Sunday, June 21, 2009

BUS STORY # 138 (Apology)

A dad and his little girl board the bus and take the aisle-facing seats in front. They share a three-seater with an old guy. He’s been nodding on and off the whole ride.

Dad’s wearing a white Dallas Cowboys jersey and a faded blue baseball cap with the bill curved. His daughter is wearing a purplish-gray sweatshirt and pinkish-gray sweatpants. The old guy is wearing a red jacket and blue jeans.

Dad directs his daughter to the middle seat. They’ve just settled in when the daughter begins rubbing her hands up and down the old guy’s jacket sleeve. He looks over at her. She’s looking up at him with a big smile. He grins back. Dad sees the whole thing and quickly jumps in.

“What are you doing? Keep your hands to yourself. Apologize to the man.”

The little girl, still smiling, pulls hers hands back and says, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok,” the old guy tells her. And then he adds, “Thank you.”

Dad says, “I don’t know where that came from.” He shakes his head. “Just curious, I guess. She’s three years old.”

“It’s a good age,” replies the old guy.

“She’s got a one-year-old brother at home. They’re a handful.” He shakes his head again.

The old guy laughs and says something I can’t make out.

They ride in silence until they reach the old guy’s stop. He sits forward on his seat as if to stand, then turns toward dad and daughter.

“You two have a good weekend.” And then looking at the dad, he adds, “I know they’re a handful, but don’t forget to enjoy them.”

Dad says, “I do – every single minute.”

The old guy gets up and moves toward the door.

“Tell the man goodbye,” says dad.

“Goodbye,” she says to him, and waves.

He turns and waves back. “Goodbye.”

And he’s out the door.

The photo above features last year’s Poetry On The Bus first place winner in the youth category. The poem is Lavender Blue, by Sophie Kelly. Click on the photo to enlarge.


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