The Kid Who Sat Next To Me

This is the writing prompt of the day. I’ve decided writing prompts are simply excuses to tell a story.

There was this girl. Christina. Quiet. Shy. Socially awkward. Not beautiful. Ignored by most.

In other words a lot like me back then. Well actually, she was me, doubled,  tripled, quadrupled.

By the time her stop came around the school bus was mostly full. But because I was similar to her, no one sat with me. And my stop was one of the first ones so I could get a prime seat. I spent the time watching the scenery and day dreaming. Far, far away in my story world.

Somehow Christina started sitting with me. At first we didn’t speak. But then one day, with me being so alive in my stories and so not present in real life, noticed a dog.

I said something about an adventure the dog was heading off on. I don’t remember the details. Christina actually spoke.

She said something about the dog adventure, too.

And here, hidden in this equally quiet and awkward person, was a reader, a writer, a vivid imagination.

From then on the bus ride was too short. One of us would spy something and point it out, and off we would go creating a whole story between us about whatever fired our imagination. A tree leaning just so. A stranger riding a horse. A car parked in a field.

I have no idea if kids around us heard. When I sat alone on the bus, a boy regularly spit in my hair. Another told people I was from the Land of the Weird. Thinking back on those bus rides, I probably did appear to be very weird.

But when Christina and I were lost in the make believe world, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if those kids were even on the bus. We certainly didn’t get picked on.

Oddly, Christina and I didn’t interact in school. She had a small group of friends and so did I. But on the bus? A different story. Every day.

What happened to Christina? I have no idea. I think she moved away in later years. I can’t even remember her last name now, to try looking her up. I do know that when school reunions have come along her name has never appeared. Of course I don’t go to those either.

But I know that somewhere, she is out there dreaming stories.