Chapter 28: Greg Asher
As I waited for the sixty Finch bus, I thought that maybe I was wasting my time with Alice. Rachel was cute. In fact, she was very pretty. Those green eyes really could direct traffic. They were that bright and that wasn’t a pickup line. Well, at least intentionally. Thanks to Alice, I was able to see that the world was so much cooler as one big art exhibit. But that’s all I needed. I didn’t need her love. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if she had guided me to anything or if I had just found this discovery on my own. But as the sixty bus pulled up, I noticed the right headlamp was burnt out. The bus was winking at me and so I began to question all the thoughts disregarding Alice.
“Stop the bus!” cried a boy with floppy blonde hair as I got on.
“The bus hasn’t moved, son,” replied the driver.
“Oh. Well then, carry on,” said the boy as he boarded.
The bus mostly was filled but there was a joint seat in the corner, which I decided to sit in. But I sat in the window seat of the bus just in case someone else sat beside me. Maybe Rachel would or some other pretty girl or a sign that I should keep Alice in my thoughts. Instead, Floppy Hair sat beside me.
“Hey, name’s Greg.” The boy was all teeth and smiling and I shook his hand hoping he would not bother me. “What are you studying at York?” I guess I had no luck.
“Art,” I told him.
“What kind?” Greg nudged.
“Drawing,” I decided to say.
“Cool. I’m more into sciences myself. First year?”
“Same. Where you headed?”
What was this? Was everyone I met wanting to be my friend? Was Rachel part of this? was Greg? Were they part of Alice’s game? Was this all a ploy to see if I would remain faithful to her? My brain was doing backflips but even if Alice was behind this or not, it was nice to make new friends in a city I thought I had known. None of my old friends had contacted me and in the summer I would’ve been more alone if I hadn’t gotten a job at Master’s Piece (the painting store) so I decided to accept the inevitable and become a friend to Greg.
“I’m heading to the station, what about you?”
“Same. You live close?”
“No. Lawrence Station.”
“Fuck, that’s far. And you always take the sixty?” I nodded. “Might try the one ninety-six B. It might save you time and it goes right to Sheppard Station rather than Finch which is much closer.”
I nodded again. “I like the long ride.”
“Suit yourself,” said Greg raising his hands in surrender.
“Why are you taking the sixty then?”
“I go by the first-bus policy. Basically it means that whatever bus arrives first that could take me close to my route home, I seize. Sometimes I even take the one ninety-six. The trick is, you then wait for the one ninety-six B. at Downsview Station. My stop’s Lawrence too. Isn’t that a coincidence?” I was beginning not to believe in coincidences.
“Where do you live?” I asked Greg as the bus began moving down Steeles Avenue West.
“You want my house address? Buddy, we’ve known each other for what, six minutes now?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“It’s O.K., I’ll tell you. Just not the address. You know, don’t want unwanted visitors knocking if you catch my drift.”
This guy was weird. But it made sense that only I would end up sitting beside him.
“I live at Roslin Avenue.”
All I could think about was “Rose”. It was time to visit my old high school.