i was making the first step to get on, when Dennis pushed me backed. I fell. The bus drove off without me.
I got up from the sidewalk, and didn't cry. I was eight years old. This was a city bus, there'd be another along in a short time. But I could walk home. It was less than a mile.
I started to walk. I cut through the playground, up a side road, through a parking lot. it didn't take that long.
When I got home, my mother screamed; "Chrissie!", and grabbed me up, crying loud and scary. I held her, wondering why she was so upset. The T.V. was on. A bus had gone off the road and plunged into the gulley.
It looked like the bus Dennis pushed me away from.
My mother carried me to the kitchen, held me on her lap, dialed the phone. She called Daddy, told him I was right here, then gave me the phone.
I spoke to Daddy. He said he was leaving work now. Which restaurant did I want to go to. I said Choys because I really loved their egg rolls.
I gave the phone back to Mommy and went to the bathroom. I put my clothes in the hamper, took a fast shower bath. When I came out, I dried with a towel,pulled on the nightie I left here in the morning, and went to my room.
I took off my nightie lay it on the bed, dressed in my favorite jeans and tee shirt. I was putting on my sneakers when Mommy came in and hugged me. I realized, she'd thought I was on the bus that went over the embankment.
When Daddy Came
I didn't say anything about the bus, or Dennis pushing me, or my walk home. I thought of the egg rolls I would eat.
While Mommy got ready, I started my homework. As soon as she was ready, I got up and we left the apartment and walked to Choys. It was three blocks away.
Everyone was talking about the bus. Me, I was hungry, hoping Daddy came soon.
He did. As I saw him, he scooped me up and hugged me and kissed me, and I felt loved. Really loved.
We had a nice time at the restaurant. I ordered the egg rolls I liked and filled my belly. Then we went home. Daddy said I wasn't going to school tomorrow, he was taking me and mommy to the zoo.
I loved the zoo.
I watched a T.V. show, then went to bed, thinking about the characters in the show and dreaming about them.
In the morning we had breakfast together, then went to the zoo. We spent the whole day there. On the way home we stopped for ice cream. There were so many different flavors and I finally choose cherry chocolate.
The Week End
On Saturday, Daddy took us to the museum. I got to see the dinosaur bones. I could spend forever looking at them, imagining what it would be like to see a real dinosaur.
On Sunday, we went to the movies and saw a double feature. It was wonderful to be with Mommy and Daddy, and be so important to them.
Monday I went to school.
There were a few kids missing from my class. I didn't know them beyond a name. The teachers were talking about 'counselors' who would meet with us. I thought it had something to do with day camp for that was the only time I heard the word 'counselor'.
When it was my turn I went to the room and sat down. The counselor asked what I remembered about Thursday. I didn't know why she was interested, and she spoke of the bus crash.
She was the only person I told about Dennis pushing me off the bus. For that was all that seemed important to me.
I couldn't understand why he had done it. I scarcely knew him. I wondered what I had done to make him do it. But that was Thursday, this was Monday, so it was a shrug.
I didn't spend much time with the counselor I went back to class and the teacher gave out crayons and paper for us to draw what we wanted. I drew the dinosaur as best as I could.
It was some time later I comprehended what had happened.
The bus I would have gotten on had swung out of control, crashed into the fence, at a speed, then plummeted down into the gulley.
The driver and most of the kids who had been on the bus died. Those who didn't die were badly injured and spent a long time in the hospital.
If Dennis hadn't pushed me off, I would be dead or badly injured.
I don't know why he did it, but he saved my life.