Rick Forrest was driving the Number 45 bus, empty, back toward the garage when he saw a man waiting at a lonely bus stop on the opposite side. There were no more buses that day, so he slowed and slide open his window.
“Hey buddy, no more buses today!”
The man looked up. “I’m not waiting for that bus.”
“This is the only bus route out here,” Rick said. He was about to drive away, when the man stood up and took a step into the road.
“The bus will be here any moment. Do you want to take it too? There’s room.”
You’re crazy! was on the tip of Rick’s tongue, but something in the man’s intent look made him pause. “I have to finish my route.”
“Come on, there’s room. It’s worth it.”
Rick suddenly had an insane vision of himself parking the bus by the side of the road and getting out to wait with the man. Crazy. He stepped on the gas and drove off.
A dark red bus was approaching. He watched it in the rear view mirror as it stopped and the man got on. Then the bus vanished into thin air.
Rick finished his route and went home, but every single day for the rest of his life, the same question went through his head: What if I had gotten on that bus?