The day started normally. I got up at 8am, dressed and had a quick breakfast as usual. I made my way to the bus stop on a quite sunny but windy day, having to wait about 5 minutes before the double-decker came. The number was slightly obscured but I could read the first and last numbers and knew there was only one bus with that combination, mine.
The driver didn’t speak, but nodded his head, as I showed my travel card. I sat about half way down on the left so I could look out at the traffic and scenery passing by. The journey usually only took about 15 minutes and I knew the way well. I had been working for a year since leaving high school and was enjoying this particular office job in a newspaper room. I heard some of the stories that the reporters were writing and always got hold of a paper before leaving at the end of the day so I could read the final version before the general public had read them. I just wished to write a story and have it published.
I was engrossed in my thoughts looking out of the window but not really seeing anything before I noticed that I didn’t recognise the passing buildings, in-fact there were none! The driver must have taken a wrong turning I thought, and looked around the bus. That was when I felt a little apprehensive, there was no-one else on the bus, usually the ground floor deck was half full by now, and many youngsters would have gone upstairs sometimes shouting and laughing. But the whole bus was eerily quiet. What should I do?
I quickly looked outside to try and get a fix on where we were. Some fields, hedges and the occasional tree passed us in a bit of a blur. We must be travelling at quite a speed I thought, up and down low hills, never turning off or slowing. I tried ringing the bell push to gain the drivers attention, but it wasn’t working, no sound at all!
In fact the speed seemed to increase, was the only response. I tried again pressing the bell push five or six times before I stopped, each time the bus went faster and faster!
Then I tried to shout to gain the drivers attention, but fear had taken my voice. No words came out. My heart was pumping madly, I tried to stand, but couldn’t. The bus was rocking side to side too violently. I slipped to the floor and crawled towards the front. It seemed to take ages, minutes passed into hours if that was possible, before I reached the front. I looked up towards where the drivers face should have been, but there was not one but ten driver’s faces looking at me. I closed my eyes quickly and waited what seemed like seconds before opening them again very slowly.
Nothing; I saw nothing, just whiteness all around. Where was I, in a cloud, in heaven? I listened, and there was no sound either. This was strange, no shaking, no fear, no pumping heart, just a white nothing. I noticed that there was warmth, it felt good, where-ever it was that I was.
Then I remembered I was on my way to the office, I had to get to work, I would be so late. I tried to lift my arm, but couldn’t, it did not respond. Not because it was held down, it just felt so heavy to lift. Then there was nothing again, absolutely nothing.
It must have been much later when I opened my eyes again. This time it was black, inky blackness, no visible lights at all. I thought this seemed strange, as I tried to piece together what I had experienced, but there was no fear, at least only a very little fear had crept in. This still seemed strange after that bus ride. But where was I? I realised I must still be alive, but where, unless this was heaven or something?
I awoke later, I guessed it was two to three hours later, but this time I could see a third colour, greyness, everywhere. Slowly I saw some black areas, then a lighter one which made me think of a window. Then I heard a noise for the first time since I got on the bus, laughter, and a voice saying “I’ll go and see how she is this morning”.
With that I realised where I was, just as the nurse appeared at the foot of the bed, I shouted “In hospital!” The nurse surprised said “Yes, didn’t you know?”
All that was ten years ago and only now was I writing it down for the first time. I wasn’t in the same job, true, but I was in the same office! I was a reporter doing a few articles on medical aspects of the mind, and where better to start than my own experience. It had launched me into doing what I really wanted to do, to write, and I wasn’t to be stopped now, by anything or anybody, not by fast buses or my fears!
(Number of Words 865)