We rode the bus together. I was in eighth grade, she was probably in high school. She was so cool! So preppy. Short, smooth dark hair, brown eyes, and ever so silent. I rode the bus with her for an entire school year and never heard her speak once. She sat and read a book, usually. Most of the time, I sat across the aisle from her, because she was the sort of girl who seemed to need her space. She emanated some kind of an invisible boundary. Rarely, the bus was too full and I would sit next to her, acting as if this were an act of reluctance, but secretly thrilled, attuned to every motion, lack of motion, or nuance she might betray. She never wore bright or colorful clothing. Sometimes, royal blue...but never the hot, fluorescent colors that were screaming from everywhere else, in the form of T shirts, hats, shoelaces, even.... Her clothes tended to be dark, and she sometimes wore a businessman's type of cap, navy blue. The air of quiet, slightly melancholy mystery, combined with a degree of androgyny, made her a sort of aspirational role model for me. In all that time, I said not a single word to her.