A Little Fun Before the Big Step

December 6, 2009
The glory of the bus in elementary school. I lay on the dirty floor, underneath the seats. There is a colorful array of gum stuck to the wooden bottom. On the other side of the aisle is my friend Danielle. She looks mischievously back at me. We are alone. My stop then hers. Then the bus goes to sleep…for the weekend.

We feel rebellious. Being under the seats is against the rules of the scary bus driver. We call him The Bear. He’s big and bulky, balding, and desperately needs a box of tissues at all times. So we hide.

FAUSC. That is our club. It stands for Friday Afternoon Under the Seat Club. It can be confusing to say. We often sound it out. Fah-usc. It’s fun to feel my lips curl around the individual letters, so carefully like I know it has to be real and I don’t want it to go away. It is the last piece of elementary school. We will have this forever, long after we’ve forgotten everything we’ve learned in school.

But soon, we will be official middle-school-ers. I can’t decide whether I’m excited for the big step upward or not. I can't decide if I'd rather keep my childhood the way it is...at least for a little bit longer.

I don’t know why it is on Friday. I do not remember. It has been so long. It could be because Friday is the fun day; the end of the week. No school on weekends. Or it could be because I actually ride the bus on Friday. Monday: girl scouts. Tuesday: swim practice. Wednesday: piano. Thursday: swim practice. Friday: a welcoming couch and a big bag of M&M’s…after I ride the bus home. After we have our weekly club. Just the two of us, under the worn down bus seats.

The bus slows to a stop and we press our hands to the slippery floor, hoping not to slide towards the front of the bus. We are in the back. The back is nice. The back is friendly. The back is for the big kids; we are big kids. But most importantly, the back is safe. We have a good view looking out from the Emergency Escape Door window and we are carefully concealed from the view of The Bear. We are even short enough that he doesn’t notice we are not in our seats.

Now it is time to sit in our seats properly. Right before our stops, The Bear comes back to make sure we are here. He comes back with a broom, to sweep up all the candy wrappers, empty chip bags, used-up make-up containers, graded homework sheets, and sometimes even dust and dirt. But dust and dirt come last, because there isn’t as much. He sweeps it into a wastebasket in the back, but sometimes we catch him sweeping it out of the bus and onto the asphalt of the road. Danielle and I really don’t like him.

When he is done, we crawl back under the seats and slide around on our bellies. Until my stop comes. I grab my backpack and shudder past The Bear, yelling back, “See you next Friday!”

Danielle gives me that devious smile that I can’t wait to see again until next week.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

DfinitelyMe said...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 8:58 am
This story is really cute. Very creative:) good job!!
VintageFlapper! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm
Wow, you have drawn me as a reader into a fictional dream even though this is a short story. Your descriptions seem very on-point and vivid. Great story!
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