Angela’s Ashes- Erin Murray ’15

In my neighborhood, I live in the house on the hill in the cold-da-sack where everyone rides their bikes or scooters and I don’t know how to ride a bike yet and my dad skates around and ‘round on his roller blades chasing the orange ball with a hockey stick trying to get it in the net. Because of this the bus doesn’t go past my house so my mom has to drive me in her sandy looking car to the bus stop where the other kids are standing and waiting with their moms too. I’m all ready for my first day of real school because the past three years didn’t really count since all we did was make pictures with shaving cream and play on the wooden pirate ship on the playground but Kindergarten is going to be great since we will actually start to learn hard things like how to add double numbers and read big books. Me and the other kids in my neighborhood take a bunch of pictures and now my face hurts from smiling and my eyes are kind of teary from having them open for so long but the bus is now here and my mom’s eyes are now teary too. I say goodbye to my mom with her teary eyes and she is laughing and I don’t know how she can be teary and laugh at the same time but I am not scared because I have people I know from my neighborhood on this bus and so is my sister so she can help me if I need it.

We pick up some more people before heading to the school and I’m so excited that all I can think about is my new teacher and the kids in my class and I don’t care who I’m sitting with or that I’m even on a bus for the first time without my mom. We finally are at the school and the bus driver is yelling throughout the bus for everyone to sit and wait for the younger kids like me to get off first and she starts listing the names of the younger kids and I’m standing, waiting to hear my name so I can get off the bus but she doesn’t say my name and I am confused and wait for her to remember that she has to say my name so I can get off the bus but she still hasn’t said my name. The other kid in my neighborhood, who is also in my grade, wasn’t called either but she is friends with an older kid so she already got off the bus with her so I’m telling my sister my name hasn’t been called and that I can’t get off the bus if my name hasn’t been called but she tells me that I need to get off anyways and she is walking off the bus and now it’s just me and the kids in third and fourth grade who are going to the other school on the next stop. The bus driver closes the door and the bus is starting to leave and I don’t know what to do but panic, but I’m not getting up because she didn’t say my name and I’m too scared to get off the bus and I look out the window and see all the kids walking and meeting their new teachers when I’m supposed to be out there meeting my teacher too but I am stuck frozen in fear. As we pass the end of the school I see my mom on the sidewalk looking around and talking to others around her expecting to soon point out her little girl with the blonde hair but she does not know that I did not get off the bus and I start to cry but only a little so that and the other kids will not think I am just a stupid little kid for not getting of the bus and being too scared. All I want to do is disappear. I feel so embarrassed that I didn’t get off and now all the other kids who are still on are looking at me a little funny but they do not saying anything because they are not that much older than me anyways and do not know what to do when a little kid does not get off the bus, why would they care?

We are only a minute away from the other school and I am trying to figure out how I tell the bus driver that I was supposed to get off the bus and I am scared she is going to yell when I tell her and that makes me think that it is hopeless and my mom is probably so worried since she did not see me get off the bus. We are at the school and all the kids get off and I’m left sitting and I still do not get up and now my face is all salty and I cannot stop crying and the bus driver yells back to me and asks me why I am not getting off the bus. I try to tell her but she can not understand me my crying voice so she tells me to come up there in the front and I am so scared but I walk up since I know I cannot stay on this bus forever and that if I do not go up to her she will come back to me and that is more scary than me going up to her. I tell her that this is not where I am supposed to be and I am supposed to be at the other school and she asks me why I did not get off the bus and I tell her that she did not say my name on the list of little kids to get off the bus first. I’m still crying and she gets a teacher to take me inside the school I am not supposed to be at and I am getting some weird looks as I walk into the school but I know why, my face is all red and wet from my tears. The teacher takes me into the office that is outside the principal’s office and I am even more scared than I was on the bus because I do not want to go to the principal’s office on my first day of real school.

The lady sat me down and explained the situation to the other lady at the first desk nearest the door who is sitting and talking on the phone and there are candies on her desk and I am still crying so maybe she will give me a candy because I am crying and they should feel bad for me. They lady with the candy on her desk is asking me what my name so I tell her Erin Murray and she also is asking for my mom’s phone number but I do not know it so I am starting to sob once again. She hands me a tissue and the lady in the third desk starts saying a bunch of numbers and the lady in front of me starts pressing the buttons of those numbers and holds the phone up to her ear and this tissue isn’t helping and I don’t know where to put it so I am just sitting here crying with this semi-wet tissue in my hand and it’s gross and I just want my mom. Since the phone is so loud and since I have started to calm down I can hear the ringing of the phone and I wonder if ringing hurts her ear because its so close and my ears always hurt when things get to loud but especially on the plane when I have to lay screaming into my moms lap and I want more than anything for my mom to just be here right now so I can cry and wipe my tears on her fancy black dress she wears to work almost every day. After three long rings I hear a faint voice of and I really hope that its my mom because I need her to pick me up and take me to where I am supposed to be since I am already late for my first day of real school and I’m already so embarrassed to be here in the first place. The lady is taking into the phone and saying words and she hands the phone to me and I hear my mom’s voice and her voice is different than it is in person and I wonder why that is, hopefully she is not getting sick but she asks me if I am okay and I try to tell her that I am fine and that I just need her to pick me up like right now and never talk about this again but instead I can’t seem to get any real words out and my throat feels like there is a rock clogging up my words and making my breathing all weird and I feel a bit dizzy and lighter than I usually am. I finally get out that I just want her to come and she I think she is starting to cry but I can’t tell because I can not see her since I am on the phone talking to her through some sort of magic. I hand the phone back and all there is to do now is wait for my mom to come and pick me up.

My mom finally is here and I am crying and she is crying and is telling me we all got on the wrong bus and the bus driver did not say my name because I was not supposed to be on that bus in the first place and that she is sorry she put me on the wrong bus but I know its not her fault its all my sisters fault for not helping me off the bus because my sister is always trying to be mean to me. My mom holds my hand and leads me to the car and makes me sit on the booster seat where she buckles me in and we are off to where I am actually supposed to be and where I should have been a long time ago. I hope I didn’t miss snack time.