He was sitting at the bus stop when I got there after school. I thought he was kinda sketchy, so I leaned against the bus stop sign, staying as far away as I could while still obviously waiting for the bus. He wouldn't have any of it.
"Hi!" he called out to me cheerfully. I responded, because I don't usually like being rude.
"How are you?"
"Good." I didn't want to be too conversational either. But maybe a little. "And you?"
"Not good, I'm afraid."
I'm always surprised when people are honest. Nobody likes to admit they're suffering. At which point I decided he might just really want to talk, and, being at a busy bus stop on a busy street next in front of the fire station, I figured I was safe to ask what was wrong.
He began to tell me about his life: how he was a dancer, but injured his foot badly enough that he'd never be able to dance again. But he wasn't going to let himself be too sad. He could still sing and he could still play the piano and he still had his wife, who he clearly adored.
I was amazed by a man who could be so grateful for the smallest things. I was amazed by a man who could be so open, so honest about his pain to a complete stranger. But mostly I was amazed because, when my bus came and I said goodbye, he smiled at me and said he'd see me in heaven... and I still believe him.