She was stuck at the longest light in town, longer for rush hour, allowing northbound traffic to escape the city square. A city bus inched along within the line, and Aileen examined its passengers as they advanced one by one. There was a lineup of heads facing away, a young girl slumping, an older man reaching for the bell cord. Behind the man, Aileen saw Frances.
It was such a natural feeling, so clearly Frances, that Aileen’s first thought was that Frances didn’t ride the bus. Yet there she was, smiling, touching her hair as if she was aware that she was being watched by a friend, a favorable eye, one that had missed her. It took a moment for Aileen to place Frances within the timeline of events. As she did, Aileen’s hand lifted to the car’s windshield. She pounded on the glass, startling pedestrians in her line of sight as she called out, fist against the windshield, calling toward Frances on the bus, who looked like a photograph now, hand frozen in her hair, obscuring her face, a prop of a woman in a moving vehicle, a mean joke but a good one, Aileen near tears with laughter or near laughter with tears, the two states of emotion so close that they shared a border.