It’s funny how sometimes the small things in life lead to momentous changes. I figure unless you’re tuned into the universe in a far larger way than the vast majority of people you never stand a chance of comprehending how a single simple choice you make at a random moment in time can take you to the very end of your existence. It’s not that way for most people, I know, but it was for me. Let me explain.
I had gone into town one morning to look for a book I had read about. It was an ordinary day, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of the trees and promising a glorious sunset at the end. It was just the sort of day to put you at ease, to lull you into a sense that all was right with the world.
I boarded the bus at my usual stop and headed for the back. I like to sit as far back as possible so that I can see the other passengers. There was no one else on the bus at that point. I slid into an empty seat and felt something under my leg. I stood up and looked and there was an old pocket watch. It was missing it’s fob and it was somewhat battered. The gold was faded and scratched in places.
I picked it up and sat down again and stared at it for the longest time. There was something about it that attracted me. That is to say it had a presence or character that was very noticeable. At last I opened it. The face was decked out in Roman numerals and the second hand was very ornate. It was running but the time was incorrect by several hours though in looking at my own watch I could see it had the minute right.
I studied it awhile longer and came to the conclusion that whoever had lost it must be a visitor to the city and hadn’t been in town long enough to change the time. Either that or they didn’t care. The other remarkable thing about the watch was the inscription on the inside of the cover. It had been done is very precise Gothic script and it read “There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”
I thought about what that might mean throughout the rest of my bus ride. When at last I looked up and realized it was time to get off I walked to the front and showed the watch to the bus driver.
“Excuse me driver, I found this on the seat next to me. I guess someone who got off before I got on must have lost it.”
He glanced at the watch and shook his head. “Nope. You were the first person on this bus today other than me. The buses are cleaned every night. If it was left yesterday it would have been turned in.”
“But, I found it one the seat, I – “
“Miss, are you getting off here or not? I have a schedule to keep.”
I found his attitude somewhat rude and put the watch in my pocket and got off the bus. It didn’t seem right leaving it with him; I felt certain it wouldn’t have been handled properly.
I headed for the book store and spent a wonderful hour browsing. I found what I had came for and purchased that and a couple of others I couldn’t resist. It wasn’t until I got back home and was unpacking my books that I remembered the watch.
Part 2 Tomorrow