The school bus rumbled, braked hard at each stop, and then roared forward after each kid got on and stumbled their way to the back seats where all the kids who knew each other sat.
Phyllis wrote her name with magic marker on each of her new notebooks: Phyllis P. She knew this risked kids calling her P.P. but she didn’t care. She needed a signature, a new identity. New school. New Phyllis.
Next to her, a boy who looked her age watched her write her name and told her she should spell it with an F. “A fool,” she thought. The first fool. She decided to count her markers instead of talking to him.
She didn’t see the truck, just the color. It was green that hit the bus. Hard, right in the side. Phyllis P. saw it in slow motion like in a movie. The fender of the truck was inside the bus, just a few feet away. The boy next to her was crawling out the window but she didn’t know why. She could hear sirens and people yelling. But she didn’t understand, couldn’t decipher.
So, she sat still, held her markers in her hand, and thought about her new name and her new school. How it would be.