She used to see him at the bus stop during first semester. She dubbed him "boy in the long black coat". He had Buddy Holly hair and nice square glasses. She'd surreptitiously look at him as she was waiting for the vehicle to come. When it did he very politely used to let her go first onto the bus. She once saw him wearing black nailpolish, which didn't fit with the personality she'd assigned him in all his neatness. He was a boy of mystery after that. She always looked forward to seeing him because then she knew she hadn't missed the express bus. She wouldn't admit it was anything more.
In second semester she had a creative writing class with him. This surprised her because she figured he was in his early twenties. She had just finished school. She didn't realise her University had many mature aged students. This class involved writing stories and handing them to the other students to read and edit. She was waiting at the bus stop as usual one Monday. He was there. To her surprise he sauntered over.
"Hey you're Laura, aren't you? I saw your name in the story from last week..."
She tried not to stutter or looked as surprised as she felt.
"Yes that's me. And you're Brett?" Despite the fact she'd seen his real name attached to his story, she still called him "boy in the long black coat".
"Yeah! I liked your story a lot..."
And the conversation went on. She'd see him on the bus almost every day. To University and sometimes from University. They had a lot in common. They both liked the same tv-shows, were doing Screen Studies and English, and enjoyed scoring points off each other. Brett liked monkeys. He wanted a legion of minions. He was a huge Wrestling fan. Loz had an issue with her age (when she was 17 she constantly complained how young she was...) and was a cartoon enthusiast. She had the habit of occasionally saying ditzy things.
Loz looked forward to seeing Brett. He was like the sun appearing through the clouds of a rainy day. Here was someone she could always converse with, someone who interested her and who seemed interested in her in turn... if only as a friend. She got to know him pretty well, though. They had some running taunts.
In the second semester of second year, Brett had moved closer to University and didn't catch the same bus as often anymore. Loz's bus-rides were murky and dull after that. They only had a couple classes together. Third year they barely had any at all. In the classes they did have, they always had to pay attention, or Brett would be talking with other people because he was doing Screen production with them and Loz was not.
Last time she'd seen him was four months ago, only to have a ten minute conversation. It had gone well but had been too short. She figured she would never see him again after that. Yes, this made her sad. He'd changed a bit over the years. He'd put on a lot of weight, had grown a beard, wore contacts and lost the Buddy Holly hair. He looked much scruffier. She'd seen this change occur slowly. But he still had the long black coat.
Then yesterday she saw him again, looking as he had four months before. Whilst she was moving towards the bus a familar black shape loomed. She skipped the bus for him. He seemed pleased. They caught the next bus together. They chatted about nonsensical things, but it was fun. Loz was impressed with how she always had something to say around Brett, when usually she couldn't get a word out. He remembered her, which was more than most people, he actually searched her out to talk to her. When they were talking Brett said something which made Loz feel both immensely sad but happy at the same time.
"I saw a film the other day with your favourite actor... Jason Marsden!"
"You remember that my favourite actor's Jason Marsden? That's a little scary. What film?"
"How to make a Monster."
"Oh that's crap."
"Yeah... it really is. I actually hear him all the time in cartoons. Whenever I hear his voice I think of you."
She knew she'd never have the courage to tell him that given half the chance she'd love him more than words could say. That he was the perfect guy for her and she really appreciated what he'd given her those many months on the bus to and from University. She knew that this time she really wouldn't see him at University again. Yet the fact they still managed to talk as if it had been that first year confirmed for her that if she were to see him two years from now, they would still have something to talk about. And he'd still be the sun for her, on a rainy day.