The School Bus That Thumps Me In The GutBy Emma Pearson
December 6, 2023
Main image by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash
3 May 2023
Music, yes – of course music does it. Lyrics or no lyrics – same same.
And faces – duh.
All of those are triggers – triggers for a fast tumble down a Grief-soaked spiral.
But the evening school bus?
School buses, in fact, for there were two a day – one for kids up to age 15 or so, in Collège/middle school and one for the older ones in Lycée/high school who had longer school days.
The first arriving in our village at about 17h15 after school finished at 16h30.
The second arriving about 18h10, for those finishing at 17h30.
Kids spilling out of the bus. Hanging around a little at the bus stop that is literally fifty metres away from the house. Finishing off conversations that had started on the bus. Then hugging or slapping one another before heading off to their various homes.
I rarely see those buses anymore. They are coaches, rather than buses, actually. And burgundy. An unusual colour for a school bus. Rather luxurious to my eyes – at least compared with the school buses I knew.
But boy do they hit me in the heart and punch me in the gut.
When I see them, such as when I wander out to collect the local vegetables on a Tuesday evening, it’s a full body experience.
The forgotten friendships.
The prematurely curtailed conversations.
The aborted dreams.
And that’s without even knowing that one of the school kids on the bus died before their time.
Such Grief at the sight of a school bus.