Last year I started attending an adult education centre for a bridging program to orient myself to the Canadian work culture. To aid my new found education, I would take the 7:28am bus to my school. That was the first time I was using my presto card and I was completely lost as to how should I use it. My husband had told me that I should ask the bus driver and s/he would guide me. So as soon as I entered the bus I asked the bus driver how I was supposed to use the card. He smiled and told me that I should tap it on the presto machine, I looked around and saw the green machine but could not still figure out what I was supposed to do. Wordlessly, he understood that I was confused, so he bent in my direction and mimicked the act of tapping. Thankfully, I got his second explanation and I tapped the card. I felt retarded for needing the second round of explanation so I quickly explained that it was the first time using the bus. He simply smiled and nodded his head. I quietly moved back to the end of the bus. I felt foolish, but I felt nice about him. It was bus number 42 (Eastbound).
That started a relationship of casual pleasantries being exchanged every morning. We never talked about any of our personal details, but we still wished the best for each other's well-being. On the days that I was a little away from the bus stop, he would see me waving crazy at the bus and running towards the stop. He would slow the bus, allowing me to catch up. I felt obligated to tell him that I would not be travelling in his bus every time I had a field trip, and he would ask me the next day how my trip was. Soon, my graduation day came, and I remember carrying a small packet of toffees for him. I did not know anything about him, not even his name. All I knew was the bus route that he drove everyday. So, I wrote "Mr. 42 East" on the packet. I was happy to tell him that I was graduating. He was happy to know that too, and he congratulated me. Without mentioning it, we both knew that it was the last day I would be travelling from the route.
The remainder of 2017 was full of other events, including internships, a freelance project, two jobs and many more buses and bus routes. Came in 2018, and soon I got job opportunity close to the location where I was going to school. I felt excited about the new opportunity and realized that I would again be using my old route, different time though. I was waiting on the bus stop and I waved as I saw the bus. I was talking to my mother on the phone when I stepped into the bus. I tapped the presto and to my genuine delight and surprise, it was Mr. 42 East driving the bus. He had recognized me before I got in as I saw him smiling the same kind smile. I immediately hung up on my mother and greeted him with excitement. I asked him how he was and he asked me the same. I reminded him that he drove me to school last year and this year I've found a job and he was driving me to my new workplace. He too was happy for me, as he congratulated and wished me the best. We chatted for a while more before I took my usual spot in the bus. I felt so happy and thrilled that I immediately gave a call to my husband. He answered and inquired what had happened. By that time, the excitement in me had converted to a sense of bliss. I simply answered, "Life has come in full circle for me."