Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Haunted by the young

HAUNTED BY THE YOUNG
I made the tragic mistake of boarding the 65 bus in the early afternoon, just as the junior high and high schools were letting out. The bus filled up with young hooligans quickly, and I scrunched deeper into the corner back seat. I had deliberately chosen that seat to be isolated and enjoy the scenic ride along Monaco, with only my thoughts go keep me company. It was snowing heavily and I was slowly working my way to Robert’s house. I had spent the morning writing mindless online posts, and intended to enjoy the ride. I looked forward to the two mile walk from the bus stop to his house in the fresh air and snow.

The children were cramping my space,as three of them took seats near me and began their senseless teenage chatter. They appeared to be about 13 or 14, two boys and one girl. They looked a bit nerdy by teenage standards, the boys’ feet looking too big for their skinny ankles, which peeked out from beneath pants that in my teenage years we would have called floods. Their pants were baggy, not in a gangster kind of way, but more like they had gone through a growth spurt since the beginning of the year, losing their baby fat and thinning out, as they simultaneously grew taller.

Their cheeks were red and blotchy, not from the cold so much as that constant state of insecurity and embarrassment indicative of young males. One boy and the girl were teasing the other boy, apparently he was moving, and this was his last day at school. They were well spoken, teasing him about needing therapy without his calming presence, dramatically declaring their love for him, how could they live without him. The words were said in jest, and the young man took the good natured ribbing quietly, only the deepening red spots on his cheeks indicated he heard their words.

I listened to this banter for several miles, before the young man pulled the cord signaling his stop. They gave him a final farewell jab of love, and he silently got off the bus. He turned to wave good bye, and I could see the forbidden tears of sorrow begin to fall down his face.

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April 22, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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