I push open the glass double doors and shuffle my way to the greyhound bus sitting under the churches arch. I’m tired and annoyed that no one is helping me carry the grey tubs that are holding CD’s, T-shirts and bandanas. My arms are sore as each tub weighs forty pounds and I am carrying two at a time.
I get to my bay where the product is stored and set the large tubs down. I fumble with the key that is dangling around my neck. I hunch my back to put the key in the bay door not bothering removing the necklace. The door begins to open and I can’t get the key out fast enough. They door takes my neck along with it and I’m struggling to remove it from the hole as I am now standing underneath it.
I have one more trip before I can close the door again and get on the bus. I hear someone rolling up behind me. I turn to look. My hero! if only you were here ten minutes ago. My friend has brought the dolly with my last grey tub. He smiles. Yeah, You need lessons on gentleman…hood?
I close the bay and grab my binder from the tables that had previously been holding all of the product we were selling. I couldn’t wait to get on the bus onto my seat and kick off my heels.
I hear the loud sigh from the bus door as it swings open for my entrance. I smile at our old driver who is nothing but a sweet, godly pillar at this time in my life. “Welcome aboard!” He grins.
I have less than five minutes to get situated before the bus swarms with life. Only five minutes of being alone. Sort of. There are other adults on the bus, relishing in their last few moments of peace before the entire process begins again.
I am now sitting in what I call “my chair”. Although many have called it that over the years. The seat does not recline, but I am alright with that. I can still rest. My heels are tucked nicely into the storage box I have under my seat and my binder is sitting on my lap. To my left I have an open chair next to the window. My seat buddy will come crawling in soon with her blanket and pillow. To my right there is the aisle and two chairs next door waiting for their cushions to be warmed by the bodies that sit there every day. I am 6 rows from the back and 5 rows from the front. Right smack in the middle. But I like it.
I hear the sigh of the bus door and in single file line come, the children. They have dark faces and their smiles are as wide as a crescent moon half way through it’s cycle. They are chatting away with sing-song voices about their performance and what they’ve just been through. Giggles escape their lips and I see the boys scheming on which adult they will prank today. The girls are adjusting their headbands and making sure there pant legs cover the ankle of their shoes.
My seat buddy stops in the aisle near me. “Auntie, May I pass?” The sweetest Ugandan voice says my name and I smile giving her clearance. She’s the smallest out of the bunch and I’m glad I get to enjoy her company. She likes to read and color and most of all she likes to day dream.
I forget about the grey tubs and the cd’s that I talk hours about just to get a sale. I forget about the product bay and the guy who just doesn’t get it. I forget that I’m tired, or that my ankles kill cause of my high heels. I am enraptured in the beauty of the little girl next to me and the children all around me. They are laughing and smiling and accepting life the way it is.
Their voices make me wish I could be like them, their eyes shine with mischief and excitement. The noise level always gets loud before we take off to the next destination. We sit in the churches parking lot for a little bit before our driver calls out “count down!” Starting near the front I hear another sing-song voice shout out “one!” and it popcorn’s all around the bus till we have reached “twenty-three!”
Then we begin to move. The kids in their seats. Me and my adult friends in theirs. This is where I want to be. Around the children full of life and laughter. Able to forget the chaos that so easily traps me into aggravation. I want to be where the children are. And for now, It’s in my memories.