Did any of you find any extra days lying around? I'm pretty sure I lost a few and thought they might have blown away. I mean, how can it be Friday again so soon?
It's been a good week. A productive one, but a fast one. I have written 6k words so far this week. And yes, they were mostly on one book. Sorry, but "Finding Joy" is writing itself and leaving TCR-6 behind. Maybe next week I can work on TCR-6. Of course there will be at least two days when I won't be writing. I'm working as an election judge again on Tuesday, so no writing then. And I don't write well the evening before since I try to go to bed a little early since I have to be up by 4:30. But we'll see what I can get done. As you may have noticed on the home page of Read Another Page, "Finding Joy" is now past the half-way mark! We're on the home stretch! (Or something like that. ;) )
I hope you are enjoying this story about Vicki. I told you it was long! I guess traveling with Vicki might take a while. ;)
By Bus with Vicki
The hum of the engine, the gentle swaying of the bus, and the warmth of the heater all combined to make her drowsy and before she had thought of a dozen names, her eyes were closed and she slept.
Looking back at her, the driver relaxed when he saw she was asleep. “I wonder if she’s the kind of kid who gets upset when things don’t go right,” he mused. “Of course she didn’t seem upset when she got to the bus, but you never can tell.”
The sun was well up when Vicki awoke. The excitement of the previous day, as well as being up in the night, had made her sleepy. For a moment she lay curled up on the seat, blinking. She was traveling, she knew that much, for when she opened her eyes she could see right out onto the road. But she was up awfully high, and in their van at home she couldn’t sleep lying down. “The bus!”
Her excited exclamation startled the driver, and he looked in his mirror as she sat up. “Good morning,” he greeted her.
“Good morning! Oh, isn’t this just so exciting?”
Venturing another glance in the mirror to make sure the girl was talking to him, the driver said, “What is?”
“That I’m traveling by bus to California! And I’ve already had so many adventures. If nothing else happens along the way, I’ll still have plenty of things to tell my sister when I get there. Did you get to hear about our trip yesterday?”
When the driver shook his head, Vicki launched into an account of the blown tire, the walk to town, stopping for the fire to move away, and finally about her getting on the wrong bus. “Of course that wasn’t on purpose,” she explained. “I was just so sleepy and I saw another passenger who had traveled with me all day getting on the bus, and I thought it was the right one. I’ll make sure I get on the right bus if I have to change busses again. Do I?”
“Yep. Just once though.” The driver didn’t add that he personally was going to make sure she got on the right bus.
Vicki continued her excited thoughts. “I’ve never been in the mountains before. I wanted to watch as they got closer, but because of all the delays yesterday, I only got to see them in the distance before I fell asleep. I didn’t think I would be able to sleep at all on the bus. Before I left home I told Susie and Chrissy, they’re my sisters, that if I didn’t get to sleep on the bus, I’d be awfully tired when I got to Amber’s. So, I’m glad I can sleep on one. Oh, aren’t these mountains pretty? Do we have a long way to go before we get breakfast?”
“Not too much farther.”
Scooting to the aisle side of her seat, Vicki looked back towards the end of the bus, noticing that this one was fuller than the first one had been. “Why, almost every seat is taken,” she remarked to no one in particular. “I wonder where they’re all going? There are several who look interesting.” After watching the other passengers for a few minutes, Vicki turned her attention back to the windows and the front of the bus. There were a few cars passing them on the highway, and Vicki chuckled at how far above them she was.
When the stop came for breakfast, Vicki was allowed to join the rest of the passengers but was firmly instructed that when she returned, she was to sit in the front seat. “I don’t mind if you sit somewhere else after we have gotten on the road again,” the driver told her. “But I want to make sure you are on the bus before we leave.”
To this Vicki agreed quickly. She didn’t want to get left behind or get on the wrong bus again. Once was enough for her. As she followed the crowd into the station to the restaurant, she saw a girl about her size. The girl had long dark hair and darker skin. There was something in her manner that made Vicki think she was shy. Hurrying up to her as the girl stood hesitating in the doorway, Vicki said, “Hi!”
The girl turned. A slight smile lurked in her dark eyes. “Hi.”
“Are you traveling on the bus?”
The girl nodded.
“So am I! Are you alone?” When the girl nodded again, Vicki grabbed her hand and pulled her to a small table near a window. “Come on, let’s sit together. I’m traveling alone too. Is this your first time to travel by bus?”
Shaking her head, the girl whispered, “Second.”
“Oh, this is my first and I’ve already had many adventures, including getting on the wrong bus.” She giggled. “My name is Vicki Rogers. What’s yours?”
“Rose Peterson. I’m eleven.”
“I just turned twelve, that’s why my parents agreed to let me travel all the way to San Jose, California to visit my sister, Amber. She’s married. Where are you going?”
“Back home. I visited my grandmother.”
During their talk, plates with hot breakfasts had been set before them. “I always thank God for my food,” Vicki remarked.
“Me too,” Rose whispered.
Together the girls bowed their heads and Vicki whispered a prayer of thanks for their food. When they lifted their heads, they exchanged full smiles. Somehow that little act had united them.
When the call came to board the bus again, Vicki explained to Rose that she had to sit in the front at first, so the driver would know she was there. “I don’t want to get left behind. But once we start going I can come back and sit with you. If you have an empty seat beside you.”
Rose nodded but said not a word.
Have you ever found a new friend while traveling?
Do you like traveling in the mountains?
Will you be back next week?