RS Emeline is a fellow member of the 20-Something Bloggers Community. She is a fiction writer-a Fictzophrenic – and is working on two novels. She is a prolific blogger – check out her wonderful blog Fictzophrenic Musings.
This post is courtesy an event 20sb Blog Swap #9 in which bloggers were paired up to swap guest posts on a mutually finalized theme.
The summer day of July 18, 1995 was a changing point in my life.
My parents were outdated and boring, and when they spoke I listened with the thoroughness of youth.
The person I looked up to–worshiped might be closer to the truth, my middle sister, had just moved out… again. Off to start a new life with another new guy.
I felt cast aside and heartbroken.
I was thirteen and knew everything.
At the time, my father worked long hours across the Puget Sound at Intel, and my mother worked as a nurse for the Alzheimers’ ward of the local Assisted Living Center.
They were never around, and when they were–they weren’t.
At the time it didn’t bother me. My friends and I had freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted, and we never had to clear it with our parents.
We were latchkey kids, and life was a constant adventure.
On this particular day, the sun was shining brightly, the sky a crisp blue dotted here and there by white billowy clouds.
The Pacific Northwest was having a heat wave, and the temperature was teasing eighty.
My friends and I hopped on the County Transit Bus headed toward the local ferry terminal. We were breaking the rules–heading across the inlet to the ‘shady’ town where the local Navy base was–and it made the trip even more exciting.
We flirted shamelessly with the ferry workers, practiced the skills we’d need in a few years when the boys we went to school with would finally realize how amazing we were, and laughed joyously as the wind blew our hair wildly around our faces.
When the tiny foot ferry– it couldn’t have been longer than twelve feet– rocked and bumped its way to the dock at the ferry terminal, we waved at the men who’d entertained us good naturedly, and hurried off.
It was time.
People crushed around us, rushing to and from the larger ferry docked in a slip further down the pier. The loud speaker warned passengers the next run to Seattle would be leaving in ten minutes.
The briny taste and smell of the Puget Sound wafted on the breeze, and we pushed and shoved our way into the transit terminal.
Thirty minutes later we walked out of the building, our stance a little straighter, our gait a little surer.
We were no longer kids.
The glossy ID in our hands assured us we’d left childhood behind.
We had the key to our future freedom.
We had… our official reduced fare transit IDs.
Sixteen years later, I still have that transit card–though it expired in 1998.
The girl looking out from the photo has a bad perm, twinkling eyes, and a huge grin.
That was the happiest day of my childhood.
I keep it as a reminder of youth, and the experiences–both good and bad– that came with it.
Washington State has long since been a speck in the distance of my rearview mirror, but the scent of ocean water, the crush of people, and the heat of the summer sun brings me right back to that rare warm day and the friends long since missing from my life.
It makes me smile.