Posts Tagged bus

Excerpt 131

The man driving asked where she was going and if she was all right. He wanted to know if he should call someone.  Ala shook her head, placing her phone in one of the cup holders.  The man handed her a cord, which was part of a phone charger that was plugged into his cigarette lighter. She plugged it into her phone and waited for the green light on top to go on, to indicate that it was working.  She then leaned back in the seat and fell asleep.  She dreamt of the fire, making her believe she was still locked in the room and dying from the black smoke.  She saw the man who burned alive, wearing a suit and holding an infant.

When she woke up it was morning, and the man driving the car had not murdered her..  She was tempted to pull down the passenger mirror, but did not want to have a panic attack in front of this stranger.  The blanket made her itch, but she remembered the holes in her underwear and did not want to expose herself by adjusting it. She held up her phone, which was now fully charged.  There were forty three missed calls and twelve voicemails.  She knew that if she started listening to them, she would break down in tears.

She wondered why the man had picked her up if he wasn’t going to try to harass or abuse her.  It would be a long time before she would be able to trust anyone again, and had she not been so exhausted and frightened that she would be captured, she would never have gotten into a stranger’s car. At the time, it seemed the safer of two very dangerous options.

“Why did you stop?” She whispered.

“You looked like you needed help,” the man said, brushing his bangs out of his eyes.  She noticed his upper teeth jutted out and there was a crescent shaped scare under his lower lip.

“How long have I been asleep?” She asked.

“About fours hours,” he said. His voice was steady and he did not seem alarmed at all by her condition.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to drop you off in the nearest town with a bus station, and then finish my delivery.”

“I don’t have any money,” she said.

“I’ll take care of a ticket for you,” he said.  She wanted to insist that wasn’t necessary, but there was no other way to pay for a bus ride. She thought of asking to be taken to a hospital, but felt fine. “What happened to you?” He said timidly.

“I was kidnapped by some men. They locked me in a room and stuck needles in me.”

“Are you serious?” He said, looking over at her.  She suddenly felt ashamed for not having makeup on and nodded. ‘Well, don’t you think you should report them, go to the police?”

“No,” she said. “I just want to go home. I don’t want to cause more trouble.” He was kind enough to pick her up and was willing to help. She wanted him to believe she had a home so that he wouldn’t worry about her once he dropped her off.  She did not want to incriminate him by informing him of what she would eventually do to those men.


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Excerpt 101

The bus ride back was very crowded with someone sneezing or coughing every thirty seconds.  Ala tried to wedge her bag between her head and the window to sleep, but she could not curb her nausea.  She thought about Jase telling his parents that everything had been her fault.  She knew that even though his parents adored her, he was their son, and that eventually they would side with him.  She didn’t want Abigail to die knowing that her son was in pain.  So many complications.

A child kicked the back of her seat.  She fought the urge to spin around, wrap both hands around his neck and shake him back and forth until her turned purple.  She had never had such a violent desire before. Now all of her actions and sensations were heightened.  She was fully awake and cognizant of every situation she was part of.

It was because of Danno of course.  He was the love of her life, if those were real.  He was the person who in some roundabout way, made her be who was really was.  She thought of his hands and the pleasantly rough knuckles he used to run down her back.  Her insides vibrated ever so slightly with the thought of being with him night after night.  It was now impossible to go back to any other arrangement.  She was fortunate that she met him at such a transitional phase in her life.

She crossed her legs tightly and used the rhythmic kicking of her seat as a rocking mechanism.  It felt good.  Of course it was not as powerful as actually being with Danno, but it was a distraction from the heinous discomfort this ride brought on.  She wondered if certain men had more interest in a full sexual experience, rather than only caring about their own pleasure, and if that was why some were less skilled than others.  She had heard disturbing stories from Gertrude about traumatizing sex since they were fifteen years old. So many in fact, that she was surprised Gertrude even bothered anymore.  Now she knew that Gertrude had never been with anyone who cared about her pleasure, only their own.   Her eyes wetted with overwhelming gratitude that Danno pushed his way into her life.

She was able to drift off as the bus rushed over the last bridge. She was relieved that she was home, or at least, on her way to someone she never wanted to be away from.

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Excerpt 100

She didn’t say anything.  He applied pressure to the place between her forearm and biceps, and then let them go.

“I could tell as soon as I saw you.”

Ala couldn’t dispute that she looked different, because she felt very different.  The pain of imagining finding out Jase was with someone else had plagued her for weeks after she moved back in with her parents.  She had been childish, and had hoped that she would find someone before Jase did.  It wasn’t as if he’d be alone forever.  He was a very desirable match for the right girl.

Now, she didn’t care.  She was annoyed that she had wasted any of her time trying to make it work with him, when it clearly never would have. She sat on the sofa and felt her backside sink into the cushion in a familiar way.  The entire apartment still held both of them together as a couple.  All of the decisions and time spent there were smeared from room to room.

“You should think about moving out of here,” she said to his back as he rummaged through the refrigerator for a beer.  He snapped a can open and turned around.


“It might be easier for you to move on.  It might be what you need.”

He smirked at her and nodded while taking a long sip.

“I don’t need your help. You don’t even know what’s good for yourself.”

She stood up and took inventory of where her things were around the living room.

“Then I’ll go.”

“Fine. Go back to where you came from.”

She picked up her bags and awkwardly turned while pulling the doorknob.

She heard a crash coming from the kitchen when the door closed behind her.

As soon as she got outside, she walked briskly to the corner and called Danno. There was no answer.  She tried twice more and then shoved her phone back into her bag.  The bus would be leaving in less than an hour and she wanted to erase Boston from her knowledge entirely.

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Excerpt 95

Ala didn’t remember washing, throwing wrinkled clothes back into her suitcase, or even locking the front door.  She sat on the rubbery blue bus seat and let her head rest of the cold glass window.  She was going to Boston and didn’t want to think about what she would do when she arrived.

Danno was quiet that morning, awakening her with nuzzling and then slipping into the shower.  He asked nothing about where she was going or when she would be back, which to her meant it did not warrant a discussion, which made her feeling desperate to want to talk about it.

She had not told her parents she was leaving town.  Her mother would ask too many questions and would say it looked pathetic that she wander off in a moment’s notice to be with someone she was not seeing anymore.  Her father would have no opinion.

What was most alarming was her carelessness toward the house.  The garbage had not been taken out.  The housekeeper had not come and Ala had not inquired.  That could all be dealt with upon her return.

She decided to have a drink in lieu of breakfast.  The dining cart was open and serving breakfast burritos with egg whites tucked inside, or cereal.  She ordered a Bloody Mary.  It came think and lukewarm, tomato juice and vodka with a dash of pepper.  She tried to drink it as quickly as possible.

A man wearing a leisure suit took the seat next to hers.  She quickly stood and went to find her seat.  After reading two pages of mild erotica from a book Gertrude had leant her, she fell asleep.

The sound of luggage being dragged out from the bottom of the bus awoke her.  She stumbled out onto the sunlit sidewalk and waiting for her bag to be passed from smudgy hand to smudgy hand before finally reaching hers. She did not look to see if Jase was waiting for her and climbed into the first cab she could find.

The restaurants and parks held no reminiscent feelings for Ala.  They pushed into one another as the cab sped past them.  She wrestled with her purse to find her comb and compact.  She was sweating between her legs and down her back, but did not have time to change clothes.  Even though she had not set or confirmed a meeting time with Jase, her instinct was pushing her to arrive as soon as possible.

She threw a balled up twenty-dollar billed toward the front seat and ran around to the trunk to pull her suitcase out.  The ivy on the side of the building had some new growth and the block smelled with damp grass, as it always had.  She opened the heavy glass front door and opened the mailbox that had always had the defective lock to find the extra key Jase kept inside.  She let herself inside and hobbled up the three flights of stairs with her bags.

The door to the apartment was open.  She smelled dust and saw that the floors hadn’t been cleaned in awhile.  No one was there.  He wouldn’t have gone into work if he knew was coming, but she couldn’t remember whether she had said she would come for sure or not.

She took off her clothes and found a dress to step into.  The weariness of the bus ride without fresh air hit her and she crawled into the bed she had spent two years sleeping in.  The sheets felt rougher but otherwise the room looked the same.  They had never put a lot of thought into what the space looked like.  They didn’t entertain because they preferred being at home alone either locked in the bedroom or reading in the sunroom.

She buried her head under his pillow.  The smell of his face was there and it sent cold prickles up her back, but she did not cry.  She closed her eyes and thought of coming home to Danno.

What must have been a few hours later, she heard the door open, but was so relaxed she could not force her body to get up.  The footsteps were steady until they reached what must have been where she put her suitcase, and then they increased rapidly until Jase was in the bedroom and taking off his shoes.

She turned over just as he climbed into bed next to her.  He put his hand up the front of her dress and began pulling down her panties.  Her mind was three steps behind and trying to register.  She turned to face him and he kissed her very hard on the mouth.  His arm wrapped around her and brought her on top of him.  He pulled her dress down and began touching her.  She could feel him beneath her and put both of her hands against his chest.

“Jase.” He didn’t say anything, but unzipped his pants and turned her so he was on top.  She closed her eyes.  She did not want this to stop. She had dreamt of this moment when he would realize that he was wrong and had made a mistake.  She thought of Danno and the immediate cosmic ease she had felt. “Enough,” she said, rolling out from under him.

She stood and put her dress on, then looked down to find him red-faced and crying with one hand covering his face.

“I’m sorry, Ala. I can’t believe I just did that.”

She sat on the bed next to him and took his hand.

“Where is your mother?”

“At the hospital.”

“I think we should go.”

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