“Do we have to take the bus?”
“Yes, we do.”
“Why don’t we just text for a car?”
“We talked about this, Jebediah. I only have a couple of contracts left for the entire year, and we have to pinch pennies until your shrinking treatment is over.”
“I’ll keep you safe.”
“But what if strangers want to touch me? To hold me and pinch my cheeks? You wouldn’t let anyone do that, would you?”
“The car is in the shop. We have to take the bus. We can’t miss your doctor’s appointment. Here it is.”
Judith stood up and turned to face the low retaining wall next to the bus stop where she and Jebediah had been sitting, and as the bus came to a full stop with a loud blast of decompressed air, she lifted a whimpering Jeb in her arms. She was the last of a small group to climb into the large vehicle, and paid no attention to the smirks and giggles she—and her small charge—provoked.
There was ample space in the back of the bus, and as it lurched on, Judith moved in the opposite direction with slow steps, holding Jeb in one arm, and steadying her way to their seat with her free hand. She ignored a man’s offer to ‘come sit with her and bring over that pretty little thing’ but felt Jeb shiver and hide his face against her body.
[Will finish this later.]