A lone voice singing ‘Wheels On The Bus’ wakes me from the small doze I have been in; my gold hair matted slightly and splayed out on Aidan’s shoulder. I rake my hand through it; annoyingly it reminds me of an over-used mop. Aidan looks down when he sees the movement, and I realize I have probably been in his way of sleeping. His eyes look dazed but then I see it is not just me who has stopped him from sleeping.
Gabby stands in the aisle, swaying slightly as the bus rapidly turns a corner, and her rough voice is attracting a lot of attention. It’s not just Aidan who is wincing from this less-than-comforting song; a wise-looking lady in an old shawl is scowling at Gabby as she tries to settle down into her seat. She’s new I see, is the instant thought that comes into my head.
As I lean across to the singing figure, I try and think of the kindest possible way to tell Gabby that she is completely out of tune.
“Woooww, Gabby. I think perhaps that song may be a bit…outdated. Um…maybe you should let someone else pick another song…” And suddenly her warbling stops. I see a couple of grateful glances in my general direction, and hope they won’t regret it after what I am about to do.
Aidan stands and whispers in my ear, “Go on, I know what you want to do-and I know you have the courage to proceed…” I pale slightly, and shake my head definitely.
“Fine then,” he mutters, rolling his eyes, “Excuse me Gabby, I hope you don’t mind a bit of Catholic celebration!” So he starts to sing ‘Tell Out, My Soul’, his carefully trained Tenor voice spreading through the bus like thick caramel. That’s what I’d always thought Aidan’s voice sounded like: Caramel.
Partway through the third verse I join in with him-my Soprano voice a whole octave higher than his, giving lightness and an airy feeling to the tired song.
When we reach the final ‘To children's children and for evermore’ I feel giddy-lightheaded and not just from the unsteady sway of the bus; it’s from the feeling of utter satisfaction! I have the sudden courage to do the thing I’ve loved all my life but have never admitted I have an unusual natural talent for.
Taking a deep breath, and steadying myself against the back of Gabby’s chair, I suddenly launch into a rendition of ‘Head Over Heels’, an ABBA classic. My voice fills the whole bus but I see no reason to stop, the gravity holds me no longer and I am flying, flying away from everything. Flying from the recent grief my mother has been giving me and flying away from any differences in the age gap. I love Aidan, I know I do, and now there is nothing to stop me from being together with him…
As the song ends, I am still up in ‘Cloud Meggan’-dizzy, disorientated, but beaming. Aidan is beaming too, and catches my arm, pulling me up to his face. Our lips touch and I am flying above wonderland again, oblivious to the giggles and ‘tut-tuts’ of the background life. Nothing matters anymore except the two of us embracing, brought together by our music.