It was my first day of first grade, meaning my first time riding the big bus. I stood out in the rain as the daunting yellow bus pulled up to my driveway and came to a groaning stop. I confidently walked up the steps, ready to dominate the school year, looked at all the empty seats and realized I was the first stop. So, just as I did when I was the king of the kindergarten bus, I
strutted to the back seat and plopped down. The back seat was the throne.
From the back, the bus driver couldn’t see you and you had a perfect view of everything going on in the bus. However, my reign didn’t last long. Within a few minutes the bus came to a halt again and the doors
opened. I looked down the aisle and saw a massive fifth grader walking towards me. I knew I was out of place, I jumped into his seat and leaned against the window hoping the new rider wouldn’t see me. The new rider sat down in the seat next to me and I could see him staring at me out of the corner of my eye but I didn’t dare look. I was praying I would make it to the school without another fifth grader coming on and kicking me out.
Eventually the bus came to another stop, and it sounded like a large stop. I heard one of them yell, “Billy! We finally get to sit in the back!”, followed by a boisterous laugh from the seat next to me.
“Who’s this?” I heard the new rider question, and I knew he was talking about me. I turned around and looked up to see a child, the size of a man, staring directly at me. He was talking about me. “You’re in the wrong spot squirt.”
I knew I wanted to remove myself from the situation as quickly as possible. I nervously grabbed my bag and tried sprinting to the front of the bus, but the floor was wet from the rain. I fell flat on my stomach. I looked up and saw heads popping out from every seat, laughing.
It’s the first day of school, I bring the bus to a gradual halt as I pull up to my first bus stop. I open up the doors to reveal a tiny boy ready to mount the stairs. He reminds me of myself when I was a first grader. I think back to that fateful day, the last day I ever rode the bus and the day I asked my mom to drive me to school until I could drive myself.
The little boy gets on the bus, passes the first four seats and heads for the back. I flashback to when my decision to walk to the back as a first grader haunted me for years. I know he doesn’t know any better.
I let him go.