All He Really Wanted
There is a man who waits with me at the bus stop, and each day he asks me a new question about myself. Today he said, “What is the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?”
“My bus driver bought me a pair of Coldplay tickets once,” I said. “They are my favorite band and I talked about them all the time. I was a broke college student with a measly library job at the time. He wrote the sweetest card and gave it to me—I wanted to cry. He let me ride his bus for free, and gave me a stack of passes each month so I could ride other buses for free. He knew my schedule, so he’d hold the bus if I was running late. He sent flowers to my job when I graduated from college—”
“He was in love with you,” the man at the bus stop said.
“He said he was,” I told him. “He said a lot of things. But I think he was just confused. He was in his late 40s. I was 20. He said he wasn’t married, never had kids, lived alone. I think all he really wanted was someone to take care of. I think he just wanted a daughter.”