Yesterday’s Bus

The long-distance bus is thick with locals. A schoolboy about to fall through the door is pulled in by the conductor as the bus jerks forward. The boy balances on the footboard, his heavy bag half outside the bus. The weight of the crowd pushes at him again. But his elbow is in the firm, tough grip of the bus conductor, who begins a conversation.

“Boy, aren’t there any schools where you come from?”

“Eh? Yeah…there are… but..”

“But what? They’re not good enough for you?”

The bus swerves, and the boy almost swings out, but the conductor’s grip is a seasoned one.

“What, boy? You put on a fancy uniform and travel so far to school just to think you’re studying somewhere important?”

The boy, barely hanging on to his life, looks at the conductor, blinking.

“What you study is what you learn yourself, boy, not what they teach you. Get it? Go to some nearby school, and don’t waste your time travelling by bus like this.”

The boy tries to say something, but the bus screeches to a halt. People squeeze out, and even more people board. I can’t see the boy anymore.

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