She sat across from me on the bus. We, the only two there so far, had taken seats across from each other while we waited for the others.
She'd spent the last two hours questioning me -- short, awkward questions that hinted at a desire for intimacy where before we had always had distance. I walked the line carefully -- trust is dangerous, even among women.
Thus far, I had been able to demure, focusing instead on the thousand tasks that needed to be completed. Now, however, it was just the two of us, trapped here by the expectation of our soon-arriving colleagues, and she saw her opportunity.
"So if you were to ask God a question, what would it be?"
Every cell in my body commanded me to pause, to think. I didn't.
"What job did you have for her to do that was so much more important than being my daughter?" I fought not to let the emotion choke my voice.
She leaned forward and removed her glasses. Her green eyes were striking against the auburn she had chosen for her hair. She chuckled.
"You are too young to be my sister; too old to be my daughter. So how to answer you...
...It may not be about her job, you know,"
"How do you mean?"
"Perhaps it's not about what her job is. Perhaps God is interested in what you have to do that is so much more important than looking after a soul he has already taken into himself."
I met her gaze and formed another question on my lips.
And then the others arrived.