My Life Has Begun pt 2
My two younger sisters and our mother drove with me across the border, so that I could catch the greyhound bus in Seattle. I was nervous about crossing the border, because of my past history. I have some old stuff that I feared would prevent me from entering the States. Prevent me from meeting my Great Friend whom I love with all my heart and soul.
We joined the line of cars gradually approaching the booth. I flipped down the windshield mirror and combed my hair, I erased my fears and lulled myself into a state of serenity. Finally, after about 45 minutes, it was our turn. The American border guard leaned forward to look into our car. He barked at us to show our ID. My sister in the driver's seat handed it all over. The guard stared at each of us in turn, and then his gaze landed on my youngest sister - her driver's license had expired and she had no picture ID. He barked at her to produce something. She offered one thing after another, but he kept barking. Finally she found something that suited him, and he quieted. Then he waved us through. We were across the border! I didn't let out my breath until we were up the road quite a ways, and then I laughed and clapped my hands. I'd been so worried I would be turned back. Now I was on my way to California, and my Great, Great Friend.
After a day spent together in Seattle, my sisters and mother saw me onto the bus, and the bus pulled out of the station. I was so excited! I alternated between reading, and snapping pictures of myself and the passing scene. I had the entire seat to myself so I could stretch out. The bus rolled along, stopping at a dozen or so stations along the way. I tucked my camera away and my book, and lay across the seat to sleep. It was surprisingly comfortable. With the sound of the tires toiling along the highway, and the muted conversations of other passengers, I was lulled into sleep.
I woke once, and saw the fat moon high in the night sky. All around me, the other passengers were gently snoring. It was absolutely cosy and beautiful. I sat up crosslegged and looked out the window for a while, then lay back down to sleep. I woke shivering, to the sound of chains outside. I sat up - we were in a mountain pass outside of Salem Oregon (I can't remember what the pass is called). Outside I saw a night time winter wonderland with deep snow, and the forest trees dusted with flakes. The bus had stopped, and the driver was putting chains on the tires. The interior of the bus was dark, everyone was sleepy, my hair was knotted, I yawned and rested my cheek against the back rest of my seat as I gazed out the window and the driver reboarded the bus to resume our journey.
As we emerged from the mountain pass, we came across a bus that had pulled over to the side of the road. Our bus stopped, and the driver went to investigate. The bus had broken down - its passengers were freezing inside. We were hero's. All the passengers crowded onto our bus with their babies and strollers and bags. I shared my seat with a friendly man who didn't talk much, which suited me. I didn't mind sharing my seat, I'd gotten as much sleep as though I'd been at home in my own bed.
Finally we reached Sacramento, where my Great Friend was to meet me. I combed my hair and tried to freshen up - not an easy task as I was folded up with my feet on my backpack, and my knees under my chin.
My bus had been late, so my Great Friend had already been there, and told to come back in a while. I waited for just a few minutes, and then there he was! I'd known what he looked like, from seeing him on webcam, but of course, seeing someone in person is ever so slightly different. Still, I recognised him right away when I saw his head and shoulders through the window in the front door of the bus station. He's even more handsome in person. I waved, and felt shy, then I rushed up to him and we hugged so hard. It was wonderful. A beautiful first touch.
We gathered up my heavy suitcases and lugged them out to his car. As we pulled away from the curb, he handed me a pretty little potted crocus that he'd bought for me. It's flowers were just opening. We both felt instantly comfortable with each other - it was exactly as I'd hoped. As we left Sacramento and began the two hour drive to his home, we talked about many things, and sometimes we were both comfortably silent. It was as though we'd been together in person all our lives.
to be continued....