The Drive That Changed His Life
He’d driven throughout the morning following his new route. The day was leaning toward the afternoon, and the passengers in his bus were few.
Then the man hopped in with the little boy tucked in his arms. At first, the driver paid him no mind. But when he looked closely, he realized something was terribly wrong.
The Only Way To See The City
Andrew was your everyday bus driver living in Boston. He loved what he did, having been behind the wheel for a better part of a decade.
To Andrew, taking a bus was one of the best ways to see Boston. He loved ferrying people along his route. For the years he’d spent driving, he’d seen all the city had to offer. That was until this incident.
A Day In The Job
Andrew’s route covered Jamaica Plain and Roslindale, neighborhoods he wished everybody in the world could see. He would wake up early every morning and prepare for the day. By early midday, he’d be on his second run around the neighborhoods.
Even though this day started the same as the others, Andrew knew it would be different.
Different Route For Today
Instead of covering his usual route, Andrew’s management switched him to another way for the day. He didn’t mind the switch at all. It wasn’t uncommon for drivers to cover different routes throughout the day.
He hopped into a bus meant for Mission Hill and got on the road. The day was already bright, promising a life-changing experience.
The drive started as well as Andrew projected. Many passengers came on board as he drove up and down his route.
As the day transitioned into the afternoon, a man stepped onto the bus. Nothing was striking about him, only that he was carrying a little boy in his arms. He nodded at Andrew and sat in the middle of the bus. But then something happened.
The Man And The Boy
As soon as the man sat down, the boy broke into a high-pitched cry. The man tried everything he could to calm him, but nothing seemed to work.
He waved a bunch of keys before the boy’s eyes first, then tried handing him his phone. When the boy kept crying, he sighed, awkwardly smiling at the passengers around him. What happened next piqued Andrew’s interest.
The boy began wailing. His voice was louder than the bus’s engine. Andrew took a deep breath and glanced back, seeing that the man was trying to rock him into keeping quiet.
Despite the man’s efforts, the boy’s wails increased. He switched from just sitting on the man’s lap to kicking around. And that’s when Andrew saw it.
The man was seemingly holding the boy tighter than a guardian would a child. He seemed new to parenting, panicking at the scene the little boy was causing.
He broke a nervous smile at the other passengers again and apologized. He held the boy’s legs down and gently rocked him. Although the commotion died down a bit, Andrew could tell something was wrong.
Should I Help?
As he drove the bus, Andrew kept looking in the rearview mirror. Something deep within him was screaming to stop the bus and help the man.
A father of four, Andrew understood how children could get sometimes. He remembered his first time trying to soothe his firstborn and thought maybe this was the case here. But something didn’t look right.
I Need To Help
The child was not only crying but trying to fight off the man’s hold. There was also this air of fear around him as if he’d just met the man.
The thought made Andrew’s brows furrow. What if the man wasn’t related to the boy in any way? What if this was a kidnapping? Andrew’s arms ran wet with sweat as he pondered the possibility of his theory.
The boy was now kicking away from the man. In the commotion, Andrew caught a glimpse of his feet. A gasp followed the cold chill that shot up his spine.
The boy wore bright pink jeans and a pair of blue sneakers. Andrew instantly recalled watching the news the previous night about a missing child. His description covered the same clothing the boy wore. Were they the same?
A New Development
This new development made Andrew look at the situation from a different perspective. He noted the difference between the man and the boy, seeing that there couldn’t be any family relation between them.
Andrew was now sure that the man wasn’t supposed to be with that boy. But he couldn’t walk up to him, and he hands over the boy. He needed a plan.
Calling The Police
Andrew dialed 911 under the wheel and casually reported the missing boy. He spoke lower so that none of his passengers could hear him.
The police hatched a plan on the spot, requesting he drive to the next stop as carefully as he could. Andrew obliged, his heart pumping as he tried his best to maintain composure.
Driving Under Pressure
As carefully as he could, Andrew maintained the speed of the bus, taking care not to spook the man. The bus stop was coming up, and although he couldn’t see any police cruisers, he was confident that authorities were in the vicinity.
The bus came to a smooth halt at the terminal. Passengers began alighting, including the man and the boy. But as soon as the man’s feet touched the tarmac, officers jumped on him.
The Boston Hero
The man was taken into custody, and after further investigation, the police confirmed the boy as the missing child.
The police called the boy’s parents with the good news. When they asked Andrew why he’d risked his life to save him, he said he wouldn’t know what to do if either of his four children ended up missing. But a similar case took place in Wisconsin, resulting in one of the biggest stories for another vigilant bus driver.
Another Set Of Hands Behind The Wheel
Grace Jackson had been in the bus-driving business for more than a decade when the incident occurred. A thirty-nine-year-old single mom looking to make ends meet, Grace didn’t know what her day would end with.
She left the house early in the morning as she always did, dressed in her uniform and ready to ferry people around the city. But that day would end very differently from how she expected.
A Great Mom
Grace was like any other mom in the world. She loved her kids very much and would never let anything happen to them.
Like Andrew, she adored everything that came with her job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But even she could admit that being a bus driver could sometimes be the most dangerous thing ever.
In the years Grace had spent behind the wheel, she’d seen everything her city could throw her way. She’d driven all types of characters in her bus, from king old ladies to dashing marines returning home from their service.
She’d driven teachers, plumbers, and kids going or coming to school too. But Grace’s list didn’t end with only the good kind of folks.
Grace had also ferried around some of the most unsavory individuals nesting in her city. These went from people dealing in illegal businesses to those wanted by the state.
But Grace always kept her head down in such situations, especially when these people posed no danger to her passengers. “The less drama you cause, the less drama you get,” she always said.
Grace rarely meddled in her passengers’ businesses unless she really had to. It was her only rule. She’d learned the hard way that deviating from one’s driving route to ensure someone got home safe could cost her job.
She usually tried her best to help those in need, even sacrificing hard-earned cash to get people cabs if they were afraid of alighting from the bus. But one day, Grace would be forced to break her only rule: never meddle in a passenger’s business.
A Day Like No Other
The day the incident took place was like any other morning for Grace. It was the end of November, and a nasty snowstorm had taken over Grace’s city.
But although every road, roof, and pavement was painted white with snow, Grace still got up early and got ready for work. Such weather didn’t mean a thing when you had a family to feed.
A Good Morning
After a heavy breakfast with her kids, she got them ready for the day, ensuring they had food, snacks, games, and movies to sustain them as they were on Thanksgiving break.
Afterward, she kissed them goodbye, took two of her warmest jackets, and stepped into the thick snow. She had no clue what the day held and what impact it would have on her life.
Grace hurried to the bus station and checked in. After a few housekeeping activities, like ensuring her bus was properly operating, she hopped into her bus, ready to earn her keep.
She followed her usual route, picking up passengers in the city’s outer rim before ferrying them into the heart of their concrete jungle. Her day was about to change.
Grace was fifteen minutes into her shift when she noticed something that made her brows furrow. She was deep in the snow-covered suburbs when she saw two little girls standing by the bus station.
One had to be a little over five, while the other looked younger. But that wasn’t the most baffling thing about the two girls.
The two girls didn’t have a guardian or parent with them. To make matters worse, they weren’t dressed for the freezing weather and regretted the choice.
Grace couldn’t understand what was happening. She was sure the kids weren’t on their way to school as most educational institutions had closed for Thanksgiving. So, where were the kids going?
A Dangerous Place
Although beautiful, Grace’s city could sometimes be dangerous. She knew the darkness that dwelled in the shadows of the streets she drove past every day.
She couldn’t begin to imagine the danger these two girls were in. Even if an evil eye spared them out in the streets, the November weather sure wouldn’t. With such thoughts in mind, Grace did the only thing she could at that moment.
She Lets Them In
Grace opened the door for the kids, asking them where they were going. They said they needed to get to the store, which Grace knew was a few miles away from this particular suburb. She could also see that the girls had been walking for a while, judging by the dirt on their shoes and pajamas.
With a smile, she asked them to hurry into the bus as she could see the kids were shaking from the cold. It was then that she did the unexpected.
Grace took off both of her warm jackets, giving each of the girls one. She opened her thermos of hot chocolate and poured them some, grinning at how relieved they were at her generous gifts.
She closed the bus door and continued with her route, hoping that by the time she’d be spinning back to this neighborhood, the kids would divulge where they lived so she could take them home. She didn’t know what trouble she was getting herself into.
Grace began asking the girls questions. Realizing they had gotten lost in the snow and couldn’t pinpoint their home, she asked where they went to school, hoping she could call the principal and get their parents’ information.
But unknown to her, the girls’ parents were already in a state of panic after they woke up to an empty house. They got the police involved, hoping to save their little angels from the jaws of the world.
She Takes Them Home
Grace was already making her trip back to the suburb when she saw police vehicles parked on the street. She knew what they meant and was pleased to see that someone was already looking for the girls.
She drove them to their doorstep, stating that she knew she had to help them. She couldn’t imagine what would happen if someone else asked them to get in their car.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.