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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 5

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We left Greenville, Wisonsin on the first bus out of there. As we sat on the uncomfortable fabric seats we still had no idea where this bus was heading. "Creep" by Radiohead played faintly from the radio. "What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here." Those were always my favorite lines of the song and I felt like it properly described the current situation. I hummed the rest of the song as I looked at the others sitting around me.

There were about 15 other people on the bus. One old lady clutched a cage and whispered to an animal that scratched around inside. A yound women with her daughter sat in front of us. The kid couldn't have been more than six years old. I stared at her through the space between the seats. She looked so innocent as she sloppily colored in a coloring book. I'm sure the biggest care she had was what color crayon she'd use to color Barbie's hair. She wasn't facing her future or letting down her parents. She probably wasn't beaten by her father. This little girl was the poster child for childhood innocence, something I so longed for. I'd give anything to go back in time and stay that age forever. 

I looked to my right to see Jason staring out the window. He looked like he was contimplaying a lot. I was too. There was a lot to think about and as long as we were away from home the more there was to contimplate. 

"I wonder where this bus is going." Jason said still looking out the window. I was actually surprised he said anything. "We could ask." I suggested. "No. I want to be surprised." He smiled. I could tell he wasn't 100% sure ok with this decision, but it was growing on him. 

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Four hours later we had reached our destination. The bus had taken us to Chicago. The bus terminal was right in the heart of the city, probably not the best place to start. The mile high sky scrapers were a big change from the trailers back home. I felt like we were spending money just walking down the huge sidewalks. Jason and I looked at eachother. "We can't stay here." We both said at the same time. At least we were on the same page. We took in the sights of our new home, or as long as we wanted to stay here. We walked and walked until we found a much less impressive part of town. It was run down and there was no more city feel to it anymore. It was only about 1 o'clock by the time we reached this town so we walked around. We spotted several motels that didn't look clean, but affordable and that was all that mattered.

                                                                                   ***

We decided on the Cozy Motel. It was only $25 a day. There were no luxuries, just a bug infested bed and select channels on cable. The area wasn't too nice,but right now it was the best we could do. We could afford it for some time and it got too much we could leave. The lights were off and Jason and I laid in seperate beds. It was about 1 am and neither one of us could sleep. 

A gunshot went off outside, "Dale...?" Jason"s voice was low.

"I'm scared. I'm really, really scared." This was the kid who did kickflips off of roofs. This was the kid who got a thrill from laying in the middle of the road seeing if the cars would stop. Jason wasn't scared of anything.

"Well be fine, don't worry." Eventhough I was telling him not to worry, I was just as scared as he was. Another gun shot sounded, but this time sounding closer than the last. I clenched the sheets trying to hold back the tears in my eyes. 

"I was thinking we should have some rules." He said I guess trying to divert our attention from the outside danger. "OK. Like what?" I exclaimed.

"Nothing to difficult or strenuious to follow. I think rule one should be: When one of us gets tired of a place,we leave.

And with that we both laid in our beds on either side of the room, brainstorming useful and unuseful rules to follow.

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