The line was very long. The smell of food was overwhelming, and her stomach rumbled with hunger. Her brother rubbed his eyes, but there was a new glimmer in them at the thought of getting food. Real food.
The sky turned darker. It was still raining but not as hard as it was before. She seemed to develop an immunity to the uncomfortableness of being soaked, it hadn’t really crossed her mind in awhile. Her feet were white and shriveled against her hot pink flip flops. They would be that way, until she could get home.
This food truck seemed to bring smiles to many on line as they joked with the already cheerful cookers while their food was being made.
“Is this bus ever gonna come?” she heard a man say.
“I heard that service is back up, still going to be about twenty minutes.”
The girl was glad to hear that this adventure was soon to come to an end. And, although she would miss it greatly, she was relieved her bike was gone. Because she wouldn’t have to drag it onto the bus. Wherever it was she wished it well.
“I’m in no rush to get home,” the woman with the round glasses chuckled at the children. She had a lot of hair, very thick, because the bun that she pulled it back in was huge.
Home. The girl did yearn for it, whatever was waiting for her there, she wanted to go home. She took her ponytail out of her stringy wet hair, and let it down. It now had 0stopped raining completely.
Her brother had a huge grin on his face. They were now at the front of the line.
“Tres,” the lady showed three fingers.
The taste of this miraculous food enveloped her mouth, the spices of the meat, the explosive juices escaping the vegetables. In a way, she was glad her mother had one of her episodes today, because then she wouldn’t have gotten to eat a gyro. The strong smell enveloped her stuffy nose clearing the passageways for air.
The clouds in the sky had begun to clear, and the sky was pink from the sunset. If the sun were to set, her mother would be passed out for sure. That was another good thing about today. Today was a good day. The girl smiled at her brother. Her brother smiled back as their bellies danced the food digestion dance.
The bus stop in Rochester was close to home, so she did not need her bike. There was no rain, the sky was pink, and now, the monstrous whale of a bus rolled up noisily to cheering people who were so agitated before.
“Do you know how to get home, children?”
The girl shook her head vigorously. She passed that bus stop every day, that’s how close they were to it. That’s how close it was to home.
“Thank you lady!” her brother exclaimed. He waved frantically at her as she walked away, as if he’d just met Santa Claus.
The girl took her brother’s hand and the tickets home that this nice chubby woman was nice enough to buy for them. She could keep the soggy twenty after all. Maybe she would put it back for the candy she sold.
All three approach the underpass, where people were lining up for the already parked bus.
She noticed that poster for abused children she’d seen earlier, in the very puddle, she believed, that she helped the puppy drink from.