She got on the bus one stop after I did downtown, along with five other friends. She was 13, give or take a year, a little heavy but not overly so. Nothing remarkable about her face or body. She sat in the back, and the six of them formed a little horseshoe so they could chat. Nothing wrong so far.
Then I heard her voice. Piercing. Searing. Not exactly fingernails on a chalkboard, more like tearing something with a shard of glass. Yeah, a little louder than her friends, but not that much louder. She wasn't singing, just talking, yet I feared for the integrity of the bus's window glass.
How do some people get voices like that?
How to describe it? Like a trumpeter at a harp concert. Maybe a better analogy is someone playing an oboe reed at a harp concert, minus the oboe.
As I've said many times, I've ridden well over 15,000 trips on public transit. Rarely have I had to cover my ears when someone 15 feet away spoke. Gawd, was I happy when she exited that bus.
It was that bad. Yeeeesh.