Throughout my whole life, I never let anyone make me feel bad about myself. When I see someone bullying someone else or making them feel lesser of themselves I speak up for them. It was 3:30 PM in 2012, the final day’s announcements came on. Bus 17 was dismissed. All the bus 17 kids ran to the coat rack in the back of the tan colored classroom to gather their belongings. We ran out to the bus. The blacktop was hot and kids were running, we loaded on to the bus to be brought home. The bus was a white, hot area. Like a warm sauna on a summer day. Bad smells and noise filled the bus like a hockey arena. There was a new bus driver that day, and older woman. She had white hair, with the tint of gray in it. Her face looked younger than her hair, but with the sun glaring on her face you could see her real skin tone. She seemed a quiet woman. Someone of very few words. Her expression deep and angry. My best friend Temp came on, he was tall, slender and his face looked like a five year old. He had dirty blonde hair with glasses that didn’t fit him. He always made me happy. He reminded me of the good days that were coming, no school. All friends and Popsicle. He sat down next to me in the wrinkled gray seats. We talked about the play-date plans for after school. I looked around for my other friend Clyde who is always on the bus. He was not here today, I assumed he was a walker. The bus ahead of us drove away, and five minutes has passed, it was time to leave. The bus driver closed the door, and dumped the bus into the drive gear. As we started to roll, she suddenly stopped and the hydraulic doors opened. Clyde jumped up in the bus. His face filled with anxiety. The beads of sweat building up on his forehead. He had brown and blonde hair. His face was red, and his small built body melted into an open seat. Clyde was a nice kid. He was quiet and did not have many friends. He was in first grade so he sat in the front, and us third graders sat in the middle. Clyde looked anxious, and he had a paper towel wrapped around his water bottle. The paper towel looked soaked, and the leftover water was leaking onto his clean jeans. We drive past the doors of the school, and the bus driver started screaming at him.
“You are late!”.
She paused and glared at him more intensely “Why are you late, you’re going to make me late!”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean it.” Clydes face filled with sorrow.
“In all hell you had to be late, get more on it dummy!”
The bus driver's face turned to an expression I have never seen before. A smirking angry face. What a terrible woman she was. Clyde instantly burst into tears saying he was sorry and he didn’t mean to do it because his water bottle leaked. I thought to myself how bad he must feel. Clyde was not a bad kid. Never got into trouble. The bus was loud. Clyde was crying. Some kids were throwing items. I tried to deal with all of the noise and then, the driver continued to yell and scream at him, sometimes swearing, all because he was late. I felt terrible for Clyde, so I got up and went to the bus driver and I told her,
“He didn’t do anything wrong and it was not his fault, that she was overreacting.”
She yelled at me and I didn’t give up. I knew I could get in more trouble, but I did not care because nobody deserved to be treated in that manner. Finally she stopped yelling at Clyde. She pulled over three to four times to yell at kids. When I got home. My mom reported her to the bus department because she swore at my friend and was saying terrible things about a first grader. Ever since that day, I always stood up for me and others, no matter the consequence.
Tribute to buses and on Clyde's feelings RIP