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The Second Bus Trip

Chapter 39: The Second Bus Trip

The sixty bus pulled up at the Steeles stop just in front of York and the doors opened. “Get in,” said the driver.

I stared at the guy but by now I should’ve expected anything. “I don’t have a token,” I told him.

“Get in,” said the driver sounding like a robot.

I just shrugged my shoulders and walked onto the bus. “Thanks,” I said as the bus’s doors quickly shut and the driver began speeding down the road. “May I ask where we’re going?” I had a feeling we weren’t going the regular route.

“Finch Station. Where else?”

“O.K.,” I said a bit confused. I had just noticed that there was no one on the bus and for four o’clock that was odd. But strange things could happen in and out of reality.

“Just sit down,” said the bus driver.

So I did, and it seemed to trigger something because the moment I sat down a song began playing.

Songs never play in the bus, I thought. As far as I was concerned, the bus didn’t even have a radio let alone a C.D. player or a music player of any kind. But then again, it wasn’t exactly that hard to install and you could just bring in speakers and an iPod. But this music definitely was not coming from the bus driver’s little glassed in shelter. The music was coming from the speakers on the bus.

“Who sings this song?” I asked the bus driver. I was sitting in the first solo red seat of the bus.

“Mark Hoppus, but Pete Wenz sings some parts as well. It’s called ‘In Transit’ in case you were going to ask that next.”

Fitting, I thought as it played. It was a creepy tune but a part of me felt like I had heard it before. “What album is it from?”

“Look, kid, are you going to let me drive or just keep asking me questions?”

“Last one, I promise.”

“It’s from Almost Alice. Tim Burton made a soundtrack for his movie Alice in Wonderland and had a bunch of artists make the music for him. Each song on the album was made for the movie and some of the songs even have words from the original book. But this one’s my favourite and it’s why it’s playing. Call me your driver D.J. Now shut up and let me drive.” And that was the next song: “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna. Seriously, it was like this guy had timed himself just when “In Transit” had ended.

This is too weird, I thought. And that’s when the bus did a violent U-turn. So far we had been heading east and now we were heading west. And as I looked out the window, I noticed there were no cars on the road. Had Alice literally cleared the road for me? I guess nothing was impossible for this girl. Yes, I was back to thinking about Alice. I mean, it was only her that could be doing this unless I had been completely misled. I tested this theory.

“I thought we were going to Finch Station,” I told the bus driver.

“We are,” said the bus driver.

“But you just made an illegal U-turn and now are heading west down Steeles rather than east.

“What are you talking about?” asked the bus driver as if he was oblivious to the fact he was now heading west instead of east. And that’s when the next song played: “Dizzy” by Amanda Marshall.

This is fucked up.

So I did what the bus driver had told me to do: I sat down and didn’t talk. But it still made me curious and it wasn’t as if the bus driver had blurred the windows so I couldn’t observe where we actually were driving. We were driving down Norfinch Drive now and I had seen the sign. Wherever we were going, it wasn’t towards Finch Station at all unless my bus driver thought “Norfinch” and “Finch” were the same thing.

“We’re all just flying blind,” Amanda Marshall sang.

More like driving blind, I thought as we continued down Norfinch and turned onto the four-hundred. The highway! Where the hell are we going? And then “Nerve Damage” played by Lifehouse and soon I was paying attention to the bus driver’s fucked up soundtrack.

Then I heard the chorus: “Meltdown’s looking for a new clown. Living in a world that’s make believe. Used up, burned out, always got a hand out. Ain’t nothing here for free. Now you’re hanging on the edge of tomorrow. Let go let it be.”

It was true! This whole trip felt like a dream! It was unbelievable; it was make believe. I was beginning to lose control and I did when “Happiness” by The Fray played. It was embarrassing because the bus driver was not very far away from me and probably could hear me shaking in my seat.

As the song played I could feel the wetness in my eyes. But I didn’t want to cry. I couldn’t cry, but I did and I had never cried so much over “Happiness”. I pictured Alice’s eyes and her smile. Her injured smile that I could tell needed more love than it received. I hoped Joe’s body was rotting in a ditch, because I knew that Joe had broken Alice down but in a different way then the way I was feeling now.

“She’ll be home,” I said out loud as The Fray sang the same words. The bus driver didn’t say anything as the tears poured down my face like a showerhead of raindrops.

God, what’s next? What the fuck is next? Where am I going? I left Rachel! I thought I loved Rachel! I got into a strange man’s bus! This guy probably doesn’t even work for the T.T.C. This is a scam! It has to be! I even forgot my backpack! I left everything at York! And something told me I would never see York again.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman was next.

I need to get off this bus.

Traffic was backed up so there was a way of escaping this bus, but it would be hard to escape out the double doors unless I broke them. Confused and a bit curious, I let the bus drive me to its destination without any interference from me.

We were crawling and these songs were driving me crazy. I yawned and recognized that I was quite tired from Alice’s artistic journey (stress was also a high factor) and so I decided to sleep while the songs played in my ears. When “Lullaby” by Shawn Mullins played, it helped me get to sleep. How’s that for psychology?

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