“5…4…3…2…1…blast off!” The children sung along with the bus as it hissed and pulled away from the stop. They all cheered too. Adrian was not amused.
Adrian liked Field Trip Day like any other kindergartener but he hated the bus. It was loud and they had to sit with three students crammed in a seat, so close that Lianna could pick her nose and place the boogers on his chin. He knew this, because it had just happened.
“We’ve still have twenty minutes to go, kids.” Mrs. Jenkins hollered from the very front of the DC public bus. Adrian groaned, Lianna squealed and then poked a wet finger in his ear.
“Stop it!” Adrian whined but it was lost in the sound of another hiss. So, he pulled Lianna’s beaded braid instead.
She screamed, interrupting the next “blast off” as they pulled away from another bus stop. Her eyes watered as she cradled her thin braid in her hands.
“If you tell Mrs. Jenkins or Mr. P, I’ll tell them about the boogers.” Adrian declared.
A stare-off began between the two five year olds. Lianna lost.
“You’re such a meanie!” She screeched, arms crossing. “We’re on a spaceship and you’re being a meanie. You’re stupid.”
“We are not on a spaceship, we’re on a bus.”
“A bus to the Space Museum is like a spaceship.”
“That’s stupid. You’re wrong. This is the same bus that takes my mom to work and me to my Gramma’s apartment. Is it a spaceship then?” It was also the same bus where his older sister flirted with boys and his parents yelled at each other, but he didn’t want to think about that – especially in front of Lianna.
“No,” she said slowly, thinking, “it’s only a spaceship when it’s going to the Space Museum.”
As much as he hated Lianna and her booger fingers, her logic made sense to Adrian.
Yes, he had seen his sister kiss one of her boyfriends right where Mrs. Jenkins stood, but now he tried to imagine his teacher in a spacesuit instead, like the one from the book they read before the Field Trip. Instead of imagining his parents sitting in the row in front of him fighting, he imagined the people in that seat floating. Then, he almost felt himself floating.
The bus pulled to another stop. People shuffled off and on. The door closed, the driver pulled a lever and hisssss. The bus lurched forward and the countdown began all around him “5…4…3…2…1!”Adrian shouted “blast off” with the rest of his class and laughed as their spaceship sped through the city.