322 Missed His Stop by 136 Miles

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In 2012 I rode the Megabus back and forth to Pittsburgh about 10 times. On one trip, I sat in a 4 seater with a table. There was a young man sitting across from me, and he was taking up three of the four seats. He told me that he was a Penn State student from Manhattan, and that he was heading back to college.

The bus stops at State College to drop off passengers and pick up more before it heads to Pittsburgh. When we got to State College, the driver announced three times, “This is State College. Please exit the bus here for State College” The guy sitting with me stayed on the bus, despite saying that he was going to Penn State.

I walked to McDonald’s for some coffee and when I came back, he was still sitting there. I thought, “Maybe he said Pitt.”

At times like this, I am never sure what to do. It’s truly none of my business why the man stayed on the bus, and I didn’t want to come across as a nosy, pushy woman. The driver announced the stop multiple times, so I had to be the confused one. So I didn’t say anything, and we got back on the highway headed towards Pittsburgh.

The guy put his headphones on and pulled out a black bodega style plastic bag that contained his lunch. He was wearing a large pendant on his necklace that was Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. It had red gemstones trailing down Jesus’ face, resembling blood.

I sat staring at the Jesus as we drove down the highway. “Did I do the right thing?”, I thought, as crumbs of food started trickling from the man’s mouth and landing in Jesus’ crown of thorns. “I really hope he didn’t miss his stop.”

When we were about 20 minutes from Pittsburgh the guy looked at me and said, “Did I miss my stop?” I got a lump in my throat. I asked him where he was going, just to be sure, and he said, “Penn State.” We were 136 miles away from State College, and I replied, “We are almost in Pittsburgh.”

Frantically he called his mom to tell her he had missed his stop and I could hear her screaming at him over the phone. I felt so bad for the guy. If I had just been that nosy woman, he would be in his dorm room right now and his mom wouldn’t be worried about him. He yelled up to the driver, and the driver said they would work something out when we arrived in Pittsburgh.

When we got to Pittsburgh, the driver put him on another bus headed back towards State College. This is one time I shouldn’t have minded my own damn business.

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2 thoughts on “322 Missed His Stop by 136 Miles

  1. I ask myself, would Pinkie Pie do this? And if the answer is yes, then I do it. Social norms mean nothing to her, if she’s trying to be nice to someone. It’s an easy way to step out of your social comfort zone and try to do the right thing.

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