Going to Orlando…in Style?
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Alas, I could not go to sleep. For one thing, I was in an uncomfortable position to sleep. My pillow was up against the little gray railing, where the air was coming out of, and I had to lean to put my head on the pillow. My neck was hurting bad. In addition to the uncomfortableness of my situation, there was that ever-present heat that seems to stay despite the futile efforts of the air conditioner.
Every time I tried to go to sleep, the driver would flick on the lights, which would cause me to wake up, and let’s not forget the sounds that my fellow teens were making. Somehow though I manage to go to sleep; for like an hour. I woke up, sweating all over. I looked up and saw the windows were fogged up. I tried to wipe the sweat off my face but found it futile since my arms were covered in the same substance.
“I don’t think the air is even on anymore.” said Ms. Jackson.
Ms. Jackson is the mother of Cheryl Jackson, a very good friend of mine. At least I hope she still thinks the same way about me. One thing I hate about myself is that I always seem to distance myself from the people that I am close to. When I do, I end up not talking to them for a year or two, or in some cases, longer than that. Yeah, I’m weird like that.
Okay, back to the subject. I was getting frustrated. This heat was ridiculous. I wondered if they even checked the bus to see if it was okay to be driven. Well, I don’t know, at least the bus wasn’t breaking down.
“Can these windows be open?” asked Ms. Jackson
“I don’t know. I never tried to open them before. You know what, we’ll stop at a store and find out.” said the driver.
Ms. Jackson nodded and sat back in her seat. Maybe the drive to Orlando won’t be bad after all. With this in mind I tried to go back to sleep. Then I stopped trying. Honestly, I don’t why I kept trying to go to sleep. Sighing in defeat, I sat up and stared blindly out the window.
Light pole after light pole passed my impaired sighted eyes. I would put my contacts back on but I haven’t washed my hands, which I know is dirty from trying to eat the melted chocolate. Moreover, I couldn’t run the risk that I might just fall asleep with my contacts on. I do not want to repeat that mistake again.
The guy in front of me, Lance Simmons, was talking on his cell phone. I used to know Lance but unfortunately, he was one of those people that I distanced myself from, which happened in the third grade. He grew fat and strangely feminine from then. Soon the theory about him being gay spread through out the school. James supported this theory by saying that in one of his classes he gave him a rather promiscuous note. Then again, James is known to be a liar so his claim could be false.
I felt the bus turn and realized that we were heading into an exit. Finally, we’re going to stop. It wasn’t long before the bus stopped at a closed store. The driver got out and so did the rest of us. Well, we tried to get out.
Ms. Cane stood up at the front of the bus. “People, do not get out.”
Most of us responded to that order with groans and little shouts of protest. Ms. Cane waved her hands in an attempt to calm us down. “Guys, don’t worry. The driver is going to see what’s wrong with the air conditioner and see if he can open the windows. We’ll be back on the road in no time.”
The noises changed from shouting to talking. With nothing to do, I turned to my left and saw Mercedes Locke on the other side of the bus. Mercedes is this silly girl I met in sixth grade. She’s interested in anime, manga, drawing, and the internet. She was so interested in anime that her parents thought it was a harmful addiction and forbid her to watch anymore anime. However, that didn’t stop her from reading manga, which is just like anime but only in a book instead of television.
“Hey Mercedes,” I greeted.
She looked at me. “Hey Marcus.”
“Enjoying this trip so far?” I said with a little bit of humor.
She scoffed. “Oh yeah, having a real blast. I should have stayed home. Why did I let you talk me into this Rachel?”
Rachel popped her head out from behind Mercedes. “Hey don’t get mad at me. I didn’t know the bus’s air conditioning was going to be like this.”
Rachel Pratt is a beautiful Philippine girl that was in my chemistry class back at school. She is friendly. Every time she sees me, she always starts to speak to me. Sometimes it’s hard to understand her because she talks too fast and has an accent. This situation was no different.
“Hi Marcus,” said Rachel in the aforementioned accent when she noticed me. “I didn’t see you there.”
“Hi Rachel, I forgot you were coming.” I said.
“Hey, did I just suddenly turn invisible all of a sudden?” said Joni.
Joni Maywhether is another person I know. I knew her through Jonathan Maywhether, her brother. She’s quirky herself. Like Mercedes, she’s interested in anime and manga, drawing, and the internet. She’s also a great designer and plans on going to SCAD during the fall. Oh yeah, she also graduated from high school.
“Yeah, you are.” I said with a laugh.
“If I am, then how can you see me?” said Joni.
“Joni, I really didn’t mean that.” I said.
The driver came back on the bus. Ms. Cane walked up to him and started talking. The only people that could hear them were the people that were up in front, where I was fortunately. I listened to the conversation tentatively.
“So?” egged Ms. Cane.
“The windows can’t be opened. I was afraid of this. The windows are there as an emergency exit so if you open them, they will fall off.” said the driver.
Upon hearing this, I sighed exasperatedly. From the expressions on the others’ faces, they were feeling the same way I was feeling. Damn it, can this trip get any worse? By saying that, I might have jinxed this whole trip.
Hold up, the driver just said something about the air being heat instead of, well ‘air’. If he’s saying what I think he’s saying then maybe, this trip will lighten up a bit. Yeah, this heat is really getting to me that bad. He closes the door and we began to move again. I felt around the little gray railing and noticed the air was colder than before. Hope stirred within me.
Then it got shot straight to hell. The air wasn’t blowing as evenly as I had hoped it would. It was blowing more air in the front than it was in the back, meaning that the people that were in the back were receiving no air from the vents. How unfortunate for them, but in this situation I didn’t care much about their ventilation problems.
Although I was in the front, I wasn’t in the very front. Therefore, I was receiving air but not a whole lot so I was still relatively warm. I must be boring you with my problem, so I’ll just skip ahead a few traumatic episodes. An hour later, we stopped at a store in a town unknown to me. This time the store was open.
I didn’t know what we were doing here. Fortunately, Ms. Cane stood up in front of everyone to clarify what in the hell we were doing here.
“Alright everyone, you all got twenty-five minutes. Get in and get what you want. Don’t feel rushed, take your time. Also if you need to use the bathroom then use it while we’re here, cause we’re not stopping at any more stores until we get to Orlando.” said Ms. Cane.
Almost immediately, everyone, including me, got off the bus and headed to the store. When I stepped into the store, I almost fell. The relief was that intense. Finally, I was in a place with high quality air conditioning.
Since I didn’t have my contacts on, I felt weird. I guess I never went outside without my contacts before. My legs felt like jelly and I had to close my eyes partly to see where I was going. I managed to find the drinks. Looking, I got a bottle of orange juice and made my way to the cash register.
“Hey Marcus,” said someone.
I whipped around and saw Jamie looking and smiling at me, almost flirtatiously. I sighed and rolled my eyes. “You do realize that I don’t want you.”
“Oh boy, I know that. I was just playing with you.” said Jamie.
“I don’t know about that.” I said.
“Oh stop it,” said Jamie while hitting me lightly on the shoulder. “You’re having fun yet on this trip?”
“What do you think?” I said while smiling.
“You aren’t having any fun either, huh?” said Jamie.
“Nope, can‘t imagine everyone else having fun.” I said.
“I’m saying. Hey, do you have your contacts on?” said Jamie.
“No.” I said.
“Damn, I was wondering if you could read something for me. It had too many big words on it and plus I’m blind as a bat with out my contacts.” said Jamie.
“Sorry, same here.” I said as I walked off to the cash register.
In case you didn’t notice this about me yet, I don’t tend to make long conversations with people. I’m more of a quiet person to tell you the truth. It’s not the fact that I’m shy or nervous about anything, it’s just that I don’t tend to have anything or much to say to people. Some of my friends and family think that is just plain weird but screw them, right?
I paid for my orange juice and made my way to the bathroom. There was one little problem though. There was a line to the bathroom. God I felt very uncomfortable at that moment. Fortunately, the line diminished quickly. After I relieved myself, I went back to the bus.
On the bus, I saw everyone looking out the window on the left side of the bus. So, naturally I went over there and seen what the commotion was about. My eyes met a disturbing sight. A crackhead was outside in the distance doing something. He faced the wall of a building, unzipped his pants and…
“Oh my gosh!” I said.
For the sanity of everyone, I will not describe what I saw. Skipping ahead a little, we pulled out of the store and continued our way to Orlando. Amazingly enough, I fell asleep, and it was for more than an hour; an hour and thirty minutes, but nonetheless I slept for more than an hour.