I wanted to ask them more about what was happening. Why did I take an interest in this stranger's affairs? Was it because I couldn't stand to see someone in pain? Or was it because I saw a reflection of myself ten years ago? I had begged strangers not to tell anyone about the bruises on my arms. Clear imprints of fingers and some the size of a fist. I shuddered at the memory. But someone had told. I never knew who did but I thanked them every day of my life since. Would I allow this poor girl to suffer as I once had? She coudn't be more than fourteen. The same age I was when-- no, I wouldn't think about it. That was the past, all thanks to a stranger. Would this girl thank me, a stranger? I had no way of knowing but I had to decide. The bus slowed to a stop as the girl readied herself to leave. She shouldered her backpack, wincing as it brushed what I was sure was a bruise. It was covered by her long sleeve but I was sure of it all the same. She walked slowly up the isle and stood at the front door, waiting for the driver to open it. I stood at the back door and waited as well. I had to decide. Should I tell? Or should I keep my promise. She stepped out of the door and the bus rolled away with me still inside. I sighed, secretly hating myself for letting her go. On the floor, I spotted something. It was a letter from a school. I looked around but was surrounded only by the elderly and business men. It was hers. The header had the school's name and was addressed "To the parents/ guardians of ..." I could still do it. But would I break my promise? I folded the letter and carefully tucked it into my purse.

The End

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