March 8, 2009

Bus Connection

Taking the greyhound from down south to up north is not a trip I’d like to repeat any time soon. It takes at least 24 hours. 24 hours stuck in a bus full of strangers with varying backgrounds and varying degrees of smell. Anytime I had to take Greyhound, I always tried to arrive early and get to the front of the line so that I could sit up front closer to the driver, as far away from the back of the bus that housed the toilet. I just didn’t want to sit next to the toilet. I also tried to get a seat to myself by placing my backpack in the space next to me and putting on my headphones. Between the south and the north, there were sooooooo many stops, the drive soooooo long that I started to get numb. I don’t remember the exact day but I remember this trip. It happened after my first year in college. I met a girl. A blonde-haired chic, slim and of average height. I believe she may have had some colored streaks in her hair.

I just so happened to be sitting close to the back on this particular bus and she was either in front of me or next to me on the adjacent row. She was young just like me and maybe that’s where the first connection came. I think she was sitting next to a guy that she was a bit too friendly with, which caused me to wonder, but then my memory is not perfect. I just remember us connecting. Hers was an interesting tale. I wonder now if it was true. It rang true and she had no reason to lie. She was on her way to see her father or mother… one of them. She had lived for so long with one parent, never really having any contact with the other and now after soooooooooo many years, she’d gotten a ticket to go visit. I think it was her father. She seemed pretty happy about it. My thought was that all wasn’t well with wherever she had come from. I felt she was running away from a problem... Maybe she came from a dysfunctional family... who doesnt?

With such a long trip, greyhound makes food stops. At one of these stops we got off, bought some food and just kept talking. I don’t know what either of us talked about but we talked and we just sort of connected. I cant explain it. Maybe two lonely souls sorta recognized each other. I’m not sure what it was. I come from a big family but I’ve always felt like I really don’t. I don’t feel close to a lot of the family members no matter my efforts and no one seems to care or bother. That’s just the way the dice rolls I guess.

Her stop was before mine. The strangest thing happened. We looked at each other like we didn’t want to part and I teared up. We gave each other a hug. A real hug. The one where you can feel the weight of the persons arms as they squeeze you tight. We said our goodbyes. I wish there was some way for us to have kept in touch. As the bus pulled away she stood on the side and I looked out the window... and we both waved to each other. I wonder where she is now. I wonder if she ended up staying with the parent she went to go visit. I wonder how her life is. I wonder if she even remembers that day on the bus. I don’t know why I remember it but I do. And as I remember, I smile. Sometimes you've just got to wonder about the things you remember... about the different connections you make each day and how each connection can alter the events of your life. Did our less than 24hour friendship mean anything? Did it change us or have any impact in our lives? Maybe... Maybe the hug was all that was needed at the time. I dont know... or maybe there was no change... or impact... hard to say... I doubt we’d recognize each other in passing today and certainly my days of travelling long distance by Greyhound is over... Thank you Jesus!

But as I remember her today, I hope she’s living and that she's happy and I pray that God’s favor, blessing and mercy be manifested in her life.

5 comments:

Good Naija Girl said...

What a lovely story! It is amazing how we humans can connect with one another so easily, how you don't have to come from the same background or situation to still relate to someone.

I say 'Amen' to your prayers, hope she is well too, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she has thought of you over the years too.

Kafo said...

God works in mysterious ways, he sends people to us to minister to and to minister to us,

during undergrad i took so many trips on grey hound that my stories

yeah....

lets just say i have stories
and i'll blessed none included a beheading

have a blessed week

ruthie said...

That was a beautiful story. It is funny that such a short interaction can impact a person. I too hope your paths will cross again. With God, stranger things have happened.

Oh and you figured out the embed songs thing...oops Sorry... :)

temmy tayo said...

I love this.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Its been too long.. how have u been dearest!!