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The Greyhound Bus

The car drove away and I climbed aboard the transport to a new life.    Walking through the isle of seats  I soon selected the one two thirds back on the right next to the window and placed my bag on the seat next to the isle hoping it would not be needed.    This was my first choice for my new life and I would carefully think things through so I could correct the damage that had been done so far.   As I waited to begin the trip, I routed through my things to find the paper handed to me before boarding.    Her name and address was there and it felt like a dream that this was truly happening.    Slowly we began to move and then out of the parking lot we drove and onto the main road that would take me north.     The dream kept me awake and so I began to wonder what she would look like and if she would recognize me now.   It had been nine years since my mother had seen me and I was now her teenage daughter and not her little girl.  This could give me an advantage as I would not be in need of care like the younger children and so I would help and be of use.     I was sure that her feelings would be different when she learned that I had left my father’s home in Virginia to come to her in New Jersey.    Once my mind settled, it was dark on the bus.  Some people glanced at me with question.    I felt confident in my decision to leave behind a world of torment that was not of my choosing.  Fear never entered my mind although at fourteen, my naivety   would follow me for many years.      After eating my pretzels   which seemed all I needed to survive, I fell asleep.  It was not until the jerky movement of the bus pulling into the parking garage of the Greyhound terminal did I awake.   Now my mind was   moving fast as I had only a little money of $14.00 and my personal things and I must find my way from Philadelphia to New Jersey.  I went out to the street where the taxis were parked and a cab driver asked where I needed to go and I handed him the paper with the address.   I got into the cab and we pulled away from the curb as he put the meter on and said that we would take the Ben Franklin Bridge.   Not knowing   where I was seemed comforting because he certainly knew which way to go.  So as the cab drove across the bridge and down into a new neighborhood ,  I was impressed when he parked in from of a row of homes on 310 Henry Street.    The cabbie told me the total which was much more than I had in cash and I offered him my opal ring in addition to the $14.00 in my pocket which he took from me.   It was 3 AM at this time, and I was frightened as I approached the steps leading to the door.   I knocked hard; the cabbie waited and then as the woman opened the window on the second floor and said, “Who is it”?  I said,   Mom, its Barbara.