Monday, March 23, 2009

Circle of Beach

Commuter’s Corner
Maria Ventura

It was a stormy, wet Monday afternoon and I was sitting at the bus stop clutching my umbrella tightly so that it wouldn’t fly away. That’s when she approached me.

"May I sit here?" she asked in broken English.

"Yes," I replied.

She smiled and sat down and then like two old ladies we sat there huddling at the bus stop holding our umbrellas closely together to protect ourselves from the rain.

"What’s your name?" she asked.

"Maria," I replied as I shook her hand and smiled.

"What’s your name?" I asked.

She said her name but I couldn’t understand, so I just smiled. I had been on campus that day to pick up my Bachelor’s Degree from Admissions and to attend an El Reflejo meeting. I looked onto the street staring at CSULB, reminiscing about my memories as a student there. I was so locked into my own thoughts that I didn’t notice when she asked if I also attended the school.

"No, I graduated already," I said.

"Oh, it’s my first semester here."

"Oh, really?" I asked.

"I am here all alone. I am an international student."

"Oh cool, you’re an international student? Where are you from?"

"Vietnam. Do you know where that is?"

"Yes, I know where that is."

She then offered me raisins which I took politely as we waited for our buses to come; we ate the entire box. A short time later, her bus arrived and she waved goodbye as she boarded the bus that took her away. I was alone once more, waiting for my bus and glad that the rain had finally stopped. ¶

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