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By , Flemington, NJ
Chapters:   1 2 Next »


Riding the bus made me feel like a seventh grader. After seventh grade buses were unspoken of. I shrink in my seat, curled in a ball with a hot coffee, hiding myself from other eyes. I have nothing to be embarrassed about considering I’m an eighteen year old on a city bus and not a middle schooler in a judgmental small town.
I’m clueless, I have never been to the city before and here I am, running away from my problems, running away from everything I know. I planned to count the lucky number four stops before I got off and improvised the rest of my life. I counted each time the bus jerked me forward and others scrambled out of their seats, the weight in my stomach grew heavier. The fourth jerk and scramble came and I followed the crowd with a white-knuckle grip on my over the shoulder bag. I promised myself as soon as I found work, everything else would sort itself out.
Each business came and went, each owner looked me up and down with judgement before sending me on my way. “No way hun.” they’d stare at me with little sympathy, I was so vulnerable. Outside the local coffee shop I sighed, so much for the lucky number four. People passed with frowns, with tired eyes, with dirty clothes, I admired everyone of them. They knew what they were doing here, they knew where their miserable lives were taking them and here I stand in my nicest outfit and bright teary eyes with not a clue in the world where I’ll be sleeping tonight. The tears hung on the edge of my eyes as I pictured myself in a cardboard box shivering in an alleyway just as I had seen in so many movies before. I sucked in a sniffle and looked up and around, maybe for the next job opportunity, maybe for an overhang to sleep under but, instead I met the eyes of three boys around my age. Heat rose to my cheeks and a scowl covered my previous emotions, they laughed at me. I had never been laughed at.
“Don’t you feel you may be on the wrong side of town?” one asked, his friends laughing behind him. Panic filled every part of my body as my cheeks flushed a new color of red- the kind you’d see on a rose, for sure. “I mean, the rich kids usually stay away from the streets they find scary.” he motioned around him, his hands making a large circle, my eyes traced that circle. I looked down at my outfit and glimpsed into my bag, considered how dumb I looked, and took another huge sigh.
“If you want the truth I couldn’t tell you what the right side of town was, and no matter if the streets were dirty or clean, I would still be scared out of my mind.” I yelled back, laughing at myself, laughing at the fact that I was these boys new favorite joke. “So if you want to give me crappy directions that you promise will lead me somewhere safe but really leave me with nothing, do your best, I guess I’m the new kid!” The three of them looked at each other and then back at me, alone on a street corner, makeup smeared into an art piece you’d see in a couple windows I have passed. I had spent the day uncomfortable in this stupid dress and tight flats and my bag was growing too heavy on my shoulder although it did not contain much. I wanted to scream at these dumb kids as they stared at me in confusion.
“Who are you?” One of them blurted out and there I was, back to feeling vulnerable and embarrassed, my rage disappeared but, an ounce of confidence took its place.
“Alex Fare, from small town in New Jersey where a building above three stories is a sight to see and a job is easy to get because there’s always one open at a family friends small business or farm stand.” I blurted, almost all in one breath. Their confusion made me burst out in tears, well if people weren't staring at me before they are now!
“Woah, you need to chill.” they stepped back as if they weren’t already far enough away from the weird country girl. I laughed at them and their brows furrowed in confusion. My emotions came together like the eye of a hurricane. Anger, at these boys and the people in my hometown who lead me to this dirty street, sadness for everything that was left behind and the challenges I now face. I laugh because I made this stupid mistake in the first place and now these boys are watching my life fall apart. These random boys that I wish would just mind their own damn business.
“Stop standing there and staring at me. Do you want to hear my life story or do you want to pretend you never started this?” I challenge, waiting for them to finally scatter far away from the psycho girl who should probably catch a bus back to Nowhere-ville, New Jersey.
Then, the first boys raises his brows and smiles. “Well actually, I’m up for a life story. You should follow me to my dad’s restaurant where you can figure out the rest of your obvious problems too. I’m assuming you’re here for a job?” I stopped for a second and stared at them all, smirks settled on their face as they knew they knew better than I did. I couldn’t speak but, I looked to crossed the street.

Chapters:   1 2 Next »

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