Saturday, February 20, 2016

Big Brother

    My mother drove me to school after that first day. I was afraid of the boys who sat in the back of the bus, saying bad words. They didn't say them to me or about me; it wasn't like that.
     I sat near the front, but they were loud. It made me very nervous.
     I tried hard not to let them see how nervous, which made it even worse, on the inside. So, she drove me to school after that, usually picking up "neighbor kids" along the way at their houses.
     I didn't cry on the way to school or even once I got there unless something really bad happened.
     One of my friends cried every year, kindergarten through second grade, for the first few days of school. It was hard to watch; I wanted to cry too, when I listened to him calling for his Mama like that every year.
     The other kids and I learned to wait him out. We knew he would stop after she drove away and then for good by the second week of school.
     He even tried to climb out the window in second grade, but the teacher pulled him back in and let him sit on her lap at her desk for a little while. I don't remember him ever doing it again after that.
     I'm still not sure what it was about those boys on the bus that first day, why they scared me so much. They weren't mean and even if they had been, it was okay.
     They wouldn't dare hurt me; I knew that already because my big brother was sitting in the back with them.