ST. LOUIS — Jose Ward has driven thousands of miles, met hundreds of passengers and made plenty of stops as a St. Louis MetroBus driver. But in his 29 years behind the wheel, one particular connection stands out.
Two and a half years ago, Ward noticed one of his passengers who hopped on his bus every day. He quickly developed a crush.
“I don't usually mess with the passengers like that,” he said. “With her, I was like, man I have to say something.”
But for about three and a half months, Ward kept quiet, unsure of whether he should make the first move. For those three and a half months, that passenger, Lawanda Harris, rode the bus to work and remained clueless.
“I had no clue he liked me,” Harris said. “He was telling other passengers he liked me, he wanted to get to know me or whatever, but he didn’t have the courage to ask me.”
Over time, those other passengers eventually helped Ward tap into his courage.
“I was getting encouragement from the passengers, ‘Hey you know what? The only thing you can do is talk to her and see,’” he recounted. “And that's what I did. And I’m glad I did.”
After finally asking Harris out for their first date, their romance immediately hit the fast track.
The pair first went out to eat on a Saturday. Moments after dropping off Harris at home, Ward asked her out to the movies that same night.
They joke that two dates in one day was an effort to make up for lost time.
“Take that chance,” Ward said.
“Because sometimes it’s worth it,” added Harris.
In fall 2020, about two years after their first date, they got married.
And she still rides his bus to work every day.
“You never know what God has in store for you,” Harris said. “Don’t be afraid to follow your heart.”