In a moment of panic I leapt from my bed, frantically scrambling for my Spanish phone. The miniature cracked screen flashed an ominous 9:02. Our bus to Málaga, a beach town on the southern coast, had left an hour ago.
Sarah and I bit our tongues, shaking our heads in frustration. How could we have overslept? Wincing with disgust, we re-purchased tickets. Spontaneity and a tight budget do not mix.
In an attempt to make-up for our carelessness and wasted cash, we laced up our walking shoes and began the hour-long trek to the bus station on foot.
After a while, Sarah stopped. “Wait, Logan,” she paused, “Isn’t…that the bank next to our house?”
We had walked in the wrong direction entirely, somehow completing a full circle. Panic. The last bus was scheduled to leave in t-minus twenty minutes – and so began our sprint. Like a team from the Amazing Race, we bolted side-by-side. Our backpacks bounced wildly as we dodged traffic.
We arrived at the station with only four minutes to spare. The “supra” coach bus before us shone like a gift from above (insert hallelujah chorus).
I hurried to find my assigned seat. An older woman was seated beside me, staring longingly out the window. Tears streamed from a set of wishful, chestnut brown eyes. She wept with her face pressed tightly against the glass. Curious, I peered over her shoulder and out the window. My eyes met the source of the woman’s pain.
A young girl, probably my age, and her baby stood on the curb. The girl waved goodbye and reached for the bus, sobbing. The family blew each other kisses in between wiping tears and crying hysterically.
I didn’t know this woman nor the source of her agony. I did, however, know that this wasn’t a simple, everyday goodbye. This was pain, real pain. I couldn’t help but cry watching the distance force the precious family apart. The bus pulled away and the young girl and her baby faded into the distance.
Today, God sat me next to this woman for a reason.
There’s a lot of pain in this world, pain we can’t see, or feel, or understand unless we allow ourselves to experience it. Suddenly, my 18£ bus ticket didn’t seem matter.
Life is all about perspective. Sometimes, things fall apart. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. And that’s okay.