After stepping out of the house on ia Thursday morning, I reprimand myself once more for not having the complete breakfast considered so incredibly important for a rich fulfilling life. However, I don't have time to wallow in the sorrows of partial hunger, I see the time is 7: 00.
Pete is coming out of the two-floor colonial across the street with his sister. His bag juts out in strange angles because of the multitude of books sliding around inside. He is wearing a deep black leather jacket lined with synthetic wool. It looks like he flipped a sheep inside out. He's got shady black circles beneath his eyes, so I am pretty sure that he did in fact, finish his homework. His hand is clenched around a quarter: bus fare, and his grip tightens as he heartily yawns. I yawn as well. I see the time is 7: 01.
It is raining lightly, melting the remnants of winter snow on my street, forming small deltas of dirt edging the curb. The soles of my shoes are becoming caked with grainy wet sand and they make a crunching sound on the street I walk to catch the bus. It is quite cold out and Pete's breath comes out in random steamy puffs because of his frequent yawning. His bag swings heavily and bangs into the back of his legs with each stride. That looks like it hurts. Little rivers are sweeping down the streets from their snowbank origins, occasionally abducting old candy wrappers cozily embedded in sand drifts, now careening slowly down the street. The brown grass pokes through tiny cracks in the sidewalk in messy clusters, separating the heavy concrete squares in a feeble attempt to regain control of the land where they prospered. They are however regaining the life stolen from them by the cold winter months. I see the time is 7: 03.
The sun now begins to cut away at the omnipotent blue that has coated the mornings of winter for months, and beams of feeble gold are spilling through bud-sprinkled branches. The wind doesn't sting any longer; it explores. It glides across my face and down my jacket, sniffing out warm places, making them cool. We start to descend the hill for the already bustling intersection where the rumbling bus will rumble us off in rumbling seats. The small rivers flow quicker on this hill, forming little pools lined with the same sand so stubbornly caked on my soles. Pete is lagging behind under the weight of his books and he jogs a little to catch up with me. The plastic latch on the strap of his bag breaks just before we cross the street. His vinyl bag and all of its sharp corners drops limply into a puddle as we stop to chuckle and help him. I see the time is" -
- exactly 7: 04 the bus slides on a sandy patch and its wetted brakes cannot hold the incredible force being pushed on them. Inside the children's faces turn solid. The eyes widen as the bus spins horizontally across the street on its side wheels. Pete drops his bag once again in the puddle and drags us back into the bushes of a close-by house. The speeding white convertible was being driven by a young man with black sunglasses who was on the phone when he hit the side of the enormous teetering bus. I could see his eyes twitch in panic behind the blackness of his glasses. The convertible shot into the side of the bus like a hunter's bullet and uprooted it like a mighty tree. The children at the bus stop screamed as they saw the young man's head against the car door forming small rivers of blood easing down the white door panel. It looked like a messy peppermint stick. Pete's sister is crying. I see the time is 7: 05, right on time.
As people emerge in pastel bathrobes from their houses, I see the sun reflecting lightly off the shattered spider webs of glass. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.