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Riding the Bus
When I was little I didn't know what had happened. My parents grew reclusive, and money grew tight as a result. I asked where she was, but they didn't tell me, their eyes blank to the word, their minds filled with sorrow.
And then he was gone too, gone in a flash. It didn't seem fair to have so much taken away from me. And then my mother turned to drink to ease her pain, and I was cast out of her world, nearly forgotten in the midst of such turmoil and angst.
It was just a few years later that she fell in love again, this time to a young black haired man with too many piercings. At first he came over one night a week for dinner, then two, and then it seemed that he was always at our house.
The night I left it was thundering. He was at our house. That night is still almost painful to desribe.
Mother left to go the the grocery store, leaving mr and her boyfriend at home. I had been growing increasingly despondent in the weeks he has been coming, and now barely left my room. I could hear him in the living room, blowing smoke from his cigarette into the air. I heard him stand up and I heard his footsteps as he walked into the hallway.
He came into my room.
He. Came. Into. My. Room.
And I knew I had to get out. He was about to do something horrible. My muscles tightened in fear.
"Well, hello, Amy." He said.
I didn't move.
I got ready to run. My jacket was in my hand, and i could feel the dollar bills in my pocket.
He moved closer and I bolted.
My legs seemed to have a mind of their own. I ran, trying not to think. Out into the cold wet night. Away. My feet sloshed through puddles as I sprinted, as far away as I could get.
I don't know how long I ran for, but I eventually found myself at the bus stop. I sat down on the cold metal bench and waited, panting. In about five minutes red headlights shone through the rain, leaving me temporarily blinded. There was a screech of brakes, a hiss, and I stepped onto the bus.
I didn't know where I was going. I dropped a dollar into the money box and found a seat next to an old lady who smelled like soap. She go off at the next spot and i scooted over to the window seat, leaning my head against the cool glass.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew the driver was talking to me.
"Miss? This is the end of the bus line. You can transfer to another bus that can take you farther."
I looked around and realized that the bus had emptied of passengers.
"Okay." I muttered.
I stepped off the bus. It had stopped raining, and the night air was fresh and cold against my hot skin. I took a deep breath and stuck my head back through the doors of the bus I had just vacated.
"Are you going back?"
"Back to the beginning of the bus route? Yes, I am."
I slipped back onto the bus and made to sit down again, but the driver cleared his throat and pointed to the money box. I dropped another dollar in.
I rode back through the slumbering town, staring out the window at the dark store windows. I shivered and fervently hoped I was doing the right thing.
The bus hissed to a stop and I hopped off silently. I remembered this part of town, where we used to live. On each corner was a landmark of my childhood, the childhood that was stolen from me by the accidents.
There it was, in front of me. The neon letters spelled out it's name. Numerous cars were parked in front, ready to respond to an emergency. I fingered my hair. Would it be better to leave town, lie that I was eighteen, and get a job far away? No. Too hard. I pushed open the door of the police station.