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Ben blinked, trying to think of something, anything to say. The woman just continued to smile at him, those striking green eyes appearing to measure him as he felt almost exposed in a way, as though she was trying to size him up in a way.

“You guys look cold,” she said finally, “Would you like a ride?”

“Huh?” Steve asked, turning around finally. Looking to his friend he could see that Steve saw her, he actually saw her, which made him feel better in a way. But the slackening of Steve’s features and the look, that damnable look he gave to anyone that he felt wasn’t worth his time, irritated him to no end at that point. “Oh, no thanks ma’am, we’re good.”

She appeared almost unfazed by this, but the gleam in her eyes dimmed just a bit as Ben could see.

“You’re sure? It’s pretty cold out here.”

“Yeah, we’re sure,” Steve said, motioning for Ben to join him.

“Um,” Ben began, “Give me a second, would you?”

“Sure,” the woman said with a smile. The gesture didn’t quite reach her eyes as she looked to Steve. To Ben she almost looked disappointed, but she didn’t just disappear, nor did she walk away. As he went to converse with his friend though Steve looked at him as though he’d gone crazy.

“What the hell man?” he said quietly, “You lookin’ to get a little grandma tail or something?”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Ben asked, “She looks about as old as my sister.”

“So now you need glasses?” Steve snorted, “Look again man, please.”

Ben did as he was told and for just a split second he didn’t see a gorgeous, slightly older woman standing by the bus stop, but a very old and wizened lady that might have been more at home in a bingo parlor than on a cold and snow-covered sidewalk. But that image of paper-thin skin and hair gone to white was gone in an instant as he saw once again the vision of beauty that was even now smiling in his direction, her green eyes gleaming once again.

“Why don’t you look?” Ben asked, smiling back as he waved. Steve sighed, but did turn to look. Confusion was writ plain on his features as he looked at the woman now smiling at both of them.

“Well shit,” Steve said, “Maybe I’m the one that needs glasses. Where’d the grandma go?”

(to be continued)

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