Here is the end.
deep thought will give us the beginning.

I shook my head and smiled. It was a real smile.

"It's all right," I said, and it was.

It had gotten darker, and I felt a few drops on my shoulders and the top of my head. It was raining after all, but it was all right, we were done with this part, we could go back inside, together.

Well, I didn't really expect it to be pleasant. Nine hours in a Greyhound bus. I've done this before and I know what to expect. Clautrophobic conditions with a large number of people I have no interest in talking to at all.
I have my shades, of course, and my CD player. The fact that the batteries have been dead since Tuesday is between me and my backpack. I stare straight ahead and try to imagine sleep. Still, the minutes drag by, slower than the the turtles we miss by thismuch as we zip down the highway toward Paducah. I am thinking I might try and read, but not even DFW seems appealing in this environment. Then, a voice behind me:
"Your batteries are dead, aren't they?" It's a male voice and I expect it to be accompanied by a smirk, but it's not. He smiles in a pleasant way and I give him the old index finger to the mouth thing and he smiles and sits back down next to the 400 lb. lady taking up half of his seat.

At the next stop, we all get off to get sodas and snacks. He buys me a diet Pepsi and a Twix, then starts to tell me his life story. (Does my face say: "Tell me everything?")

Maybe he could see the disinterest enter my eyes, because his tone changes, "Sorry, I mean, I just thought.."

What,... I say, knowing where this is going.
"It's just that I hate traveling alone and since my brother died I don't really have a sounding board. I could talk to him about stuff and he would tell me if it made sense or if I was full of crap. Do you have someone like that?"

No, I said, but I really do, My mom is that person, but like I am going to tell him that.

"Well," he says, looking at his sneakers, "I just wanted to say Hi and stuf, I get off in Louisville and I wanted to relate a little or something... I didn't mean to get too heavy or bother you."

see above for the ending .............

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