The driver kept pointing to his watch-less wrist as Molly, Tracey, and Millie filed onto the bus. “Thirty more seconds and you’d be walking.” The gruff older man with graying hair and beard announced at 6:01 AM according to the digital clock above the door at the rear of the bus. Without response, they’d walked the aisle and returned to their seats.
After returning to the bus station, the three had gone to the Ladies room. Millie had closed herself in a private stall and lingered. And, lingered. She’d taken another Depakote and hoped for a bowel movement. Molly and Tracey had done their business and waited outside in the lobby. After five minutes Molly had returned and retrieved Millie after considerable prodding.
As the bus rolled forward, Molly and Millie exchanged seats, at the younger’s insistence. She wanted to continue talking to Tracey. For three reasons. She wasn’t sleepy nor did she want to listen to music. Second, it was Saturday and therefore too early to text with Alisha. Third, she was intrigued with what Tracey had said at breakfast. Something like, “I’m amazed and disappointed that schools don’t teach young people anything remotely related to mindfulness.”
Before Molly could think of a way to reignite her and Tracey’s conversation, Millie gently elbowed her arm and pointed to the half-page flyer the ticket clerk had given them in Toledo. “I’m impressed with Greyhound. They’re sticking to the schedule like glue. It looks like we should be in New York right around 7:30.”
Molly turned and looked at the digital clock. “That’s thirteen and a half hours. A lifetime.” One thing was certain, she had done everything she could to change her mother’s mind about fleeing to New York City. “Why not go to the DA and tell him the truth?” “Why not just move and get one of those restraining orders you’ve talked about?” “Why don’t we borrow one of Colton’s guns, go on a picnic, and kill the bastard?” Molly had only thought the latter idea and dared not say it aloud, although she was convinced she could pull the trigger.
“We’ll make it.” Millie said it because that’s what any good mother would say, though, right now, there was an energy inside her itching to explode. “Why don’t you listen to some music? Matt wants me to call him.” Millie removed her phone from her purse and dialed.
Molly kept staring across the aisle to a closed-eyed Tracey who had leaned her seat back and was clutching a small leather-looking journal in her hands. The bus hit a pot hole and Molly kept staring. Tracey’s pose didn’t change. So peaceful and content, not a worry in the world, Molly thought now noticing for the first time a beautiful necklace around Tracey’s neck. The beads looked like pearls except they were brown, maybe made from wood. At the end of the long thread-looking chain, was a lighter-colored tassel.
“If you’re mother doesn’t mind, come sit by me. We can continue our chat.” Tracey said, opening her eyes ever so slight. Molly was embarrassed, her face turning a pinkish red.
Millie was talking with Matt and looking away, through the window at a landscape of passing houses, what Molly figured were similar to theirs on S. Princeton Avenue. She unbuckled her seat belt and eased across the aisle and in front of Tracey who inclined her seat. “Thanks for inviting me.” Millie had always stressed good manners.
A few notes I made toward the end of today’s drafting
Did tracey lose a daughter, a sister (her twin?)?
Was necklace Tracey’s sister’s?
That death, triggered the eruption in her and her brother’s relationship.
He’d turned to God?
She’d turned to Zen?