The Ride

Bradley hopped inconspicuously through the front doors of the metro city bus at the end of his avenue. At 55, Bradley had lived a humble and rather static and structured existence. He voyaged six times a week to his place of work for the better part of 28 years. A regular on the 8am bus, he worked a job that paid his recurring monthly bills and one that had fed his children and helped them scrape through college. Bradley lived selflessly for his family without thinking twice about the sacrifices he had made working a physically taxing and stressful job. Rarely late to work, he endured the crowded bus ride and close proximity of strangers scavenging for a space to sit and enjoy a little bit of comfort day in and day out.
The hulking city bus lumbered through the congested streets with Bradley clutching onto a rail and swaying as the bus shook, jolted and turned constantly. Bradley was a quiet, simple and honest man; the kind of free man who is bound only by the duties and obligations that life has enforced upon his being. He did not wish for much other than good health and happiness for his family. And he wished to dance. He often sheepishly danced alone when he found the time, though he was mostly unsure of his movements and level of gracefulness. He felt a rhythm in his body and a sensation in his soul every time he danced around his bedroom when his wife was not around. He was slightly old fashioned and a fear of ridicule kept his dancing confined to this bedroom, rendering him unable to further explore and share his passion. He rarely spoke of himself, let alone his personal interests and his desire to dance was routinely swept under the rug for the priorities that were presented to him throughout his adult life. He had not set foot in a night club for over 30 years and did not dare to enter one now. No one knew Bradley wanted to dance but a deep burning desire sparked within his heart every time the bus would speed past Cityside Hip Hop Dance School.
The school had been operational for a few years and every time the bus would whizz past its location, Bradley would quickly glance over to the brightly decorated billboard that was placed above the school’s doors. Each morning, this daily recurring moment ignited a series of thoughts as he would thereafter have 5 minutes to dream and fantasize about moving, shaking and dancing his socks off before arriving at his job and settling into work. He had pondered incessantly about the preposterous possibility of learning to dance and had reluctantly distanced himself from these thoughts on many occasions in the past. Today was to be no different but as the bus neared the dance school, it slowed down and came to an eventual halt.
The bus hissed as it stopped and the driver mumbled to himself, puzzled and confused about what was happening. After a few futile moments of hopping on and off the bus is a desperate attempts to revive the vehicle, he concluded the bus was out-of-service and announced that passengers would have to wait for the next bus to arrive to continue onwards on their journey. The passengers moaned in unison as the bus doors opened and they stepped off one after the other onto the street. It was 8:50am and Bradley was inevitably going to be late for work. Right as he stepped off the bus directly in front of the dance school, a strange foreign feeling came over him; an emotion he had not experienced for a long time. He was no longer on the fence and was now unafraid, transporting himself back to when he was 7 years old and finally ready for his first jump off the high dive platform at his local swimming pool. This time, there was no one watching, no one to doubt him, no one to cheer him on and no one in his way. The sign on the school doors said “Open 9am to 9pm”. He had waited many years for a chance to walk through these doors and step into his dream of dancing. He supposed he could wait another 10 minutes to find out what this dream was all about.