Millie was surprised to learn the bus station served both Greyhound and Amtrak. The decision was easy given the goal of being as frugal as reasonably possible. The Sentra’s death had heightened both Millie and Molly’s desire to conserve cash.
The next available Amtrak departed at 11:49 PM and arrived at Penn Station in New York City at 6:50 PM Saturday night. Although that was six plus hours faster than the scheduled bus ride, the trip would cost an extra $150, and that was for coach only, two-seats. A private room would cost an additional $348. Two-hundred thirty-eight dollars to Greyhound for two seats was their only viable option.
The next six hours were long and difficult, made more so by Molly’s incessant request to “get out and do something, and I’ll pay.” She used her own phone to develop a multi-hour itinerary: walk to nearby Middleground Metro Park and enjoy the half-mile walking trail, then walk two blocks to the highly rated San Marcos Mexican Restaurant on Summit Avenue, then, for desert, venture south to the The Original Sub for a slice of their Chocolate strawberry olive oil cake with orange whipped cream and crushed fruit, and finally, take an Uber to the Cinemark theater and watch the 6:45 PM showing of “Little Women.”
Reluctantly and regrettably, Millie vetoed Molly’s plan, took another Depakote, and slept on the furtherest bench from the station entrance until 8:45. When she awoke, Molly was reading Where the Red Fern Grows, the second book she’d failed to return to the Harvard Elementary School’s library.
After a quick trip to the restroom, Molly suggested they eat at the in-house Subway. She again offered to pay. Molly was such a loving and forgiving child, and did her best over the next ninety minutes to encourage Millie who seemed anxious, and depressed.
The bus was ten minutes early and departed on time. From their seats toward the rear, Molly squeezed Millie’s hand and whispered, “Cleveland, Ohio, here we come.” Millie managed a smile and planted a soft kiss on her daughter’s forehead.