BOY AT THE DEPOT

11:00 in the morning, my wheelchair is securely locked in the mechanism. I’m semi nervous and excited, watching out the window as the bus pulls away from the depot. Out the corner of my eye, I notice one seat up and over, a young boy is looking back at me. I give him a quick smile before he turns to his mother. She looks back to me then nudges his shoulder. A scolding expression on her face and speaking quietly to him him. I don’t hear what is said but I’m sure I can imagine her words. Parents, how they stifle a child’s curiosity.

2:45 in the afternoon, the lift is shaky as I ride it down off the bus. I’m glad to have all four wheels on the ground.

I have a couple of minutes before I have to board the next bus. Just enough time for a quick bathroom break. I’m passing the young boy again. We make eye contact. His mother is busy scrounging through her purse. Oops, I bet she lost her tickets. I pop a wheely as I ride pass the boy and a bright smile lights up his young face as he watches. I turn back around, looking at him and smile. Catching a glimpse of me, his mother grabs his hand and pulls him along toward a customer desk. My eyes are still on the little boy as he looks back to me once more. I quickly give him a thumbs up, then ride off toward the rest room, wheeling on my back tires.

3:00, I’d just exited the bathroom. Time to board. The bus will be leaving in 10 minutes bound for Philadelphia. I see the boy and his mother once more as I wheel myself toward the bus’s lift.

Catching the mother’s eye, I remark, “He’s a bright young boy. He’s very inquisitive, nurture him well.”

She manages a curt smile and hurriedly walks toward her destination and I can’t help to watch them as the lift raises me up to enter the bus. I can’t help but wonder about the man he’ll grow up to be.

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