Man waiting on loading platform is signaled by driver to come forward.
“No. Just you. The others will have to wait.”
Man hands ticket to driver.
“Must be busy, eh?”
“Yeah, real busy today. Terror alert and all, you know. Here you go. We’ll be leaving in about ten or fifteen minutes.”
Man boards bus taking only available seat at the front.
“Sorry. It’s really packed. May I?”
“Sure. Of course. Let me move my bags.”
* * *
Bus is on final approach to Philadelphia.
Woman turns to man sitting next to her.
“May I ask a small favor? Could I use your phone to make a quick call. My phone uses an international SIM card – it won’t work in the U.S.”
“Sure, no problem. Here you go.”
Woman makes a quick call. No response on the other end.
“Don’t worry. You can use it as many times as you need. You can call again if you like when we arrive as well.”
“Oh, no. I don’t mean to be a bother.”
“Ha…, no it’s no bother all at.”
* * *
Bus approaches Ben Franklin Bridge. Man asks woman a few questions.
“So do you live or work abroad?”
“Yes, I live in Kenya. I work in Nairobi.”
“Wow. Kenya. That must be something. I’ve always wanted to live and work abroad for a bit. Maybe when I’m done with school. I’ve thought about the Gulf region. You know, Kuwait. Qatar. I just heard something interesting about Oman on the BBC.”
“What would you do there?”
“Mmm…, I dunno. Teach English, I guess. The usual stuff. I taught Arabic before as well as helped start up an ESL program. I like teaching. Have you been abroad for sometime?”
“Six months in Kenya. I live in Dublin.”
“Ha! Well, you get around.”
“Yes, but it’s hard. Long distant relationship getting more long and more distant.”
* * *
Bus pulls into station.
“Look, I don’t mind waiting. I’ll be right outside. Get your things and then you can call again if you like.”
“Thank you. I appreciate it.”
* * *
Bus unloads. Woman searches bus terminal.
“Could I? I hate to be a bother.”
“Not at all. Go ahead.”
Phone rings. No answer.
“Look, it’s getting dark. Your friends are up in Mount Airy. That’s a little bit of a hike from here. I don’t want you to have to take a cab and sit out front in the dark.”
“Thank you, but you go ahead. I know you are wanting to get home.”
“It’s no rush. If you like, I’ll stay with you for a bit. If they still don’t come or pick up you can take my phone and return it to me tomorrow. You said your friend works around 30th and Market. I work at 17th and Market. Just drop it off during the day time.”
“God, no! [Giggles]. That’s too much!”
“I’d feel better you leaving and having some way to contact someone if you needed to.”
“Man…, okay, but this is really odd.”
“Dont’ worry. I won’t need it tonight anyways. Take down my office number and email.”
Woman begins to write. Hands man her card.
“Here’s my card. I promise I’ll return it to you.”
Man examines card.
“Oh, you work for the U.N. Interesting. Okay, well, you have my office number and email. Just get a hold of me tomorrow to drop it off and-”
Silver car pulls up and beeps horn. Woman’s voice comes from the car.
First woman turns, astonished.
“Oh my gosh! Hold on! Pull over there!”
Woman pulls car over to the side. Man and woman walk across the street to meet her friend.
“You’ll never believe this. I forgot to write down your cell number before I left.”
Second woman turns curiously towards man.
“Ah…, hi. I’m Marc. Your friend here was in a jam and I was gonna loan her my cell since she was kinda stranded.”
“[Chuckles]. Well, a good Samaritan. Still a few left in the world.”
First woman turns towards man.
“Thank you. I cannot say thank you enough. You’re very kind.”
“My pleasure. Have a safe visit and safe trip back to Kenya.”
Man shakes woman’s hand and walks towards corner. Picks up paper from news stand and examines headline: British athorities thwart alleged al-Qaedah terrorist attack.