Sneaky Smiles On The Bus
We were wedged in between a grumpy-faced Chinese lady and a dark Malay worker with downcast eyes, bumping along from one side of Singapore to another.
I had Miss M clasped in my lap, worried an extra-strong bump or a sudden brake would send her flying out a window. Miss M was oblivious to the dangers. She had a bus to conquer.
She flung out one arm, placing her tiny baby hand proprietarily on the grumpy-faced lady’s arm. “Sorry,” I said, wincing, and removed Miss M’s hand. “It’s ok,” said the lady, who’d lost her grumpy look.
Miss M flung out her arm again, to be greeted by a wide grandmotherly smile. Miss M smiled back, toothlessly delighted.
“Eeeyaaaaah,” she cried, a baby-echo of the karate-chop cry made famous in hundreds of c-grade movies. She flung out her other arm, capturing the Malay worker. He looked up at the small hand on his arm, lifted his eyes higher to Miss M’s face, and a slow shy smile appeared. MIss M returned the smile with an impish one of her own.
She spent a few minutes basking in the glow of her newly smiling bus companions, turning her head from side to side, enjoying the grandmotherly smile, then the sneaky shy smile.
With her new slaves completely under her spell, Miss M looked around for more smiles. All three people on the seat across from us were grinning. A few strap-hangers were also looking on with warm smiles.
Miss M laughed in triumph. And soon we were at our stop.
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9 years ago