Growing up, my siblings and I rarely ever went to the same school. I’m the oldest, and I was in the third grade by the time the three attended the same school. In first grade, I was alone. My brother joined me in second grade. This was my second year at this particular school, so I knew the routine quite well. The bus route didn’t change, so I was to ride the exact same bus that year.
It was a small elementary school. The front lawn was the muster station for the buses. Teachers and staff would line up horizontally across the lawn holding signs with the bus numbers on them. At the end of the day, when we were released, all the bus riders flocked to the front lawn to line up in front of the teacher who was holding the sign for our bus.
On the first day of second grade, I got in line for my bus. I was looking for my brother to make sure he was in my line. But before I found him, my teacher saw me and said, “You’re in the wrong line.” She looked over her list and confirmed her statement. I knew that she was wrong, but I was too shy to contest her. She must have seen the concern on my face because asked me if it was the same bus I rode the previous year, and I nodded my head. She looked over her list again and reiterated that I was in the wrong line. She took me out of the line and put me in whatever line her list said I was supposed to be on. I was a nervous wreck, but I was too afraid to say anything. I kept thinking that if I could find my brother, I could show her that I was in fact in the right line. But, I never saw him.
Minutes went by, and my bus arrived. I watched as the other kids boarded while I stood there watching nervously. When the bus was loaded, the driver closed the door and pulled off. That’s when I found my brother. He was staring at me from his seat on the bus as it left the school.