Time slowed to a crawl as the bus dug into the deep snow on the curb. Unconsciously, Shelly placed a hand over her heart and held her breath, feeling the back wheels of the great machine slide sideways and grind against the raised edge of the sidewalk. After a few seconds, the tires caught. Ignoring the smaller vehicles, the city bus clawed its way into the street.
Pressing her hand tighter to her chest, trying to calm her rapid heartbeat through her gray, winter coat, Shelly glanced nervously around her, trying to see if she was the only worried passenger. Across the aisle, sitting stiffly in her seat and gripping tightly to her shopping bag, sat a small elderly lady with an old, green knit hat and wide eyes. As if feeling Shelly’s eyes on her, the woman turned her head and met her inquiring stare. Nervous smiles tightened their mouths for just a moment.