The crowded bus bumped along the highway, jolting me into the present. I heard a baby crying, a few people snoring, and my stomach rumbling. Darkness was rolling in, and i hadn't eaten all day. Fortunately, i'd thought to pack a few snacks at the last minute. I pulled out my carry-on bag and ate a granola bar, temporarily satisfying my hunger. I must have dozed off, because I awoke to a loud voice over the intercom announcing that we had to change busses. Several minutes later, I was settled into a new bus and we were on the road again. I drifted in and out of sleep most of the night, where dreams and images seemed to find me. I awoke to the sun in my eyes, and people on bus were rustling around, preparing for our arrival. Almost there I thought. As the miles ticked by my thoughts were once again scattered: How long could I leave my apartment vacant? What would people think? Would anybody miss me? Maybe i'd be missed by a few. I'd need to find a place to stay. My money would only last so long; I'd definitely have to find a job working as a nurse again. I grabbed a bottle of water from my backpack in an attempt to drown the invasive thoughts.
I directed my focus to the suitcase in the storgae bin just above the wheels of the bus. that old, dusty suitcase meant so much to me: it provided an escape, a break, a fresh start and a new me. I smiled and settled back into my seat. I looked ahead out the front window of the bus and saw we were getting off an exit. My stomach got butterflies and did flip-flops it was almost time.