A Stranger

I had met the man many years ago. He called himself a servant though his master had let him go. He claimed that his whole life was tied to a purpose. He served his master. That was what he had been bred and trained for. I wasn’t sure why this man was speaking to me, bringing up such things, as we both stood alone waiting for the bus to come. 

He then turned his eyes away from me, his gaze reaching outward across the street, perhaps to scoop up the darkness huddled near the buildings. I didn’t ask him why his master had let him go. I wasn’t all that interested. I just wanted to see bus lights glowing into horizon. He then started to mutter something and his stare drifted downward. He was older, but not yet old. His best years were gone, but he was not yet done. 

Soon, the bus came. We entered. He sat near the front and I hurried to the back. His head bobbed to the movements of the road, but his face was fixed frontward, his mouth occasionally moving. He didn’t stop to read a book or disappear into a device. It was like he was sealed to something else. But the only thing in the window was the road rolling through the headlights, disappearing underneath the wheels. Perhaps I should have asked him some questions, but he seemed lost. Though through the cracks maybe I could have uncovered something. But he was just a stranger, and I was tired. Had a long day, and didn’t need the awkwardness of another’s life. My stop soon came and I was gone.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #142. The prompt is “The genie is not getting back in the bottle” and this is what came to mind.

9 thoughts on “A Stranger

  1. Insightful story. A person such as this, who has lived from one purpose to the next and is now without one is a terrible thing to see. It can make or break one.


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