So this was supposed to be a 'great' adventure, a bus trip (yes, I said bus trip) from Concord, New Hampshire to Flagstaff, Arizona. Why not fly, you might ask? That's what I asked my dear mother when she dropped this bomb on me. Her response? "Because I don't have the god-damned money, that's why. Get over it!" I was so not looking forward to three days on an interstate bus.
Here's the situation. The day after school was out for summer vacation, I was supposed to be on my way to stay with my dad. The fact is that neither my mom nor my dad gave a tinker's dam about me, one way or the other. They were both 'busy types', you see. They had their own lives to live and being saddled with a fifteen year old son didn't fit well into either's plans very conveniently. I lived for the day when I could walk out of their lives a free person. So did they.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint and I'll have to admit to being somewhat of a smartass. In retrospect, I think pissing them off was the only way I could get any response from them at all. I knew I had a good brain and learned early in life that it wasn't particularly difficult to out-think and out-maneuver either of them. All kids know how to push their parent's buttons. I made a science of it.
When the bus left the station in Concord, it was only about half full and I really hoped it would stay that way. I went all the way to the back, thinking most people would park before they got that far. I took the window seat and placed my gym bag on the aisle seat, hoping to discourage anyone from taking it. I dreaded the thought of having some very kind but very chatty little old lady settle in next to me and tell me how much I reminded her of her grandson for several hundred miles.
When I changed buses in Boston, the new one was booked to capacity. I immediately bolted to the back again, hoping against hope I wouldn't get paired with someone who either had body odor or, almost as bad, bathed in perfume. What I didn't expect but what I got was a kid. I guessed her to be maybe twelve, not particularly cute but not ugly either. At least she would probably be someone I might have something in common with; you know, similar tastes in music and stuff. She had some books in a tote bag so I guessed that's how she planned to endure the trip, wherever she was going. We said "Hi", and that was the sum total of our conversation till we were pretty far down the highway on I-90. Her nose was buried in a book before we even left the station.
It looked like it was going to at least be a quiet trip so I took out my portable DVD player and ear buds and popped in a movie to pass the time. I had the whole 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy which I had seen at least ten times but that didn't kill my enthusiasm for it. About half way through the first disc, I looked over and saw she was holding a tissue to her nose and a tear was sliding down her cheek. Now, I'm no knight in shining armor but it really gets to me when I see a damsel in distress. I shut off the DVD player and asked, "Is something wrong?"
She just looked at me and shook her head, trying hard to hold it inside, but she failed and finally hid her face in her hands and wept quietly with shaking shoulders and all. For lack of anything better to do, I reached around her shoulders and hugged her to me. No resistance; she just stayed like that for a few minutes until she got control. Looking up with red-rimmed eyes, she half chuckled and half sobbed, "I'm sorry. I thought I was over the crying but I guess I was wrong."
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"That's very nice of you but no, thanks. I'm just sad about leaving my dad. I'm afraid I'll never see him again and I really don't want to be going on this trip."
"I'm on my way to stay with my dad for the summer. I wouldn't be on this bus either, if I had a choice. Where are you headed?"
"Albuquerque, New Mexico. That's were my dad's sister lives. I guess I'll be living with her from now on."
"How come?" Then it sunk in that I was being way to nosey. "Sorry, it's none of my business."
"No, that's OK. My dad's real sick with cancer and he can't take care of me anymore. My aunt said I could live with her but they've already got a house full of kids and I just know I going to be in everybody's way."
"That's bad. Sorry about your dad."
"Thanks. He's been fighting it for years but we don't think he'll make it this time." Sitting up and shaking it off, she said, "But I don't want to talk about it. Where are you going?"
"Flagstaff, Arizona. It's in the mountains. Looks like we'll be traveling together for a couple of days. My name is Kyle. What's yours?"
"Amie. Nice to meet you Kyle." We shook hands and that got a grin out of both of us. After that, the conversation picked up. One thing I learned was that she wasn't twelve; in fact she was a month older than me. She was just small. When I looked more closely, trying not to get caught at it, I could see that she actually had boobs, not big but proportionate to her body. Apparently, she was also a real brain because she was skipped a grade and would be a junior in the upcoming school year. I guess I was a little envious of that; I think I might have been skipped a year except for being such a pain in the ass to my teachers. It turns out that we actually did have a lot in common and hit it off pretty well, becoming friends in a matter of hours and promising to stay in touch by Skype and e-mail.
Amie actually had a Mac Book in her tote and entered my e-mail address and Skype name on it. We were both surprised to find that the new buses not only had WiFi but charging outlets right by the seats. She sent an e-mail to her aunt letting her know that she was on the way and then let me use it to check my mail. I made a note to ask the driver if I could get my own laptop out of my baggage at the next rest stop.
By the time it got dark, we were half way across New York. Since we were in the last row and since neither of us were blubber-butts, we had plenty of room to lean back, wiggle around and stretch out for a reasonably comfortable sleep. The john was directly across the aisle from us and all the other passengers were all in front of us so it was relatively private. Amie was smart enough to know that sleeping on an air-conditioned bus could get a bit cool and she reached into her magic bag (I'll never know how she got so much stuff into it) and pulled out a little flannel throw to cover her self. When I mentioned that I wished I had thought of that, she smiled impishly and scooted close to me to share. I don't normally sleep well when I'm traveling but, with her warm body next to mine, I drifted off into a pleasant snooze.
I awoke sometime in the middle of the night. Somehow we had shifted around to where we were partially on our sides with her little butt pushed against my belly and my arm draped across her hip. As soon as I was aware of the proximity of her bottom to my always-hyper-responsive penis, I began to sprout a boner. Go figure! Hard as it was for my thinking brain to overcome the testosterone surging into my bloodstream, I really did not want to trash a blossoming friendship, so I carefully scooted my butt back, not to make an impression, so to speak. Her butt followed me.
Being incredibly naïve or incredibly stupid, I'm not sure which, I just lay there thinking, OK, dummy. Now what? My discomfort with the situation did nothing to arrest the progress of my swelling member and her butt pushing against it didn't help at all. I lifted my arm off her hip thinking I'd kind of roll over onto my back. She took hold of my hand before it had moved six inches and placed it firmly on her breast, at the same time pushing harder against the protrusion in the front of my jeans.
OK, this was a message. At least I was pretty sure it was a message but, not being a person with an over-abundance of self-confidence, I had to be sure. I turned my head, burying my nose in her hair and whispered, "Are you awake, Amie?" She nodded her head twice. My breathing began to feel kind of restricted.
"Um, do you want to do something or just lay here like this?" The logistics of 'doing something' on a bus full of passengers hadn't even begun to sink in. The honest truth was that I had never done anything with a girl other than kiss and grope which I had found singularly unsatisfying.
She turned her head until our eyes met. "Let's just lay here like this for a while, OK? It just feels nice to be held."
I guess I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. While I was considering the matter, my thumb was slowly and gently stroking her nipple, or rather where her nipple would be if she weren't wearing a bra.
"That's nice," she sighed. "You can keep doing that."
Eventually, the heat of the moment faded and we drifted off to sleep again.
The next time I woke up it was dawn. The sun hadn't come up yet and there was a light fog over the beautiful green fields of Indiana. Everything looked fresh and new. I was lying on my back again and Amie was scrunched up in a ball with her head on my shoulder, sleeping like the most innocent child. I knew I was growing some strong feelings for her and I was drawn to her like I have never been drawn to anyone before. I don't know if it was being confined together in a small space or if it was sharing our stories but I knew I wanted to hold her and protect her so badly that I ached. When I turned my head and kissed her forehead, her eyes fluttered open.
"Good morning, Kyle." She sat up and stretched. "Do you know were we are?"
"According to the road signs, were somewhere in Indiana. It should only be two or three hours to Chicago and I think we have an hour and a half layover there. I sure hope they have a restroom with showers." I pulled my gym bag from under the seat. "If you'll excuse me, I need to brush my teeth."
The rest of the way into Chicago, we chatted idly about all the things that count as important to people our age. Nothing was mentioned about our 'close encounter' during the night. My stomach began to growl in complaint of inattention and two apples materialized from her magic bag to take the edge off our hunger until we got to the Chicago station.
About half the passengers disembarked there but I had every confidence that it would be full again for the leg to St. Louis. During the layover, we treated ourselves to a good wash-up and a change of clothing followed by a big breakfast. Amie changed from her jeans into a knee length skirt and conservative white blouse that looked like a Catholic school uniform. She asked me how I liked it and I told her it was nice but that I thought she looked better in jeans. She just grinned and said, "Maybe."
Nothing exciting happened between Chicago and St. Louis but we got to know each other a lot better. Whatever the teen criteria for falling in love were, we were meeting them and actually wound up holding hands whenever we weren't reading or playing with our electronic gadgets. Darkness fell as we were about half way between St. Louis and Kansas City. It had been a long day for both of us and we were more than ready for sleep as she scooted close and shared her throw. We got off for a few minutes and stretched our legs in Kansas City but had no trouble getting back to sleep as we headed into Kansas.
Amie got up in the middle of the night to use the john so I decided to take advantage of the disturbance and do the same. Nobody in front of us was reading or anything so all the lights were dimmed and it was pretty dark in the back where we were. When we got settled under the throw again with her head leaning on my shoulder, she whispered, "Kyle, you want to know why I'm wearing a skirt?"
It took all of about two seconds for me to come up with an answer. "I hope it has something to do with access."