There are many stages, the first passengers to embark are your parents. The bus just cannot start without them.
They get on with your brothers and your sisters. Along with them they bring your Grandparents, even their deceased parents. Everyone has a seat on the bus.
Your Aunts and Uncles follow with their children.
The bus begins to move.
The next stage your first friend climbs on board. Their presence makes you warm, bringing back memories of that first connection with someone out side your own family.
Behind that first friend comes all your little school friends, your first teacher and every teacher that taught you in your primary years.
A special seat that seems to glow is reserved for those childhood friends who never leave your bus.
Their seat never changes, you always know where to find them and they always can find you.
The next stop more passengers alight. Each passenger wears a small red heart on their sleeve. These are the people you have shared a first with. A first crush, a first kiss, all the firsts you can imagine to remember. They take their seats dispersed amongst the now busy bus.
Few make it to the top of the bus, but they all find a place.
As the bus moves along, time moves with it, sometimes slowly, sometimes it flies along. Occasionally it to comes to a halt. Some of the earlier passengers begin to leave.
Certain passengers you do not notice leave, while others you miss instantly.
The bus keeps moving forward.
When you feel like you have already spent a small lifetime on the route, the pace moves faster.
New faces join your bus.
These faces are the holders of the lifetime tickets.
You know this because the inspector begins to ask for ‘tickets please’.
Your family and lifetime friends are exempt. They don’t need a ticket, they have what you would call a lifetime pass.
There is always someone on your bus who shouldn’t be there, they take up a seat, that they don’t deserve, or squeeze themselves in without reason.
They don’t really want to be on your bus. They distract the driver, upset the other passengers and are generally unwelcome.
Sometimes the inspector spots them straight away, showing them the exit before they cause too much havoc.
Other undesirables may just get off before they are found out.
This makes for a less bumpy drive.
The bell rings and the bus grinds to a halt, there is a mass exodus.
Many faces change bus, some stay. New passengers get on with speed, the bus moves faster, voices grow more familiar.
Those closest to you sit at the top of the bus.
Downstairs the seating changes, some give up their seats to the passengers standing, this continuously changes.
Your children and chosen love shadows now fill the designated seats that somehow always remained empty.
Your bus now feels full.
Along the way you will lose passengers, you will find yourself standing and unseated on your own bus.
The wheels may wear down, the windows may sometimes crack, the bus may get stuck in life’s traffic, but it will always move along again.
The bus can take you anywhere and you just never know when it may finally stop.
There’s a double decker bus with your number on it, you cannot read the digit, you just know it’s your bus.