Short Story #1

Next Stop 66th Street 25 Aug 2014

There is not enough room on this bus. Again I am sitting next to someone who never misses a meal but seems to have missed his last shower. Great that lady just got up I’ll take her seat. I just have to squeeze by….

“Excuse me” said the tonnage with smell.
“Sorry, just moving to”
Man that guy is going to take my seat while I am trying to get past this load. And I lost it. “Sorry again.” I guess I am stuck here until my stop or this guys. Anyway, I have to have my story on point when I see Mary. No way she buys my car broke down. She never believed me when we were together and now its worse.
That’s cool, that’s cool. I need to keep my eye on the prize. Its all about Henry. Gonna spend some time with my boy. Too bad we have to ride the bus instead of using the car. It was a pain in the ass getting that car seat to but it will work next time. None of that will matter with Mary so I just got to keep it lively.
Hell yeah, there goes Smitty’s place. Man we had some times there. Mary could kick it back in the day. Still not sure why she flipped like that. Look at those fools getting on, no ones worn those kicks since way back. Where we at 43rd?
“43rd Street Stop” the driver announced without looking up, back, or ahead. Just kind of nowhere like he did it a 1000 times.
I think one of those kid places that make those toys with their food. That will be cool for Henry. Mary hates that place. “there is no food its all garbage” thats what she will say. Too bad, its my cash my call. Henry needs to see a man make his own decisions. Needs to learn.
Damn look at that! Girl. If I had more time. Gotta remember this hood when the ride is on so I can visit. What? Hell no, this guy isn’t snoring. Man if that… Let push this big beefcake back to his side.
“What?” came the startled reply from the half awake man sitting next to Curtis.
“Nutten man.” Curtis mumbled towards the man sitting next to him.
Dude better be getting off soon cause this aint working. Ok so I tell Mary I’m working for the city now. Lots of dudes start out in the subway. City job, city bennies. Gotta keep it going she’ll get it. Mary is real smart that way. Always looking at the next thing. Could have been good if she hadn’t made everything such a big deal. I told her, I didn’t even know that girl. Doesn’t matter would have happened at some point.
“49th Street” came from the driver.
“That’s me” strained the man to Curtis’s left as he fought to get to his feet. As he got up Curtis grimaced trying to figure out why people have to announce out loud what they do when no one around cares? Quickly Curtis moved to his left almost running his head into the departing mans ample ass.
Nice, more room. Curtis tried to look hard in an attempt to prevent any of the people coming on the bus from sitting next to him.
As he moved slowly towards the back of the bus Rick Jennings thought about taking the seat next to Curtis but when he saw Curtis’s face it looked like he was confused and would end up talking to Rick the whole ride. Rick really just wanted to read during the 30 minutes he rode the bus home at night so he slide right past.
That’s right Curtis thought when Rick went by him. It was an old bus and had those hanging loops people used when they had to stand. And stand is just what the couple that stopped next to him did. As the bus lurched forward the couple settled into their standing postion. His ass was right at Curtis’s head while his girl stood inside his legs with her arms wrapped around the dude almost resting on top of Curtis’s head. It was way too close for Curtis but he wasn’t going to move back against the window after having just fought for the outside seat.
What’s it 6 yet? Curtis thought as he pulled his phone out. The quickly thumbed away the screen shot of his Pit “Casey” which produced the time. 5:59. He knew Mary would be pissed that he was going to be late but it wasn’t his fault these damn buses always run behind. Could’t be more than 15 minutes left on this trip anyway.
The couple who was basically on top of Curtis were messing around big time, kissing and what not. Curtis thought no one likes to see that shit. Unless its you. That almost made him laugh out loud.
Alright, make sure I got this. Tell her about the car and the job and show her that I came all the way out here on the bus. That should end that shit she keeps talking about how I don’t try to see and Henry. My father never rode no bus just to eat with me. She’ll see, then tell her maybe how I am going to move out of Ralph’s place and get my own. That way Henry can stay with me some nights. It’s good I got that game where the monkey tries to smash those flying fruits and shit. Its a good game kids like it. Henry will like that.
“54th Street, Marshall annex” the driver shared.
Only 1 stop left before 66th. Curtis thought. Going fast. At thought moment someone pushed between the groping couple and the metal support of the seat in front and dashed into the seat next to Curtis.
When he turned to make sure his displeasure was known Curtis say that a priest had taken the window seat. Snap. Curtis thought as he pulled his chin up slightly and mouthed “whats up” to the religious figure next to him. Eye contact from Curtis never happened as he looked forward at nothing in particular.
“Its a nice night, isn’t it” the priest questioned.
“Yeah” Curtis said.
“Going home? the priest asked?
“No” Curtis replied as he nervously started to rub the cross that hung on the inside of his shirt beneath his hoodie. “Going to see my boy”. Curtis didn’t like to talk with strangers and didn’t want anything to do with some damn priest. Always trying to make you feel like your doing something wrong. Curtis thought.
“Thats nice” the priest said as he started working though the papers he was carrying.
A couple of minutes passed in silence and Curtis started to wonder why the priest wasn’t talking to him more. Isn’t that what they do? Their suppose to help people and shit. This one wasn’t helping Curtis at all.
Curtis could see the Pharmacy that sat next to Mary’s apartment. It was almost time to get off the bus. Curtis didn’t want this priest saying good by to him after not giving a shit the whole ride so he got up early and pushed through the couple.
“Hey dude what gives”? The man said as he pulled his girl away from Curtis.
“Asshole” the girl called Curtis as he walked towards the front of the bus.
Curtis could see Mary walking with Henry away from their building as the bus let free the hydraulic pressure that opens the bus door. Curtis jumped off and started to run towards Mary and Henry.
“Hey, where you going” Curtis called out while he jogged after them. “Stop Mary why you tripping”?
Mary spun around fast enough that it forced Curtis to hop to a stop to avoid running into her. “Late”. Was all she said.
“No the bus hit all the lights”. Curtis shared.
“Always something.” Mary scolded Curtis. At that moment Curtis looked over at Henry who’s eyes were big as stars. Henry was silent as he held his mothers hand. Curtis didnt’ know how old a kid had to be to understand what ashamed was but he was sure Henry was old enough.
“You took the bus because you didn’t get a car seat right” Mary demanded at Curtis.
At that very moment Curtis knew.

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