I have always shied away from confrontation.

Confrontation made met wet myself. A gift from my parents. Shout loud enough at John, he will piss himself. And then do what he is told.

Those days are passing. I am 38.

Please shout at me now. I will wrap my arms around your fucking neck and I will strangle you.

Or maybe not.

I begin to grow a new suit of armor. A suit of armour that says “Forget about it”.

Insults begin to bounce of this suit of armour. So do snide comments, slights, racist remarks, criticisms and smirks.

All of a sudden I realise I dont care about the incoming flak.. I look down on my armour.

Hope designed it, manufactured it, and bestowed it upon me with a kiss.

It is perfect. It suits me like a second skin. It does does rust. It does not taint. It does not degrade. It is top class, premium grade armour.

I try to exercise in it. It moves with me. It covers me like a liquid. Plus it has that goddam sexy blue light running through it that Hope has.

She beams at me.

“……….try it…….”

That voice. Please God, if I can mate with one angel before I go to hell,  pick Hope.

She laughs her laugh. She knows me.

I leave work and walk towards my bus stop. I take my time. I am geared. This is worth taking the walk. Hope dances beside me. I can tell she is delighted. She loves me. I love her back.

My normal bus stop is closed. My old self grumbles and I can feel the hatred rising. “Fucking bastards. Fuck! Why is this closed? Useless cunts. Why me? Why always me?”

Hope touches me. I know. I cant control it. But I can deal with it.

As I move on, another guy begins to shout.”Where the fuck am I supposed to go??!” He begins to bash the sign of the now defunct bus stop. His rage begins to bubble up. Bystanders start to move away. This is trouble. His anger is visible. He is getting ready to lose control.

Without thinking, I stop. I would never have done this in a million years. I look at him. He stares at me, eyes wide and angry.

I stare back. No fear. NO FEAR.

I raise a finger.

“Next one up.”

He stares at me. I stare at him. No fear. Maybe he recognises my suit of armour. Or maybe he recognises that I would happily place my jaws around his throat and bite – if the thought entered my mind. I hope it is the armour.

He relaxes.

“Yo. Thanks.” he mumbles.

A half assed sentiment but I dont care. I stand and watch him as he slowly makes his way to the next bus stop. I slowly follow him. This is my stop too.

I can feel his eyes on me. I can hear his confused thoughts. I can hear the conflict within him. He doesnt know what to do. Kill me or kiss me? He doesnt know.

My armour sparks. Stay still. Keep quiet. You have served your purpose. For now.

My bus comes next. It NEVER comes next. Today it does. And it is almost empty.

I climb on. The bus driver doesnt see me. The other passengers dont see me. I remain a nobody until  I get off 30 minutes later.

My stray cat waits for me, and I note that Hope is stroking her.

“………well done………..”

I try to suppress a smile.

Hope acknowledges my failure and laughs.