Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
TITLE: Green Bus Driver
By Terry Atchison
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Dillon's parents, John and Sara, had been a typical couple, raised in the country, outside of Effingham, Illinois. They married young, right out of high school. His dad dropped out of college after one year of effort, and started working at the big printing company in town. Dillon's mom worked at a busy restaurant as a waitress. They made a good living and were very happy for a couple of years.
One day, John had joined his “friends” for a pitcher of beer after work. This soon became a ritual, every Friday evening. Sara started joining their meetings and they both became heavy drinkers. When Sara was pregnant with Dillon, John had an affair with her best friend, then her other friends. Drinking, fighting, and physical abuse became a way of life in their fragile couple. It ended one day with John going to jail, and Sara divorcing him.
Sara never stopped “partying”, and had another child, Dani. She never knew who the father was. Since then, she would work, drink, and bring available men home, not worrying about her children. Of course she always woke up feeling some remorse, but this was short lived once she had her morning drink. “I love you so much!”, slurred out from time to time, was about all the love she was able to muster-up for her two babies.
Dillon gently shook his eight-year-old sister. “Dani, it's time to get up. The green bus is coming today.”
She opened her eyes and smiled at her brother. “Is momma alone this morning? Can I go lay with her for awhile?”
“Someone's with her. I can hear him snoring. Get showered and dressed, while I get you a bowl of cereal ready.” She frowned, but sat up and hugged her brother. He was her hero and she trusted him in everything.
The two children tip-toed around the house, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and looking in on their mother, Sara, and her “catch”. The two adults never risked hearing the children, or anything else for that matter. They were both still in a drunken coma, snoring away.
Outside, the country air was clean and fresh. The sun was shining and animals were scurrying, flying, and calling out to each other. Dillon and Dani waited beside the gravel road for the green bus to arrive. Bill, one of the deacons of Greenland Baptist Church, opened the bus door and the two children joined the others on board. This was one of three buses that gathered children throughout the countryside. Each Sunday, there were about eighty children who rode those buses. This was one of the most successful ministry of the small, country church.
Dillon and Dani found the warm hugs, encouragement, and love that they needed, from the members of that little church. Many other children attended for the same reason. This was their loving, caring family. God's love helped them through their harsh environments at home.
Many of those little ones had successful lives because they rode the green bus each Sunday. Today, Dillon is a lawyer, Dani, a nurse. Dani teaches Sunday school and every Sunday, Dillon drives a green bus through the countryside, bringing little souls to a haven of love and peace.
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