Shit. Wait, wait, wait! No, don’t shit! Not here!
I clenched my teeth as the waves of pain continued. I looked around me and frantically analyzed the situation. I was standing in a crowded bus, an hour from home, with my stomach threatening to unleash a flurry of public humiliation that would haunt my life for eternity.
This was bad.
Paranoia rushed over me and my eyes started darting across the bus. Did anyone notice? Oh god, my face is probably contorted in pain right now; I hope I don’t look too weird.
My eyes suddenly meet with the fat lady sitting in front of me. I then realized my face right now probably made her think I was looking at her with disgust.
My eyes quickly darted away. I was sure the fat lady now hated me. What if I have an important, career-defining interview ten years from now and she’s the interviewer and she remembers me as the guy who made a rude face at her on the bus? Oh god, what have I done?
Sudden relief flushed over me as my stomach pain ebbed away. But I knew from experience that this was only temporary; stomach pains usually came in waves, each wave sending newfound pain and anguish.
Trying to recover my composure while I could, I looked out the window to see where I was. To my despair, I was still forty minutes away from home.
Shit. Wait, wait, wait! No, don’t shit! We went over this!
The bus stopped, and more people boarded the already crowded bus. I was near the front and got the brunt of the pushing. As people struggled to squeeze onto the bus, something else also struggled to squeeze itself through my system.
“Hey, Tom!” Her voice rang through my ears as I saw her board the bus and wave at me.
Long, silky, golden hair. Beautifully pale skin. A smile that made my heart immediately melt, like ice cream on a sunny summer day, and holy shit I want ice cream now. I’ve had a secret crush on her for three years, and had only recently gotten the courage to talk to her.
“Hey, Amy-” My greeting stopped suddenly as a new wave of pain hit my stomach system ruthlessly and without notice.
She pushed past the crowd and was now standing next to me. Dear god, I couldn’t even look her in the eyes; she was like the Sun, just too damn radiant. Plus, I did not want to show her the sorry state my face was in. The best course of action? Turn away from her- wait, no! That’s weird! Who the hell talks to someone while facing the other way? Okay Tom, you can do this. Mustering all the energy I had, I turned to face Amy, my facial muscles straining to keep as normal an expression as possible. Let’s try this again. “Hey, Amy-” My eyes suddenly bulged wide as the pain intensified.
“Whoa, are you alright?” She asked, flinching slightly backwards. “You look like you just saw a dead animal.”
I cleared my throat. I was barely able to speak. It was hard enough for me to talk to her under normal circumstances. “Erm, no, I’m fine. Just, uh, you know, the whole um…college thing. Yep. Just college. And not my asshole.”
“…What?” She said, with a perplexed expression.
“What?!” I replied immediately.
“I thought I heard you say something really ridiculous at the end there.”
“Nope. Just your imagination.”
“Okay…Well, yeah, I understand. We’re all going to college next year and the whole application process is a lot of pressure, huh?”
“Yea. Pressure,” I said, wincing. “Loootta pressure right now.”
She nodded. “Really does stress you out, huh? Guess shit’s gonna go down-”
“NO!” I blurted, as every ounce of me struggled to keep control. “No, shit is NOT going down! Shit is staying where it is! Up! Up!”
The people around me turned their heads at my sudden outburst. I quickly looked away, my face turning red from a combination of pain and embarrassment. What the fuck is wrong with me????
“Um… are you alright?” Amy said, her voice layered with concern.
Fuck, she probably thinks I’m mentally unstable now. Fuck, everyone here probably thinks I’m mentally unstable now. Fuck, that fat lady is not going to hire me because she thinks I’m mentally unstable. Fuck, what have I done? Fuck, I’ve ruined my life.
With that, my will to keep self-control shattered to pieces.
There was a long silence afterwards.
I never talked to Amy again.