The Bus Ride

Roaring motors, tires skidding, horns blowing, once in a while minor vehicle collision were my daily scenes when we used to live along a minor highway. Everyday people with different vehicles come to my father’s shop consulting him on all problems they have on their vehicles. His shop is filled with various devices use to fix any broken cars or trucks. I was twelve years old then and my girlfriend and I would spend our weekend afternoons by the window looking at all the busses northbound and southbound. The ride was simpler and uncomplicated, a straight line road, busses are northbound or southbound, an uncomplicated route with no left turn or right turn. People stand and wait by the side of the road, wave an arm at an incoming vehicle, that stops right in front for people to get on. I was with my mother once and a woman missed her stop the driver let her off to take a bus on the opposite side going back. Going south? I know what’s there. My mother took me there a couple of times for shopping. The streets down south were bigger, complicated and full of different vehicles going on different directions which I never heard of,  its sidewalks teeming with people and shops selling different kinds of wares. My curiosity to venture north was triggered by a tale I heard one day, not too far after you reach the end of the north route where all the busses turn around, there is an ecological park full of trees and varieties of flowers and plants. Inside it a big swimming pool where people go for a refreshing dip on summer days or go plain walking or hiking inside this giant park of a natural ecosystem. I spoke to my friend, but she has no idea about it either.  After talking about it, dreaming about it, I persuaded my friend to come with me going north. That day came we  took the bus without telling our mothers, anyway it was a simple and easy ride, in case we miss our stop, either northbound or southbound the driver will tell us where to stop and take the bus. When the bus  finally reach the end of the north line, we didn’t see any huge park or tall trees or swimming pool. Except for the vehicles turning around and starting their next trip, the place was bare and was a no man’s land. With no other plans or options we took a bus going back and I masterminded our next trip we are instead heading down south a place I claim to be familiar with. I saw our house on the side of the highway as the bus we were in went by, I knew my mother was inside the kitchen unknowing that I was in the bus going south. We got off at our destination after paying the fare we finally realize that we had no fare money going back, the money we had was good for one round trip each. My friend has been quiet all throughout this time, I was doing all the planning and the talking and whatever I said was done, I never saw any fear or protest, except for her yes nod. That was a time I discovered I have the ability to do things on my own, I was a grown up and could go anywhere I want. I also knew people were more helpful and nice. After  mustering enough gut we took another bus, I talked to the driver about our predicament, that we were lost. He believed in what I said, taught us where to get a ride, even gave us enough fare going home. We got home safe and since then never talked to anyone about what happened. One day a few months after, my mother asked me to go see my aunt, an errand  I have to take a bus going to highway 54. With determination and conviction I asked her what bus to take, where to get off  and what street to walk to. Listening intently I made sure to write all the small instructions  in a paper. I went then I came back just in time. I felt a real grown up.

All Grown Up

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