Where The Sidewalk Took Me

February 1, 2011
With each concrete square quickly passing by I felt my stomach drop even more, sinking like the infamous Titanic. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that sidewalk to take me back. I felt lightheaded, butterflies invading my stomach of steel. I hadn’t felt this sensation since I was a boy, nervous about jumping off of the roof onto my old, rusty trampoline. I remember my brothers, Ralph and Robby teasing me mercilessly about being a scaredy cat. They teased me because I almost chickened out, I vowed never to be nervous again, and now look at me. A new wave of nostalgia overwhelmed me.

Unconsciously, I began to tap my feet as quickly as I could, which was pretty damn fast. Most days, my drumming could calm my nerves instantly, but thinking about the place this decrepit bus was taking me was not something my habit could cure. This was nothing I had faced before. Of course, over the last year, I’ve been confronted by the idea over and over again. I’ve lost several hours of sleep over the very concept. But it hadn’t truly seemed real until I stepped onto that sidewalk, running to catch up to the giant vehicle.

I returned my gaze to the window, to each individual sidewalk square, every one bringing me closer and closer to my destination. I blinked rapidly when I saw my own reflection in the window. My blue-yellow eyes were wide and expressive, revealing my deepest and greatest of fears, and also managing to display the excitement and joy that was running rampant through my entire system.

“Will you please stop that?” an exasperated voice moaned. I ignored it, pretending I hadn’t heard.

The speakers crackled to life, sounding sickly, “University Boulevard.” My hand hovered above the stop request wire as the bus pulled over to allow passengers on and off. I willed the strangers to move faster and the traffic to part. I wanted to shout at everyone, make them aware of my situation, my need to hurry. I knew I should have taken a cab, but the bus was cheaper and we only lived ten blocks away. I felt my legs begin to tap faster than they already were, my right hand joining the beat, while my left fingered the wire.

“Race Avenue,” the speakers screeched. I pulled the wire down and gathered the suitcase she’d asked me to bring. The bus slowed to a stop, I had already jumped to my feet and was waiting at the door. The bus driver cast a knowing glance in my direction as he pushed the button and the door swung open.

My feet hit the ground at a run. I stopped abruptly, gazing behind me at the sidewalk. I wanted it to take me back in time so I could better prepare, but I was here now. There was no turning back. I hitched the suitcase higher up on my shoulder and ran towards the front doors.

I ignored the shouts and calls as I ran down the long, wide hallway. I had no time to ask for permission. I shoved the door to her room open and stormed inside. I was too late, a few minutes too late, but the look on her sweat-stained face told me she didn’t care. She held up the bundle in her arms and flashed me the most beautiful grin in the entire universe.

“You have a son,” she whispered almost gleefully, love sparkling in her sagacious brown eyes.





THE END





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Mystiecub said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 9:17 am
wow, I liked how you wrote this; the beginning is a bit suspenseful and the ending is kinda relieving. Great job :)
 
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