“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”, a smooth voice asked.
Matilda looked up to see a young man, probably in his mid twenties, leaning towards the empty seat beside her. He was standing on the aisle, and was wearing light brown pants and a bright red sweater, that reminded her of a ripe apple. His blonde hair and shortly trimmed beard seemed to compliment the outfit he was wearing.
“May I seat here?”, he asked again. Matilda shook her head. No words came out of her mouth. She was dumbfounded by the sudden appearance of this young attractive man.
“Sure.”, she finally said.
He took the seat beside her. Soon after the bus started moving, with beautiful scenaries that could be viewed from the window. But Matilda found herself looking somewhere else. She could not take her eyes of this beautiful stranger seating beside her. Realizing this awkward situation, Matilda quickly looked away, diving into her smartphone. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get her mind to think about anything other than the stranger sitting beside her.
“Umm, excuse me. This bus is headed to Kathmandu, right?” he asked. Matilda could not believe it. He was headed to the same place as she was.
“Yes. Actually I am going to the same place.”, she replied.
“Really? Wow. Good to know.”, he nodded. “By the way, my name is Ryan.”
“Matilda.”, she replied, while shaking his outstretched hand.
They talked all the way in the bus. The more they talked, the more Matilda liked Ryan. They had a lot in common. They were both from England. Their food taste, their taste of music, their perception of things, everthing was alike. By the time they had got off the bus, they had become close friends.
“Ok, see you next time.”, Ryan said, before leaving for his hotel. Soon, that next time came. They had both returned back to London, and found out that they lived in the same neighborhood. When Matilda found this out, she was so glad she had added him on facebook and he had kept in touch with her.
They decided to meet at a small cafe in their neighborhood. It was their first date. Soon after, many dates followed. Matilda and Ryan naturally grew close to each other. It was perfect for Matilda. Ryan was the perfect guy for her. She was really happy with him. They always seemed to be on the same page about everything. Ofcourse, they quarreled sometimes, but they managed to stick together through thick and thin. Soon a year had passed.
Matilda had fallen madly in love with him. Finally, Ryan confessed that he felt the same way about her. One day, he took her to her favourite restaurant in all of London, and after they finished their dinner, he got down on his knees, produced a shiny ring from his pocket and proposed to her. It was the best moment of her life for Matilda. She could not believe this was actually happening. She looked deep into his light green eyes, and said Yes.
Alot of things happened, and after countless days of planning and congratulations from friends and other people she hardly knew, the big day finally arrived. It was Matilda’s wedding day. She walked down the aisle in her white dress, a veil covering her face. Ryan was standing there on the aisle, just like when he was standing at that aisle of the bus when they first met. Matilda stood there in front of the altar, facing her groom. It was the best day of her life. Ryan opened his mouth to say his vows.
“Last stop. Kathmandu. Last stop.”
The conductor’s announcement woke Matilda up from her sleep. She had dozed off in the bus, holding her smartphone. The stranger that sat beside her had already gotten off the bus at one of the countless bus stops they had passed. He had probably forgotten about her by now, and Matilda had dreamt about an entire relationship with him, while still in the bus. A love story in the bus, a love story that never began.