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The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

Gloomy Thursday


Gloomy Thursday 

Abigail Silvia 

Thursday, September 8th.

It’s getting colder out, summer begins to drift away. Kids are back in school. You are too attached to the town and the education that you can’t seem to leave it. So you’re a crossing guard. With a painfully neon jacket that makes you safe from the cars you’re directing. The house behind you has made a friend out of you. Giving you lunch and even letting you park in their driveway. They have a high schooler named Maisie. You learned that by observing. You always watch. She takes the bus and gets to her house around 3:15 pm. You know the cops. The resource officers, the sheriff. On a first-name basis with them all. You have never messed up. You’re respected for that. It’s a normal gloomy Thursday, temperature still has not varied. The same static medium before the cold mornings start to say hello. 

You’re standing in the middle of the road. The schools are just now getting out and it’s time for your help. You place down the ham sandwich the house behind you made and you step out with your stop sign and your colored gloves. You hear a bit of commotion down the street but don’t think much of it because of the job you have to carry out. Down the road is not your problem. Until the 3:15 bus line doesn’t come. Until the road is empty and it leaves you alone with only your thoughts to eat away at you. No distractions anymore. You are met with weens of sirens coming from up the road. You follow precautions and move out of the not-so-busy road and watch. One cruiser, two, three. An ambulance. your heart drops. No bus line. Sirens. Empty road. Alone. Danger. Death? There had been a crash. 

Since you are the crossing guard for the school you run down the road. As you approach the bus. Stopping in the middle of the road. You see a mother. A young one. Blond, skinny. Probably does yoga and wears swingy dresses on the weekends. She was in her work attire. Pajama bottoms and a blouse top. Casual remote workday outfit. You see her come into your view and vanish behind the bus.

She vanishes before you even know it further back are those cruisers, blocking traffic. The cars line up a single file like ants on a log. You get to the bus. Approaching the see-through door you hear screaming. Anxious children who had just witnessed the most traumatic moment of their short lives. Their friend, classmate. A kindergarten boy named Gavin. Friends called him Gavvy. One of his first days as a kindergartener. Had gotten hit by the same bus that he took every day. The same bus driver that he trusted, ran him over while he turned back to get some papers he dropped. He was walking in front of the bus and in his hand was his art project. A self-portrait. What you see yourself as. 

Gavin drew himself with a superhero costume on, saving a bunch of stick figures from an evil blob. The air took the paper as well as his life. Turning back to get it the bus driver thought he already went up the road. Unusually fast for a child. Didn’t think twice. Didn’t even look. With one swift hit to the gas, Gavvy went through both the front and back tires. Landing dismantled in the middle of the road. You can’t look. You heard this from the police officer who had caught you walking onto the bus. You ascended the stairs. There he was. The bus driver. The man. The murderer. He was in shambles. Hysterics.

“I didn’t mean to. I didn’t see him. Gavin oh Gavin. I thought you got home.”

 He muttered this to himself because no one believed him. You couldn’t be worried about him now. The children were crying, screaming for their parents. They still had to get a ride home. They still had to sit on the bus. You walk through the aisles saying that it’s okay and they are going to be home soon. That the police just need to do something to help the road and they will be back with their parents soon. You stood in the back of the bus covering the back door from any little kid’s view. Frankly, you couldn’t even look at yourself. You wonder why. You stand there and wonder why you don’t shed tears but you cannot look at the child. You cannot help. You cannot go to the screaming mother with a broken child in her hand. You can’t do it at all. You are asked by a police officer to get off the bus. You walk forward as little children’s heads turn behind you. Looking out the door. You wince as you realize they have more courage to see it than you do. You get to the front and they begin to cuff the bus driver. He is now crying softly. More than you could do. You’re asked to go help the police officer with traffic since he wasn’t doing so well. You get off the bus. It’s right behind you. 

Fried vocal cords and tragedy are right behind you. Why can you look? You go back up the road without looking back. You let the brave ones handle it while you cower in your own mind. You pick up the stop sign left on the porch of the house that lets you park in it and go back in the middle of the road. Like you’re on autopilot. The traffic challenges you. 

You control it perfectly as you stare forward with nothing in your eyes. Out the door came a man and a woman. Maisie’s parents. They pick up your half-eaten ham sandwich and ask almost in unison.

“What happened?”

S***Before you know it, A Gloomy Thursday has a little more meaning. Don’t take for granted the peace you receive.

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