On Second Thought...

Crabbuckit - k-os

I took a trip on a bus that I didn’t know, hoping to see a different side of the city that I’d called home for the previous twelve years. I’d decided that it was past time to get out of my element; to deviate from the same, staid route to and from my downtown office, to and from Jimmy’s One Stop Shop, to and from church. I was tired of passing by the same store fronts day after day, of seeing the same unsmiling faces. At least, that’s what I told myself as I got on the number 8 bus that sunny Sunday morning.

It was far easier than admitting I was tired of my terminally uneventful life.

I glanced at my fellow passengers as I moved to the rear of the bus and a tingle of excitement tap danced up my spine when I didn’t recognize any of them. I settled into the empty back row with a satisfied smile as the driver lurched us into motion, the roar of the diesel engine resonating in my bones like a primal drumbeat. At the end of the block he took us to the left and an uneasy feeling immediately materialized in the pit of my stomach.

My bus always took the right turn at that intersection; I wasn’t expecting to leave behind the known so soon.

Sweat began to collect in my armpits and where my legs pressed against the seat. Swallowing became a difficult task. I could feel my heartbeat accelerating at an unsustainable rate and my breath entered and departed from my lungs in erratic bursts.

Before conscious thought could intervene my left hand had reached for and pulled down the cord to signal for the next stop. It was another two agonizingly long blocks before the driver brought us to a halt and I could escape those constricting confines. Stumbling down onto the sidewalk, I paused to lean against a lamp post as I tried to collect myself.

Several minutes crept by before I forced myself to stand straight and begin taking careful steps back toward the world I knew. I realized that I had made a terrible mistake and swore to never repeat it.

The End

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