Riding the Bus

February 5, 2008
I hate riding the bus. Weird people ride the bus. I especially hate riding it alone, because when I say weird people ride the bus I MEAN weird people ride the bus. People that trim their fingernails in public and talk to themselves ride the bus. I would just rather get a ride from my cranky mom than sit by someone who smells really bad.

But today, I don’t have a choice. My parents are at work and I really want to go to Chelsea’s house. I’m not going to let a fear of public transit keep me from hanging out with my friends. What if I miss some inside joke that they talk about for the next week, and for a long time after that? I can’t STAND other people talking about funny things I missed. But I’m not excited enough to hang out to go to wait for 15 minutes in the rain for the bus to come. It’s right down the street from my house, so I figure I can leave five minutes before the bus comes and just barely make it. But I wait a little bit too long and race out the door to find –

GREAT. I missed it. I don’t like being late, a habit I get from my mom. I start to get very frustrated. That happens to be a habit from my dad. I look at the clock. Fantastic. I have another half hour till the next bus comes. I sit in my office chair and spin in circles. I stay seated for about 45 seconds. I dislike waiting. For anyone or anything. Some people call me Ms. Patience, as a joke. I don’t like it. At all. I know it’s a joke, but it still flares up frustration in me. Like in school when you would build a house out of Legos and someone would knock it down, even though you spent the last hour making sure there was room for windows and a door.

It’s finally time for me to leave. This time I leave exactly five minutes before the bus is supposed to come. I walk slow, knowing that I am going to make it in time. I stroll down the street, and then right before my eyes a bus rolls right past. My jaw drops. Not like in the movies when it touches the floor, but it has fallen pretty much as far as it can go. I stand there for a moment, looking silly, I am sure. But I’m dumb struck. For real. I cannot believe I missed the bus twice in a row. For once in my life I am glad that I was going to ride the bus alone.

Well, until now.

Right now I’m staring at the bus stop, with it’s uncomfortable metal bench, garbage can filled with tall Starbucks coffees. Even without the yellow sign on the pole, it would still look like a bus stop. I wish someone had taken the time to put up a shelter, though. I don’t want to spend the next half an hour without protection from the slow drizzle of rain. But this isn’t why I wish that I had forgot about riding the bus. The reason I whip my lower jaw up is that Shawn is skateboarding past. And now he’s looking right at me. I can’t believe this.

You’re probably wondering why I’m acting like a twelve-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert, and it’s because it’s even better than that. It’s like I get to see Nick Jonas every day, and he’s in every single one of my classes. See, I have never had anyone in more than 4 of my classes in a year. That’s why I think Shawn and I are meant to be together. Usually I think fate, true love, all of that stuff is a bunch of baloney. But Shawn is different. We have been friends since the seventh grade, and have been pretty much best friends ever since.

Anyways, my crush of two years is not the first person I want to see when I am ogling the spot where my bus was supposed to be.

“What are you doing, and why were you staring at the bus stop?” He stops and laughs. He laughs a lot.

“I missed the bus,” I find myself mumbling, which is probably because I’m embarrassed.

This makes him laugh harder. Like I knew he would. Normally, this would make me really mad. People laughing at my mistakes drives me crazy, and I wouldn’t associate with people who would do that. But like I said before, Shawn is different.

“Do you have to laugh? I didn’t mean to miss it. I was supposed to be at Chelsea’s an hour ago.”

“Yes. Why don’t I ride it with you? I can make sure that you don’t miss it again... because I’m guessing that you missed it twice, since you were supposed to be there an hour ago.” Shawn rides the bus almost every day. I hate that he is always right. But I can’t say I don’t like his offer. But I don’t want to seem like a spaz.

“No thank you, Shawn. I can catch the next bus on my own, thank you.” My tone is flat, it’s a tone I use a lot with Shawn. And like always, he laughs at me.

“Sure, sure. I guess I’ll see you later then.”

“Sounds perfect. Good-BYE,” it’s really hard for him to take a hint sometimes, so I’m trying to make it as obvious as I can.

He gets the hint, and I watch him ride away on his fishboard. When he gets to the end of the street he looks back, still laughing. Don’t get me wrong, his constant laughing does bother me, I just think it’s cute when he laughs, not only annoying.

Now that I’m alone, again, I have nothing to do but sit on the gross metal bench that quite a few bag ladies have probably sat on. Just thinking about it grosses me out a ton. So I try not to think. That’s one of my biggest problems: I think a bit too much about things. Thankfully my conversation with Shawn killed about 10 minutes, so I sit ant wait for the bus. And five minutes later I am so bored I’m ready to scream. So I start to hum. Which is as lame as it sounds, so I decide to play games on my phone. This I actually get into, and in about four minutes I see the bus coming. Thank Zeus. I watch it come up, and then it reaches me. I smile, proud of myself. The doors open but no one gets out so I walk up the steps. I search my pockets, but no money. I look in every single pocket possible, because all I need is a dollar. But there’s no money in any of them. I sigh and realize that I’m going to have to go back to my house, get more money, and wait another half an hour for another bus.

And then someone taps me on the shoulder.

At first I’m embarrassed, for a couple reasons. First, I didn’t see anyone else at the bus stop, but now I’m holding up an obvious line. Second, I have no money, so I probably look really silly right now trying to get on the bus with nothing. Third, I hate confrontations, so I don’t want the possible crazy person behind me to yell at me or something. That would make things a lot worse. But to get things over with, I turn around. The face I see is worse than any bag lady. It’s Shawn. And he’s holding out a dollar.

“Looks like you might need this,” I want to punch the laugh off his face, but I’m not really a violent person.

Instead of saying anything, I grab the dollar and put it through the money accepter.

“Two?” The bus driver’s talking now, so I nod and walk down the bus as fast as possible. Just trying to get away from Shawn. I’m not looking forward to the ten-minute bus ride to Chelsea’s at all.

“This should be fun,” I can hear Shawn’s smile in his voice. I can tell it’s going to be a long ride.

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