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A School Bus Driver

A short-short story

Even when the kids weren’t yelling or fighting, the accretive effect of 30 kids, 30 minutes each way, five days a week, 177 days a year, for seven years now, is wearing. A clear sign was when Devon wondered, “Would the world be better or worse if I drove the bus off the cliff?”

One day, when the bus arrived at school, a slight boy, Jeremy said to Devon, “You always look sad, even mad.”

Devon’s first reaction was embarrassment but then was impressed with Jeremy’s other-directedness. Most kids, indeed most adults, care only about themselves or just temporarily for someone they want to befriend.

Devon didn’t want to reveal his dark thoughts about bus driving yet wanted to be somewhat revealing, so he said, “I’d always hoped I could be a limo driver, getting to meet famous people or just seeing couples going to the prom. I also wanted to have kids but the right situation never came up. So you guys are my kids, even though the noise does frustrate me.”

Jeremy then revealed something about himself: He explained that he was a loner, uncomfortable with and, even at a young age, cynical about kids’ motives, so he became bookish, an acceptable way to not be social.

For fear of starting too much of a relationship with a kid, Devon thanked Jeremy and decided that he would try to have good conversations with other kids.

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