“Bondi beach stop,” yelled the handsome bus driver in his smooth Australian accent. I didn’t want to get off that bus; the driver was the spitting image of Tom Cruise from the film Top Gun, with his silver aviator shades and black tussle hair he gave me a slight wink as I gathered my backpack and headed for the exit. Images of being whisked away in fighter jets to exotic locations around the world while Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone played in the background; I found my young head disrupted and my motor skills failing.
“Ma’am, you okay?” He grabbed me by the elbow and helped me up. “Uh – thanks. Just got in yesterday, I’m a little jet lagged.”
“Welcome to Australia. Is this your stop – Bondi Beach?” Was it my stop? I couldn’t even remember what day it was; why did this hunk have to be nice, like handsome nice and look like Tom Cruise?
“Yes, yes, this is my stop. Thank you.” Embarrassed I turned to get one last look at his beautiful Australian perfection. His blue, bus driver uniform was perfectly pressed, probably thanks to Momma; his arm muscles popped slightly under his shirt; his chest muscles were pumped from hours at the gym and his name tag read – Maverick.
My eyes didn’t deceive me. I read it right and I read it twice – Maverick. I tried to look through his aviator shades at his eyes but the sun reflected the twinkle that was already displayed in his smile. He smiled a beautiful smile as I swung my backpack over my shoulder and said “You’re name is Maverick? You look like …” He didn’t give me a chance to finish “Maverick is my nickname on the bus my real name is Tom Crusher.”
“Well, nice to meet you T-T-Tom.” I held out my hand in anticipation – gosh darn nit he was beautifully beautiful. “If you’d like to get a drink sometime … here’s my card.” I handed him my business/travel card which was complete with email, Canadian address, Mom’s phone number and a huge Canadian Maple Leaf image.
“I feel the need …” His pause was dramatic and the heavy sighs from the bus patrons grew with each passing moment. I pinched myself, this is not a movie – this is for real; he feels the need to … oh god, I’m never leaving Australia or this bus.
“I feel the need for speed. Do you like Harley Davidson’s – you know the motorcycle? If ya do … I’d like to take you on a tour of Sydney, on the back of my hog. How about tomorrow? It’s my day off; we could pack a light picnic and check out the sights on the other side of the harbour.”
“I do feel the need, the need for speed. Tomorrow sounds great! Where shall we meet?” My heart pulsated and my knees grew weak, for tomorrow could not come fast enough.
“I’ll pick you up, right here, at this bus stop. I’ll be here at eleven-thirty. I look forward to seeing you. Oh – and wear those jeans.”
Applause erupted from within the bus, romantic hope applause or hurry up applause, it didn’t matter.
“Eleven-thirty, I’ll be here … in these jeans and don’t forget those specks and you can leave your cowboy boots on.”