Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Bus of Change

By Sydney Griffith, age 13, Georgia


My ticket can take me anywhere—in CherryTown, New Jersey, that is. Today I have no mission or end destination. Most days I sit and observe. People observe me, the same. I break free from their collection of empty souls because all they see from me is a low-life man, continuously seeing them as much more, but they don’t see themselves for anything. Until now, I saw her as less than others, less than me.

I feel bubbles inching up my legs and my arms. I want to see this woman for who she is, but I don’t see past the loose face, koala eyes, and shrunken posture. Awakening me from my bliss, she blinks dazedly. I feel resentment because she always gets the right of way and all the help she doesn’t need. Not feeling sorry but jealous, this changes me. I offer her the fourth seat, away from the window. I do this just to observe her longer.

She sits; groceries lay center stage of the gritty, dirt-plastered metal floor. The time is 8:28. Riding like this from stop 8 until stop number 17. Silent, even with the rising noise from the closest access route, our eyes never speak to each other. As stop 17 approaches, the time is now 9:37. She begins to hunch over, for the past has taken its toll on her, and willingly make her way to the exit.

Turning towards the back of the bus, wondering why I have given her compassion, knowing how her 21st set of chromosomes is different than mine. I stare out of the fungus-fogged window to watch her take weak strides. Slowly, I turn to the seat that she was sitting in before. I see her small bags of groceries. Turning back towards the window and seeing her toddle along, I run—all the way off of the bus and towards the fountain where she stands admiring the crystal water. From the rush of the city, I see her with found tranquility and peace in the calm waters. With her groceries in my hand and my heart on my chest, I give her the groceries. This time I don’t look over her koala eyes or her loose face, but see her for who she is. I see a person—a genuine, real human being. Her humanity is in her eyes and in her face, not in the differences between us. I sit close to her. It takes me a while before I finally turn to her and ask her if she would like to go grab lunch with me. Then we walk side by side, similar in every way, because we are just human and different genes cannot change the way that we learn to feel about each other.