The Longest Bus Ride
I opens my eyes, I’m not awake, but this isn’t sleep. I’m drowsy but my mind is focused. A jolt of electricity rushes through my body. The pain is powerful; like a whispered secret in my ear. I control the trembling by concentrating on the noises washing over me. The whispers and the silence. The movements and the stillness. Another jolt, the pain wants my attention. I focus for a moment, and really try to feel. Should I be alarmed that I knows this much pain? But it’s like music, da dum da dum da dum, with every pump of my heart, fresh pain. I marvel at the body’s ability to endure so much, it’s like war and I have not yet learnt how to lose. I suck in a breath. My moment of weakness has cost me as someone turns to look.
Concern? Fear? Suspicion?
I wants to explain; I opens his mouth, then closes it again.
More attention from the stranger.
A splash of water on my trembling hands. I forgot about the tears.
I jolt in my seat as the bus stops, my eyes flutter momentarily and I almost lose control of the reins. The stranger gets up and with one last look leaves me.
I’d feel relived but all my body knows is the pain, all my feelings and all my mind. The whole world is pain.
The pulsing in my head blurs my vision for a few moments and my body stops taking in oxygen as panic seeps through vulnerable thoughts.
My stop is fast approaching and I prepare my body for what I’m about to do, but obedience will not be had and the pain ups the stakes.
It’s my stop, my eyes strain as I gazes at the open doors slowly closing.
I lurch out of my seat, my ears pick up alarm from the other commuters but all I know is the exit. I stumble but I do not fall.
Slowly I’m made aware that the bus is not moving despite my presence on the pavement. I’m being looked at but I have no time for them.
I’m single minded in my need to get home. Every step is absorbed by my body.
Stopping never occurs to me.
Something more important is demanding my attention and that’s time. I can feel the countdown scarping against my bones. The beat is obnoxious in my eardrums.
I’m through the front door.
Alarmed voices and softly spoken words. I’m at the centre of the calmest storm.
My body wants to give in and I’m tempted but peace will not be found at home.
The wait almost breaks me but I endure another ride on a different type of bus.
I’m lying still; the screams are so loud but I can’t open my mouth to voice them. The pain doesn’t no defeat but nor do I.
The Hospital is close but I know the pain is in my lifeblood, my very DNA, my sickle cell anemia.