A Story by NoblePariah

Phil is a lonely middle aged man who finally finds someone who tolerates him long enough for a full conversation. (Don't wanna give away the rest.)



      Phil sat in his leather recliner, looking out the window of his living room, sipping on a glass of some cheap whiskey he had found at the local liquor store. Truth be told, he didn't actually know why he stared out of this accursed window everyday. Probably, he thought, because he spent most of his time, alone, wishing he wasn't. He found the window was the perfect way to feel like part of the world.

      As he often did, he wondered what his fault was, that so kept him from making any sort of social connection. Everyone he tried to strike up conversation with had seemed distant and uninterested, regardless of the topic. Even the people in his office only talked to him when they needed a favor, which he was generally glad to do. He didn't think it had anything to do with his physical appearance. He wasn't grotesque, or overtly mean looking, he just seemed to be a generally uninteresting person in the eyes of those he wished to befriend.

     His parents had died two years after he had left college, no big loss to him though, as whatever it was that made him unlikable,it had apparently overruled the nurturing instincts of being a parent. They weren’t particularly cruel to him, but neither were they loving and supportive. They fed him, clothed him, and paid for school, but they did so without emotion, treating his costs as if he was the electric or gas bill, a necessary expense.

      He eventually came to the conclusion, that three hours sitting in front of the window was long enough. He stood up, slightly too fast, something he was quickly punished for with a wave of disorienting dizziness, exacerbated by the whiskey. He eventually managed to wander into his bedroom, lay lazily in his backrest, and flip on the TV.

      He had shows that he thoroughly enjoyed watching, but this was a bittersweet habit. He loved getting lost in the stories of adventure, but he often found himself wishing he could be one of those people, counting on others to have his back just as he would have theirs. It would be worth any and all of the trials that most protagonists faced, just to catch a glimpse of a camaraderie like those he watched.  He sat watching the TV in the dark for several hours until he finally found himself drifting into his dream, something he welcomed, as it was a world where anything was possible and he could be what and whoever he wanted.


      The next morning, he went through his daily routine: Shower, brush teeth, and make breakfast, before he made his way to the bus stop for another day of his self-proclaimed pathetic life. He sat in his usual place, alone (no one seemed to frequent this stop, save him), on the left side of the bench, where he got the most cover from the sun, which was unusually hot today. But, he soon saw someone coming towards the stop, out of his peripheral vision. Expecting them to keep walking, he paid them no mind, and kept playing Tetris on his phone.

      Though to his amazement, the figure not only sat down, but they sat down next to him, as opposed to the opposite side of the bench as most people did. Though even more surprising, the person he now realized to be a radiant young woman, in her mid twenties, looked at him, smiled, and said, “Hey there!”

He had stop himself from looking to see if she could have been talking to someone else, but he managed it and replied, “Uh, hello.”

      The young woman smiled and said quickly, “I'm sorry if I interrupted you from something,” she said, gesturing to his phone, “I'm just kind of a talkative person, and my phone just died.”
“Oh, not at all. I... I was just playing a game,” he said, heart racing in excitement. Someone had actually started a conversation with him, it had been years since that had happened, and he wanted to take advantage of this occasion.

      “Oh, good. By the way, my name is Tricia,” she said extending her left hand with a smile.

      “My name is Phil,” said Phil, shaking her hand, something, once again, he hadn't done in years.

       From that point on the two talked, for what felt like hours to Phil. He reveled in the contact.

Then the moment Phil was dreading came: The bus arrived. He expected her to find a seat next to someone else and forget that he ever existed. But, once again, she surprised him by asking, “wanna sit together? It isn't often that somebody will listen to me ramble on, without making an excuse as to why I need to shut up.”

      “Sure, but you aren't rambling, I find your conversation quite pleasant, young lady,” he said, truthfully. Her face lit up happily, she obviously wasn't used to people liking it when she talked. He was so ecstatic that he accidentally knocked the driver's bottle of pills under the driver's seat. The driver accepted his apology, probably in an attempt to impress Tracie, saying he would get them later.

They continued talking until they reached his stop, where they parted ways. Before he got off the bus he heard her say, “Bye, Phil! Same time tomorrow?”

      He smiled, a little wider than he meant to and said, “Sounds good to me.”

      The whole day at work he thought about that conversation. Had he been too aloof? Had he paid attention a little too much? He decided that tomorrow when they talked, he would think about it far less. He punched out at his usual time and took the bus home, though this time, she wasn't there. It served to contrast the loneliness and length of the ride, between when she was there and when she wasn't.

      That night, when he got back to his house, he changed his routine, for the first time in years, he didn't sit in front of the window, but rather, he cleaned his house and kept himself busy with tasks. How could he just sit in one place, when he had done it, he had at least made a friendly acquaintance, maybe even an actual friend. Though he found sleep came difficulty this night, in anticipation of the next morning's conversation.

     He once again awoke and went through his morning routine, but this time he did it with a spring in his step and something to look forward to. He rushed to the bus stop and got their half an hour earlier than before, but he soon realized that it was a bad idea to do so, as there was an earlier bus and he waited as it arrived and left, obviously looking foolish doing so.

      After twenty minutes of waiting, someone arrived at the stop, but he soon realized it was a teenage boy, who sat at the other end of the bench and put ear buds in immediately after.

      Then, Phil's hopes proved true and she once again sat next to him. Though, this time she had her cell phone in hand, something that made his heart skip a beat. What if she preferred digitally speaking to her friends over speaking to him? What if his conversation wasn't interesting enough to draw her away from her cell phone? Though she soon looked over, smiled brightly at him, and waved.

      He smiled and returned the gesture. He couldn't wait to talk to her again, it was his treat for the morning. He wondered if she would remember his name. The best part is that she did most of the talking, leaving listening (the easy part,) to him. Once again she sat down and began talking, however this time the unwelcome addition to the bus stop, seemed to be listening. Not only that, but every time Phil spoke the young man seemed to snicker or make some noise that sounded of disapproval.

      At one point, when they had started talking about her family, the boy spoke up saying, “don't tell him that sort of stuff! He's probably gonna use it to find out where you live, the creepy b*****d.”

      Before Phil had time to think, or react, though realistically, he would have probably let the kid get away with it, Tricia whipped her head around and began yelling at the kid, “Who the hell do you think you are?! You just interrupted a conversation, simply to inslut one of the people involved?! You DOUCHEBAG!

      Phil felt his jaw drop, this girl had defended him without a moments hesitation and seemed to have a sudden hatred for the boy, all on account of Phil. Had he been more flexible, he probably would've done a back-flip there and then. He watched for a moment as the two stood, yelling insults at each other, neither seeming to back down.

      His elation was short lived, however. He heard sounds of honking horns and the hiss of a large vehicles shocks being overworked. He quickly looked towards the sound, to his horror the bus was speeding over a hill, fifteen yards from where they were standing, the bus driver clutching at his chest behind the wheel. Tricia and the boy were too busy with each other to notice it.

      Phil though fast, he wouldn't have time to warn them of the danger, and he only had the strength to push one of them out of the way without getting hit by the bus himself. His decision only took a second to make. He bolted out of his seat and extended his arms, after making a decision he never would have though he'd have to make.

      Just in time, he pushed the two out of the way, the woman who had actually befriended him, and the boy who had scorned him. Almost instantly after they were out of harm's way, Phil heard a crashing sound and saw the world start to spin. The next thing he knew, he was facing the sky, and he felt nothing, save the immense pain. He smelled something burning and heard screaming, though he couldn't process it.

       A shadow blurred his view of the the clouds, it was her, the woman who had seen him as a person, and had therefore given him a sense of validation. He saw tears streaming down her face and dropping onto his, though it only mixed with the blood. The boy was standing next to her, eyes wide, as if he was trying to understand what was happening.

      “Why did--” she began to ask, though her own sobs cut her off. She tried to gather herself, though it was to no avail, she finally settled on simply saying, “You... You saved us,” she sniffed again, “You're a hero! Than--”

      Phil stopped her and said weakly, “No.” A coughing fit cut him off, he spat a mouthful of something that tasted of copper and bile, blood, before continuing: “Thank You,” he muttered weakly.

“Wha-” She began, then stopped, realizing just how grave his injuries were. “I'm sorry, Phil”

Before Phil could respond the boy repeated the apology.

      Phil looked at them and said, “I saved two worthwhile lives, with one, void of purpose. A price I pay gladly.” Thus, Phil McAllister spoke his last words, embracing the uncertainty of death with unblinking courage. A statue was later erected in place of the bus stop. The caption underneath his likeness read, “A man never to be overlooked.”

© 2012 NoblePariah

Author's Note

Any opinions welcome, as always.

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Needs a little fine tuning, a little tightening. You seem to be a pretty good writer. The stories you've written are better than most of the ones I read. Yet I feel you can do still better.

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Yeah, I definitely need to add more to this, it's still just a first draft. Thank you, I'm currently.. read more

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1 Review
Added on August 30, 2012
Last Updated on August 31, 2012
Tags: Sad, Lonley



I am a writer trying to better myself in the craft. I'm 22 and in college, pursuing a degree in creative writing. Please don't add me and send me a read request without reviewing a piece of my work. .. more..

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A Story by NoblePariah