Sunday, February 24, 2008

Second chance

As her short 2nd grade legs climbed up the steep metal school bus steps, she tripped on her untied shoelace and stumbled into the bus driver. He had a kind face. He helped her up with an "ooops, are you okay sweetheart"? She felt so embarrassed, it was the first day of school, 1966. She was dressed in a new favorite outfit. It was a dress her big sister helped her choose. As she looked down and smoothed her white polka dotted mini dress, she noticed the strap on her pocket book was broken. Her face must have turned scarlet red, because Bob, the bus driver said again with more concern "are you okay?" Tears welled up in her eyes, Her sister was going to kill her. She shouldn't have borrowed the pocketbook without asking. The bus driver noticed the strap, and said "Oh, don't worry honey when you get home, your daddy can fix that for you." She tried to acknowledge his kindness but feeling very upset, lucy just moved towards her friend Anna's seat and sat down next to her. Anna, who had heard what the bus driver said told lucy "Lucy, go tell him you don't have a dad". 'No Anna! It doesn't matter, why should I say that?' "BEcause", Anna said" He thinks you have a dad to fix Diane's pocketbook." Lucy adamantly refused to offer, what she saw as irrelevant information, so Anna walked the few seats to the front of the bus and said "Bob, She doesn't have a dad, he died". Bob, turned towards Lucy and said "I'm so sorry dear, would you like me to try and fix that bag for you?" Before, she could answer, before she could think, Anna already grabbed the purse, dumped its contents onto her seat and handed the purse to Bob. Lucy felt more embarrassed than grateful. Not having a dad made her feel like she had a sign on her back saying Freak. Bossy Anna had the nicest dad, He always took them for pizza. He played volleyball in their pool with her and Anna and once he put Lucy up on his shoulders the way he often carried Anna.
At the end of the first day of school,an anxious Lucy stepped very carefully up the wide steps. To her surprise a new bus driver was driving her home. Bob, who had been their driver last year too, had been asked to switch routes with another driver who had some personal issues with an older student. Her initial fear was quickly forgotten with a sigh of relief, when she saw Dianes purse sitting up on the dashboard, repaired! The driver asked if she was Lucy and gave her the purse. The feeling of relief was overwhelming, but the feeling of regret for not having thanked Bob bothered her for a very long time.
Lucy would have never expected that an indirect opportunity of a second chance to thank Kind Bob would happen, But it would happen 42 years later....
Working as a hairstylist for many years, Lucy shared many stories with her customers. One day, Lucy was telling her long time client Evelyn about all the wonderful stories her son shares with her about his adorable students. Evelyn laughed and said "My husband used to share some really cute stories with me. It is so wonderful working with kids." Lucy said "Remind me, What did your husband do"? He was a bus driver said Evelyn. "Oh that's right, How did I forget that?". Evelyn than began a favorite story from many many years ago.... yes. The story of a sweet little child with a broken pocketbook strap, who thought it was the end of the world. A child Bob had thought was adorably sweet. As Lucy listened, Her heart sank to her stomach, she stopped cutting Evelyn's hair. Her eyes welled up and the tears just wouldn't stop. At first, Evelyn didn't understand. Then, she remembered that Lucy had grown up in the same town that she lived in. Why didn't she ever realize that possibility? She stood up and with an expression of surprise and warmth she hugged Lucy and cried with her. Lucy was able to finally thank Bobs widow for his small kind gesture that had meant the world to a small fatherless girl.
for more second chances visit- writers island

16 comments:

paisley said...

OMG lucy... i am typing between the tears,,, that was so precious.. what an absolutely perfect memory for you to share with us... thank you so much!!!!!!

Richard said...

that was a nice memory and story. thanks.

ren.kat said...

Guess that shows you how this story rings "true"! I have no idea. . .

Ally said...

Such a wonderful ending to a bittersweet story. Here's to all the good guys like Bob in this world-- and to synchronicity.

Rambler said...

This was such a nice story Lucy...

~Michelle~ said...

To be able to come full circle with this special event in your life is so amazing ~ makes me tingle! What a wonderful thing to be able to share with Evelyn. xoxo

Deirdre said...

My eyes are all teared up. I love those moments when we really get how small the world is and how we're all connected somehow.

Lucy said...

thanks so much everyone for all your beautiful comments, I am sorry If I misled some of you. This story is part fiction! The memory of the kind bus driver and my friend Anna blurting out what she said is all true. My client having a husband who drove a bus in my home town is also true. But, it was my imagination thinking- Wouldn't it have been amazing if Evelyn's husband Was the same driver? I spoke to her and he wasn't driving in my town till the '80's! Hope this doesn't take away from my attempt at a short story using the prompt! Maybe I should just keep my big mouth closed! haha

myrtle beached whale said...

WOW, I am glad that you told us it was fiction. That makes it a little easier to take. You are a great storyteller. You really don't know how great you are, do you?

forgetfulone said...

Oh, Lucy. That was beautiful! Even if it's fiction based on a few facts, it doesn't take away the emotion. Very well-written.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

What a great, well-written story! I love the tenderness and detail. xx, JP/deb

UL said...

oh lucy, that was truly beautiful. second chances do happen sometimes, dont they?

Little Wing said...

Lucy that was very heartwarming, very touching.
Thank you for sharing!

giggles said...

Lucy I am bawling....how poignant this story is. You are both gifted by Bobs loving gesture so many years ago. The universe just couldn't let this one slip by. Truly wonderful story beautifully written. Keep writing dear friend....you stayed in his heart for years....and you'll stay in mine too!!!

Love and big hugs to little Lucy
and her grown up counterpart!
Sherrie

keith hillman said...

Well Lucy, youv'e managed to get all your readers crying! Even hard 'ole me! What a truly lovely story, so beautifully written.

spider said...

"How can I repay," she said,
the kindness you've shown tonight?
We're strangers who won't meet again
A mere 'thank you' doesn't seem right."

He said, "What goes around comes around.
This I've learned with time -
What you give, you always get back;
What you sow, you reap in kind.

Always be helpful to others
And give what you can spare;
For by being kind to strangers,
We help angels unaware."
Author Unknown

Lucy, there's more than one angel in your true story.