A friend she hadn’t seen in years sat down on the bus, across the aisle. Claire knew that if they made eye contact, they would speak to each other, and she knew exactly how the conversation would go.
“Claire, is that you?”
“Mary Ann? I can’t believe it! How’ve you been?”
And so on. Just as they started to reveal anything real about where their lives had gone, one of them would arrive at whatever destination, and they would mean and fail to call each other for the next few years once again.
She stood up and sat beside her friend.
“Are you okay?” she asked, grabbing onto Mary Ann’s shoulder. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Mary Ann said nothing at first. The sudden invasion had shocked her and made her forget where she was. Claire could tell. When she spoke, she said simply, “I’m fine.”
Claire knew she was lying, but as she considered the possibilities of their next three minutes together, she saw that she would never be able to coax her friend into dropping her guard.
“I can see that you’re troubled. I found out that I have heightened perception, and I can tell that you’re unhappy, deep inside. You don’t have to tell me what’s wrong, but I’m going to balance your chakras.”
Mary Ann squinted and took a sweeping look around her. In a deep breath, she asked, “I’m sorry, but do I know you?”
Claire waved her hands. “Not yet,” she said, staring through her friend. “Not yet, but you will.”