The challenge: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
The girl pulled her jacket tighter around her as she crossed the street, feeling self-conscious. She tried to ignore the catcalls from the guys in the car parked at the red light as she passed. It was so humiliating, everyday, the same car, the same crude comments. She sat on the bench at the bus stop, waiting for the light to change, giving her a reprieve until tomorrow.
The light quickly flashed green, and her shoulders relaxed. The driver of the car hit the accelerator, the engine revved loudly, but the car didn’t move. Her stomach knotted. She turned away, hoping to see the bus barreling toward her, but it was late today, of course. Her abdomen clenched, bracing herself for another flood of offensive comments, but there was nothing. The driver, by far the worst offender, stepped out of the car looking annoyed, slamming the door behind him and lifting the hood. He ignored her, avoiding making eye contact or even looking her way. She realized he was nervous. Her fear quickly turned to anger.
“Hey!” she yelled.
The driver kept working on the car, pretending not to hear, as the other vehicles behind him honked the horns and drove around. She stormed into the street, two feet away from him. “Hey! I’m talking to you!”
He reluctantly looked up, a sheepish expression on his face. “Look lady, I’m gonna be late for work, this car is a wreck, probably going to be a fortune to fix, I don’t need the hassle…”
“YOU don’t need the hassle?” She laughed sarcastically. “You don’t want to be hassled, but it’s okay for you and your disgusting friends to yell your vile comments at me every single day for months?”
He shrugged. “We’re just having fun. It’s not a big deal. We think you’re hot, you should be flattered…”
“Flattered? Flattered? That’s not flattering to any woman, trust me. It’s degrading.”
He shut the hood of car and faced her. She noticed the lines around his eyes and mouth, the few gray strands of hair. He was older than she thought. He was probably married, maybe even with children, daughters. Pathetic. She heard the roar of the bus engine quickly approaching, and stepped back on the curb.
“You and your friends are never to speak to me again.”
“Oh really…” he scoffed.
The sound of the bus doors opening drowned out the rest of his comment. She stepped inside, greeting the driver before finding her usual seat in the front near the window. She watched the man as the bus went around him and his stationary car. He stared back at her. Maybe it was her imagination, but she thought she saw a trace of regret in his softened expression as he watched the bus go by. She stared back at him, wondering if things would be different tomorrow, until the bus rounded the corner and he disappeared.