James was now twenty-eight years old with a wife of four years and a two-year-old son, Leo. The sun was about to set, and so he begged it to stay up a little bit longer while at the same time pleading with it to go down faster. He was standing on the patio of the high-rise he lived in with his family.

He stared at the few people walking on the street below. A few vehicles were driving by, and James pleaded, “Please, Lord,” as he forced his eyes to see as far as they could see.

His eyes moistened as he continued to stare.

It was thirteen years ago when he jumped off the blue and yellow public bus that took him to the central bus station, where he would take another bus to take him home from school. The bus did not just take him home. It took his six-year-old brother home too.

His brother’s elementary school was next to his, and every day after school, he went to pick up his brother, and they, along with three more of his friends, would make their way home together. He has been doing this since October, and although he loved his brother, he hated having to take care of him every day after school.

It was now June, and the last week before school was out for the summer break. There was one rule between him and his brother, and that was for him to follow him, and if you ask James, this was working out perfectly. If you were to ask his brother, he would smile and say yes. Although at least once a week, he dreamt about being left behind by his brother.

If James didn’t have his brother to care for, he could easily walk from his school to the central bus station, but his brother could not do it. He grew tired quickly. So, he and his friends would wait for a bus, and they usually cut the line in front of other students to get on. If they don’t get onto the first bus, they make it onto the second one.

It was Wednesday, and James, his brother and his friends made it onto the first bus, and he waited a few seconds for his brother and friends to come out of the bus after him. They did, and James quietly asked his friends, “Do you think she’ll wait?”

“Yes, man, she has it bad for you,” one of his friends replied, tapping on his shoulders before using them as a springboard to jump into the air as they walked.

Then he saw her standing in the bus line talking with her best friend. At that moment, she turned and smiled, and their eyes met, and it was as though he no longer had control over his body as he drew closer to her.

“Hi,” James said, and when she replied with a hi, of her own, the bus pulled up, and the thought of cutting the line was nowhere in his mind. He wanted to drag the time he had with her. So he stood there with her, and when they entered the bus, he sat next to her. His brother walked past him with his friends, and soon after they were seated, the bus pulled off.

About fifteen minutes later, she left the bus with her best friend, and even though James did not want her to go, he was filled with excited emotions. He looked behind him for his brother and friends, and while he saw his friends, he could not see his brother.

He got out of his seat and started walking down the bus. He saw a kid with a grey and white shirt like his brother, but he did not see him.

“Leo,” he called out, “Leo, where are you?”

No reply came, and he went to talk with the bus driver. The driver did not see his brother enter the bus, and thirteen years later, Leo was still missing.

As he stood on the patio where he played the Nintendo Switch with his brother, he waited for him to return home.

The End

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