School was finally over for the day. As planned, I waited in the commons for my sister. “Michael, here I am,” she called out. She continued in an indoor voice, “We need to run to make that 60.” I couldn’t wait because I was spending the whole weekend with my Dad and sister as a surprise for Dad who hasn’t seen me in a while.
We ran to the bus stop and I had difficulty keeping up, but we did make it to the bus on time. Rachel boarded and put $2 into the farebox. “Good afternoon Rachel. Heading home?”
“Yeah,” my sister replied, “My brother is spending the weekend with me. This is his first time riding a TWT bus.”
The driver replied, “Ok.” Turning to me, she asked, “May I see an ID please? It’s $1 for under 18.” I showed my ID and she issued our transfers. She got on the radio, “12 going to CCHR, this is the Outbound 60, I have transfers for you.”
Upon arrival to Kemps River, Rachel pointed out, “When we stop, we’ll need the 12 which will be directly in front of this bus. That’ll take us to Indian River Rd and Lynnhaven Parkway. Then, it’s a bit of a hike to Dad’s house. It’s usually a couple of hours between when I get home and Dad’s home. I usually take the time to get my homework done. Please join me and let’s get it over with.”
We boarded the 12 and Rachel showed me how to use my transfer, which was very easy. We had a seat and Rachel said, “The ride on the 12 is 5 minutes, maybe 10 at most. It’s the only way for me since I’m actually in Salem district.”
I was excited as we got off the bus because I haven’t seen Dad in ages nor have I had brother/sister time with Rachel in ages. About 30 minutes after being dropped off, we arrived at the house. “Dad rents it, I’m not sure how much a month, and it’s not much. I’ll be honest, it’s not really home to me. Home, to me, is Delaney St.”
Rachel held me tightly as we sat down on the couch. “This house isn’t much, but it beats having nothing.” Rachel stopped hugging me and opened her backpack to get her homework going.
I followed suit and did my homework as well. It took us about 45 minutes then we were done. Rachel hugged me again saying, “This is going to be such a wonderful weekend. I’m excited. It’s going to be a surprise for Dad.”
Rachel started giving me the tour of the house. We got to her bedroom and she said, “This is my big bed. Remember me telling you I insisted on a queen size? I’m sharing with you for the whole weekend.”
I suggested, “How about let’s put on a movie so it looks like we were behaving.”
She led me to the living room and said, “Let me show you what I have.”
We snuggled on the couch together watching a movie when Dad came home. Not realizing who it was, “Rachel, what are you doing bringing strange boys into my house!?”
“Dad, it’s me,” I said.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t realize it was you,” Dad said.
By now, we had dinner and it was time for bed. “I promised we could sleep together,” Rachel said as she led me to her room.
“I don’t like that we’re now living apart,” I whimpered as I pulled my sister into the biggest hug I could muster. Our decisions were made: we didn’t want to be separated for any reason, “I want you to come home and stay home.”
Rachel was grateful that I would not stop hugging her – even if it meant that we did not get any sleep. “I hate this too,” She said, “I want to come home!”
We both cried through the night as we knew we would want to spend as much time together as possible. I doubted either of us got any sleep, but the only thing I could think of was that I just wanted to hug my baby sister and not let go of her.