They discussed kindergarten stuff. I assumed they were colleagues.
Her friend got out early with a sampai besok - see you tomorrow - and we journeyed on to where we both got out.
The only empty seats on the cross-city bus were at the back - I like the legroom - and she squeezed in beside me into the window seat.
Ah, together at last.
She had a Rp.5,000 note, the correct fare, ready for the fares collector and I had a Rp.20,000 note. I wanted small change. He signalled with two fingers and raised eyebrows - was I paying for her as well?
I liked the assumption but didn't want to presume.
"Sorry," I told her.
She smiled at me.
For the rest of the journey speeding down the jalan tol, she gazed out at the traffic backed up on the parallel side road.
I gazed inward and wondered whether I should have - I certainly could have - paid. After all, kindergarten teachers have low salaries. And if I had, that could have been the start of a beautiful conversation.
We could still talk, I pondered silently.
We said nothing except in our thoughts. Hers didn't reach me.
My getting off exit arrived.
"Next time, I'll pay your fare. Gladly," is what I could have - should have? - said.