “this is the worst crisis of all”
But his voice was never heard as it got covered by the sound of a siren of an ambulance.
Translated (losely) from Exantas