When she first moved to Seattle, Alene rarely had occasion to ride the bus — as she wasn’t working and had nowhere to go. But once she started work, she was on the bus on a daily basis.
One day, she boarded a bus and I was amazed — and then amused — to see Allen at the wheel. I hadn’t seen him since moving to Seattle proper. He had obviously chosen to drive a different set of routes in the meanwhile. He gave Alene a rather interested look and I remarked to her that perhaps he thought he knew her — but I didn’t tell her right away that I knew him. She told him she didn’t need a transfer — but he insisted on tearing one off and giving it to her — and she felt me laugh. As she sat down, she asked what I was so amused by. I didn’t yet want to tell her I knew him — but I did suggest that she always let him give her a transfer whether she needed one or not — “as it’s clearly something he lives for” was what I said.
The next week, she was on Allen’s bus again. And this time she noticed, much to my annoyance, that he was remarkably handsome as bus drivers go — and rather well groomed. In fact, she started to refer to him as the GQ bus driver. She didn’t talk to him though, because she was very intimidated by him, and she always left the bus via the rear door.
One week he didn’t show up — sick or on vacation, or something. I was relieved — but Alene had the nerve to be disappointed!! Then I had to tell her that he was someone I knew. The following week, Allen was back — and I knew where to find him. So I rode his bus all the way to the end of the route where he laid over for almost half and hour — and we had time to chat.
He hadn’t seemed surprised to see me at all. After the last passenger was dropped off, he proceeded to the terminal and parked the bus. After setting the parking brake with a loud squeak, he got out of his seat and came back to where I was sitting, bringing his coffee with him. He sat down and looked at me with anticipation — as though he knew I had sought him out for a specific reason. I told him I was living in Seattle — but that didn’t seem to be news to him. Then I told him I had come looking for someone — and perhaps he’d seen her? I described Alene and told Allen which bus stop she used. He grinned and took a big swallow of coffee from his travel mug.
“Yes,” he answered, still grinning. “I’ve seen her.”