100 Words: Bus Ride

A blind woman and two guys with Mets baseball caps took the last three seats when the bus stopped at Penton, so Adele had been obligated to stand for the last 257 miles. She stayed in the back, pushing herself as flat against the wall as she could when one of the other passengers lurched down the aisle toward the bathroom. They walked past Adele without looking her way, without even twisting sideways to avoid her.

Adele could have sat in the bathroom, she supposed, with the door locked and the “occupied” flag shooing everyone away. But the toilets on Greyhound buses were filthy when not serviced regularly, and this one hadn’t seen more than a re-stocking of toilet paper since Tuscaloosa.

When the driver pulled into the Charlotte station, the other passengers pulled bags and purses from under their seats, stepping into the aisle when a gap in the column allowed. Adele hung back. No one spoke as they crowded toward the door, everyone more tired than patient.

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