The morning air was cool and moist. The sun was just peaking over the horizon with shining streams of gold, red and purple were cast over the suburb of Aurora, Chicago. It was Emily’s first day of high school and her mind was racing with thoughts of how the day was going to go. As she stood waiting eagerly on the bus, there was a boy walking up with a button up blue dress shirt and an old looking back pack. “Hello” the boy said as he stopped at a comfortable distance from Emily. Emily smiled with red, blushing cheeks as she thought the boy was rather cute. “Hi” Emily finally said after a moment or two. “My name is John Riley, what’s yours?” the boy said as he shrugged his shoulder strap of his backpack, pushing the strap up to a more comfortable spot. Emily stood there with a dumbfounded look on her face, “uh, my name? Emily Smith.” she responded. John just nodded with a smile looking down towards the ground, “freshman?”, he asked after a minute or two passed by. “Yea, I’m pretty nervous.” Emily uttered out as her nerves were running wild since she never really talked with boys much. John looked at her and with a chuckle replied, “Yea, you should just relax. I’m a sophomore and I would be more than happy to help show you to your classes.” There was a slight silence between the two as they stared at each other with a tremendous desire for one another in their eyes. Their romantic silence was interrupted with the sound of the school bus coming around the corner only about a block down from the stop.
The bus pulled up slowly, then stopped and flung the door open. “Ladies first”, John said, waving his hand to the door. “Thank you”, Emily said with a bit of laughter. She walked up the steps, heart racing, sweaty hands, “how can I be this nervous?” She asked herself as she made her last step into the bus. She began walking toward the back of the bus, each step seemed slow motion, as time was almost at a pause. Each student watched as Emily moved herself towards the back. Arriving at the last seat at the back, she sat down with John joining her. The bus ride to the school was pretty long since they were one of the first stops in the morning, but the drive seemed to short since she enjoyed Johns company so much. On the drive Emily notice some of the other kids turn around and give her strange looks, but she just simply ignored the gestures and continued talking with John. Once they arrived at the school, John showed Emily to all her classes throughout the day. The day seemed to fly by until the last class, where Emily sat at her desk impatiently waiting to get out and ride the bus back home with John. She began having intimate feelings for John, but at the same time she felt something wasn’t quite right about John. She noticed that no one else talked to John as though he had no friends, but he was a handsome boy, so why isn’t he one of the popular kids? All the thoughts began racing, but was suddenly stopped by the ringing of the bell. School was out and the first day was done.
As Emily walked to the bus there was no sign of John anywhere. The sounds of yelling kids and fast cars filled the air, engulfing Emily in the world of high school. As Emily arrived at the bus, there was a cold chill that ran down her spine. She walked up the steps and into the bus, the back seat was occupied with John saving her a seat next to him. John waved her over to the saved spot, Emily responded with a smile and headed down the aisle. “Hey how was your day”, Emily said as she made her way next to John. “It was great, had a lot of fun” John replied enthusiastically, “how was your day?” “It was a lot of fun and I really like my classes” Emily said with a smile. Emily and John continued chatting until they arrived back at their stop. Along the drive, Emily noticed the kids looking at her strangely again, but she paid no mind to them just like earlier that morning. The bus suddenly came to a halt, Emily peered outside the window with much curiosity. “It’s our stop.” Emily said with unbelief, for time seemed to go by to fast. They both exited the bus and out into the afternoon sun and toxic fumes of the buses exhaust as it drove away into the distance.
“Well I guess I will see you tomorrow” Emily stated as she looked at the ground, swaying her upper body side to side nervously. “Yea I hope so” John replied with a sad sound in his voice. They glanced at each other one last time before heading to their homes. The glance seemed so long, as though it lasted forever, it was as though this would be the last day they would ever see each other again. John suddenly dove in and kissed Emily on the lips. Emily was almost in a state of shock and didn’t know if she should slap him or kiss him back. John looked her in her eyes and said, “see you later”, then turned around and departed down the road. Emily stood there still in shock, watching him walk away. She finally snapped back into reality and departed from the bus stop towards her home. halfway in between home and the stop she turned around to see him once more, but he was no where in site. “that’s impossible, he told me earlier today that he lived at the last house which he could not arrived there in that amount of time”, Emily said to herself as she turned back around towards her home, but ignored the fact and anticipated tomorrow morning.
The next morning arrived with birds singing with the cool of the air and Emily standing at the bus stop with a big grin. “Wonderful day” Emily thought to herself as she waited on the bus and John. Some time passed by and the sun began spewing rays of multi-color light through out the sky. The sound of the bus broke the wonderful moment into a moment of worry, “where is John?” Emily asked herself as she looked down toward his house, but no sign of him anywhere. The bus pulled up and slid the door open, “get in” the bus driver exclaimed. Emily stood for a moment still staring down the road at John’s house, then turned and walked into the bus with a sad face and aching heart. She walked down to the last seat and sat by herself, continually thinking about John and the kiss. The bus drive this morning was long and painful.
Once the bus arrived at school, Emily hopped off the bus and walked slowly to her class. The day was a carbon copy of the bus drive earlier that morning, long and painful. No sign of John all day, no one to talk to but herself and the empty seat. At the end of the day, she was back on the bus and headed home. Today everyone on the bus was acting quite a bit different, for no one was looking at her strangely, but her thoughts were quickly replaced with the thought of John as she looked over at the empty seat next to her. The bus came to a halt and Emily got off at her stop and began walking towards home. As she was walking she paused for a moment and glanced down at John’s house and thought for a moment about going down to his house, but instead just turned away and continued on her way home. Once she arrived home her mom greeted her, “Hey sweetie, how was your day?” Emily put her back pack on the back of one of the kitchen table chairs and slammed herself down onto the chair, “it was alright, John wasn’t there today.” Her mom looked at her with a smile on her face, “it’s ok babe, you will probably see him tomorrow, besides you got a letter in the mail today from him.” For a moment Emily had a confused look on her face, but quickly changed into a smile and aggressively snatched the letter out of her mothers hands. She quickly opened the letter and began reading:
I had a wonderful time yesterday and delight spending time together, but an unfortunate occurrence had happened. I am dead, I died yesterday around eight o clock from an allergic reaction from a certain medication of my fathers. Please do not be to sad and please move forward for we shall be joined together again one day soon. I love you very much, but for now we are just two lovers apart. take care.
with much love,
August 4, 1979
After reading the letter, Emily fell on the ground in tears and her mother bent down to comfort her. So many thoughts were racing through her head, un believe was the main thought. After a few moments of crying she sat back in her chair and wiped the tears away from her eyes then asked her mother, “how can he write me a letter after he is dead? and how the hell can he write me a letter that is from thirty years ago?” Her mother then had a confused look about her face, “what do you mean thirty years ago and who died?” her mother asked for she had not read the letter yet. Emily looked at her with tear filled eyes and handed her the letter then said, “today is august 4, 2009.”