The first year, recall a round faced me (although I still have a round face) sleeping on the bus for the
entirety of the year. I didn’t talk once, unless it was to the one girl from my old school.
I listened and through my naps, I would here these odd conversations. There was this one guy who was
a conservative, and listening to him getting roasted was the highlight of my day. There was one girl obsessed
with Starbucks, “the Carp kids”, and the “Almonte kids” . Some days, one guy would play the mandolin.
I detested every second on that bus. No friends, loud, and people who talked about literally the same
thing everyday. But, I guess now it makes sense, it was the “get” year. The year to “get” ourselves as everything
around us was changing. How we reacted was us trying to find out where we fit in. That feeling reduced after
the fall. As I began finding myself in friends outside the bus, the bus became better. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t
In the start of the school year, everyone was uber quiet. One day, it thundered. All around us, the
windows flashed blue light, and rain splattered at 100 miles an hour. Then one girl’s window broke. It wouldn’t
close. We all tried to close it, but eventually she was soaked. She then had the brilliant idea to stick her shorts
in the window crack. Laughter roared through the bus, and everyone started talking. It sparked friendships
that have not gone out yet.
The Year of the “Bus” . I fell in love with the idea that the bus was this magical place where everyone
became family, and secrets would rest. I started to fall into place, open up, talk, and find two friends that I
cherish to this day. I also found a handful of awkward experiences that I look back on and cringe.
I also wrote. I wrote a lot of cheesy poetry, and the bus became my story, or I felt it was mine. Most
days it really wasn’t mine. I didn’t talk much .
There was also the “guy” Not my guy, but the “ guy” my friend liked, and everything became about
him. It was awful. That winter, I made the most forced social interactions, of course it didn’t feel forced, but it
felt weird. Somedays I felt like everyone was on my side, and others, I was the seventh wheel, listening to
conversations about violins or weed.
That winter, something happened in my head as well. I won’t talk about it, but it was one of the oddest
times of my life. It was me coming to terms with me, and it was weird. The bus lost its haven status, and
became a stadium of realization. As the spring came, that odd feeling fell too, but sometimes it still follows me.
Upon the start of the 2016 school year, we got kicked off the old bus. It was both awkward, and
enraging as we were forced out of that bus and then forced to go back in since we did not have a ride home.
Anger surged within me, since I had finally felt good on that bus, I had my friends, and I had my “people I talk
to because they are nice”. Everything had worked out beautifully, and I didn’t want any change. But there I
was, waiting an extra twenty minutes after school since the other bus came late everyday. It smelt like smoke,
and to make matters worse, there was no space, and, I could never talk to my only other friend on the bus.
When there was space, the grade 12s at the back would yell at us to double up. It was a lose-lose situation.
It was as if everything had broken up. When we were kicked out, the Almonte kids stopped bussing, some
drove, and I moved on.
I put down the idea of a “perfect” bus, and watched. There was tension, and as spring came, the snow
melted the water drained alongside the tension. And by the spring, I realized I liked this bus, it was soft, and
warm. Although I thought leaving my old bus would destroy my connections, it made me realize I had none.
And I was did okay with that, I didn’t like talking much, and was not magical, it was real, and it was a place
where I felt safe, there was no need to talk to feel safe.
I think towards the end of last year, I realized that I romanticize things . I want everything to be
magical, and my life to be a story. When I stopped myself from thinking in that way, I saw the real stories, I saw
friends, and stories unfold in front of my eyes.