|"Did you remember your ticket?"|
Yesterday after school, Alexander went on his own to buy a snorkel and new goggles. The shop is pretty far from our house but since I was staying home with Eliot and a friend of hers, he assured me that he would be fine getting there alone. Before leaving the house, we mapped out exactly which bus he would need to take. Bus 124 in the direction of St. Andrew's Cathedral alighting at Colemant St. I reminded him that on the way back he would need to cross the street before getting bus 124, in order to get the 124 going in the opposite direction (back to our house). I imagine that in his joy at holding his much desired snorkel and goggles, he completely forgot this tiny detail.
As soon as he texted me: "This bus is traveling in the strangest places," I realized he was on the wrong bus. Or more specifically, on the right bus but in the wrong direction. I quickly texted back: "Get off at the next stop and cross the street, then board the same number bus. And you will reach home." By the time he got home, it was dark outside but he wasn't overly perturbed. Nor was I, since he had texted me again from the correct bus saying he was on his way.
This brought me back to when I was 11 and the same thing happened to me. The 'only' difference was that, of course, I didn't have a phone and so couldn't receive that vital piece of advice from my mom of getting off the bus and crossing the street. I decided, instead, that the best course of action was to stay on the bus; figuring that eventually the bus would do some sort of loop and go all the way back to the original stop I had boarded at. But that's not what happened.
The bus drove further away into the countryside until the streets were completely unrecognizable. One by one, the passengers got off until, to my utter dismay, I was the only one left. I was a little scared but completely froze when the bus came to a complete halt in the middle of an open field. I remember thinking this can't be happening to me. I was a precocious child who read a lot, so worse case scenarios flooded my brain, I crouched under the seat. To this day, I have never felt that scared and helpless. Eventually, I mustered enough courage to ask the bus driver (in a shaky voice) why the bus had stopped.
The driver nonchalantly pulled out a sandwich and said he was on his break. No other details. In retrospect, he could have reassured a little girl, who was obviously lost and scared that we would soon be on our way, but I guess he wasn't the chatty, comforting type.
Finally, the bus started its engine and slowly passengers started boarding again. After getting off at my stop, I ran all the way home straight into my mother's arms. I guess this means I'll stop grumbling about his having a phone. Snapchat? Now, that's another story...