This is a story about a woman named Juen.
|Juen was on Chicago's # 22 bus, on her way home after working three hours overtime on an unusually hot late spring Monday evening. She was tired, hot and feeling pretty down.
All kinds of characters can be found on the #22 at any time of the day but as the day gets closer to midnight, you need to be extra aware of your fellow passengers! So Juen did her usual checking out of those around her.
Three seats ahead of her and to the right was a head of hair just like her sister Helen's; shoulder length with a hint of blonde. The woman had very slender arms and when she bent her head over you could count the bones in her neck and upper back. This person sat very still and straight with an occasional straightening of her spine and hips. She kept her feet close together in their very sensible looking black walking shoes.
Juen wanted to shout, "Hey, Helen" and run over and hug her baby sister. But it couldn't possibly be Helen. In the first place Helen lived a thousand miles away and even if she was visiting Chicago she would certainly not be riding a city bus late at night! In the second place, a few years back Helen had come to a convention in Chicago but she had not called or visited Juen. It had been three - no almost four - years since Juen and Helen had spoken to each other. Juen could not even remember what issue had caused the bad feelings between them. It was probably a series of events of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
Juen kept trying to get a glimpse of the woman's face in the reflection in the window. She was determined to get a look at this woman's face when she got off the bus. The woman never got up so when Juen got to her stop she turned and looked at the woman's face. It was an emaciated, drawn version of her sister. Unhappiness and long endured misery was written there.
Juen's staring went unnoticed. As she got off the bus, she turned to watch as it carried the likeness of her sister away.
Well, she knew how to soften her pain ........as she walked to her door she planned her midnight feast; brownies and Rocky Road Ice Cream, three quarters of a pound of barbecued country ribs and half a loaf of white bread. Later on, about 2 or 3 in the morning as she lay , tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep, she felt even worse.