He had a smile on his face. His first day driving the new route had gone smoothly. It was nearing noon, and as usual, the bus was pretty quiet at this time.
It was at this time that a man hopped on, a little boy in his arms. The bus driver didn’t pay them much attention at first. But when he took a second look, he noticed something troubling.
Andrew was a veteran bus driver in the city of Boston. He loved his job, he was good at it, and he knew those streets like the palm of his hand.
As a bus driver, Andrew was used to seeing all types of things. He had stories for days from all his years of experience. But what happened that day was far more impressive than anything he’d ever seen before.
Andrew’s route went through Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. Those were his favorite neighborhoods in the city. Every day, he looked forward to driving through them again. When noon time came by, he was usually on his second drive around that area.
That day started like many others, and Andrew didn’t expect anything exceptional to happen. But he was in for a real surprise.
That day, his managers had told him that he would have to follow a different route. However, this wasn’t a problem for him. It was common for drivers to have to switch their routes every now and then, and Andrew was ready for anything.
So he sat behind the wheel and started that day’s drive. Little did he know that something unusual was about to happen, aside from that change in his route.
At the beginning of his drive, everything seemed alright. He already knew most of the regular passengers, and it seemed like just any other day driving through the streets of Boston.
But closer to the afternoon, this man hopped on the bus. Other than the boy he was carrying in his arms, there seemed to be nothing remarkable about him. He greeted Andrew, paid for the tickets, and sat somewhere in the middle. But then, something happened.
Right after they both sat down, the boy started yelling and crying. The man tried to calm him down without success; the boy seemed to be in distress for some reason.
He gave him his phone, trying to distract him. But the boy kept crying and yelling. The man awkwardly smiled at the other passengers. But then, something else happened that instantly grabbed Andrew’s attention.
Now, the boy started wailing. His voice was like a siren, and everyone on the bus could hear it. Andrew was starting to get concerned: he looked back and saw the man trying his best to soothe the kid.
But nothing seemed to work. After a while, the boy became dissatisfied with sitting on the man’s lap and started kicking around. And that was when Andrew noticed it.
The man seemed unused to that type of situation. He didn’t seem like the boy’s father; otherwise, he would be having an easier time handling his fits and moods.
He had an awkward demeanor, looking like he didn’t really know what to do. Now, he was trying to rock the boy to calm him down. And even though this seemed to help somehow, Andrew couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
While he drove through the streets, Andrew was keeping an eye on the whole scene taking place behind him. He felt like he should make an intervention and see if he could be of any help.
Andrew was a father of four, and he knew that children can be hard to deal with sometimes. He recalled his first days trying to calm down his newborn. Maybe this was a similar instance. However, something rubbed him off the wrong way.
The boy looked like he was trying to get rid of the man. He even seemed scared; it was almost like he didn’t know that man at all.
Andrew started suspecting something. What if that man wasn’t the boy’s father? Maybe he had taken him away from his family? Andrew started getting nervous, thinking about what he could do if that happened to be the case.
The boy was now kicking away from the man. In the commotion, Andrew caught a glimpse of his feet. A gasp followed the cold chill that shot up his spine.
The boy wore bright pink jeans and a pair of blue sneakers. Andrew instantly recalled watching the news the previous night about a missing child. His description covered the same clothing the boy wore. Were they the same?
This new development made Andrew look at the situation from a different perspective. He noted the difference between the man and the boy, seeing that there couldn’t be any family relation between them.
Andrew was now sure that the man wasn’t supposed to be with that boy. But he couldn’t walk up to him, and he hands over the boy. He needed a plan.
Andrew dialed 911 under the wheel and casually reported the missing boy. He spoke lower so that none of his passengers could hear him.
The police hatched a plan on the spot, requesting he drive to the next stop as carefully as he could. Andrew obliged, his heart pumping as he tried his best to maintain composure.
As carefully as he could, Andrew maintained the speed of the bus, taking care not to spook the man. The bus stop was coming up, and although he couldn’t see any police cruisers, he was confident that authorities were in the vicinity.
The bus came to a smooth halt at the terminal. Passengers began alighting, including the man and the boy. But as soon as the man’s feet touched the tarmac, officers jumped on him.
The man was taken into custody, and after further investigation, the police confirmed the boy as the missing child.
The police called the boy’s parents with the good news. When they asked Andrew why he’d risked his life to save him, he said he wouldn’t know what to do if either of his four children ended up missing. But a similar case took place in Wisconsin, resulting in one of the biggest stories for another vigilant bus driver.
Grace Jackson had been in the bus-driving business for more than a decade when the incident occurred. A thirty-nine-year-old single mom looking to make ends meet, Grace didn’t know what her day would end with.
She left the house early in the morning as she always did, dressed in her uniform and ready to ferry people around the city. But that day would end very differently from how she expected.
Grace was like any other mom in the world. She loved her kids very much and would never let anything happen to them.
Like Andrew, she adored everything that came with her job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But even she could admit that being a bus driver could sometimes be the most dangerous thing ever.
In the years Grace had spent behind the wheel, she’d seen everything her city could throw her way. She’d driven all types of characters in her bus, from king old ladies to dashing marines returning home from their service.
She’d driven teachers, plumbers, and kids going or coming to school too. But Grace’s list didn’t end with only the good kind of folks.
Grace had also ferried around some of the most unsavory individuals nesting in her city. These went from people dealing in illegal businesses to those wanted by the state.
But Grace always kept her head down in such situations, especially when these people posed no danger to her passengers. “The less drama you cause, the less drama you get,” she always said.
Grace rarely meddled in her passengers’ businesses unless she really had to. It was her only rule. She’d learned the hard way that deviating from one’s driving route to ensure someone got home safe could cost her job.
She usually tried her best to help those in need, even sacrificing hard-earned cash to get people cabs if they were afraid of alighting from the bus. But one day, Grace would be forced to break her only rule: never meddle in a passenger’s business.
The day the incident took place was like any other morning for Grace. It was the end of November, and a nasty snowstorm had taken over Grace’s city.
But although every road, roof, and pavement was painted white with snow, Grace still got up early and got ready for work. Such weather didn’t mean a thing when you had a family to feed.
After a heavy breakfast with her kids, she got them ready for the day, ensuring they had food, snacks, games, and movies to sustain them as they were on Thanksgiving break.
Afterward, she kissed them goodbye, took two of her warmest jackets, and stepped into the thick snow. She had no clue what the day held and what impact it would have on her life.
Grace hurried to the bus station and checked in. After a few housekeeping activities, like ensuring her bus was properly operating, she hopped into her bus, ready to earn her keep.
She followed her usual route, picking up passengers in the city’s outer rim before ferrying them into the heart of their concrete jungle. Her day was about to change.
Grace was fifteen minutes into her shift when she noticed something that made her brows furrow. She was deep in the snow-covered suburbs when she saw two little girls standing by the bus station.
One had to be a little over five, while the other looked younger. But that wasn’t the most baffling thing about the two girls.
The two girls didn’t have a guardian or parent with them. To make matters worse, they weren’t dressed for the freezing weather and regretted the choice.
Grace couldn’t understand what was happening. She was sure the kids weren’t on their way to school as most educational institutions had closed for Thanksgiving. So, where were the kids going?
Although beautiful, Grace’s city could sometimes be dangerous. She knew the darkness that dwelled in the shadows of the streets she drove past every day.
She couldn’t begin to imagine the danger these two girls were in. Even if an evil eye spared them out in the streets, the November weather sure wouldn’t. With such thoughts in mind, Grace did the only thing she could at that moment.
Grace opened the door for the kids, asking them where they were going. They said they needed to get to the store, which Grace knew was a few miles away from this particular suburb. She could also see that the girls had been walking for a while, judging by the dirt on their shoes and pajamas.
With a smile, she asked them to hurry into the bus as she could see the kids were shaking from the cold. It was then that she did the unexpected.
Grace took off both of her warm jackets, giving each of the girls one. She opened her thermos of hot chocolate and poured them some, grinning at how relieved they were at her generous gifts.
She closed the bus door and continued with her route, hoping that by the time she’d be spinning back to this neighborhood, the kids would divulge where they lived so she could take them home. She didn’t know what trouble she was getting herself into.
Grace began asking the girls questions. Realizing they had gotten lost in the snow and couldn’t pinpoint their home, she asked where they went to school, hoping she could call the principal and get their parents’ information.
But unknown to her, the girls’ parents were already in a state of panic after they woke up to an empty house. They got the police involved, hoping to save their little angels from the jaws of the world.
Grace was already making her trip back to the suburb when she saw police vehicles parked on the street. She knew what they meant and was pleased to see that someone was already looking for the girls.
She drove them to their doorstep, stating that she knew she had to help them. She couldn’t imagine what would happen if someone else asked them to get in their car.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.