Sucked into a song


Haeleigh Bayle, Editor

The bus doors opened in front of me and I trudged up the three steps and to my seat. Angrily, I unzipped my bookbag and put my headphones in, cranking up the music. I am not sure why I am always the butt of the joke, but I am. I stared out the window and felt hot tears bubbling up on the edges of my eyes, but I refused to let them travel down my cheeks. This is just what they want, I thought. For me to show weakness and cry like a baby. I laid my head back on the seat of the bus and let the lyrics wash over me. When upset, I put on my oldies because I feel as though it takes me to a happier, much more lively place. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by the Beach Boys came up next on my playlist, and I turned up the fun music to drown out the voices on the bus and the voices in my head. With my eyes closed I felt myself being enveloped in the tune and words of the song.

A few seconds later I felt a soft, warm breeze tickle my face. I cracked an eye open because I mean, it’s the middle of winter. My eyes practically bugged out of my face when I looked around and saw palm trees swishing in the wind and the ocean crashing in gently. I saw surfers hop onto their surfboards and ride huge waves like absolute pros. I began to slightly calm down, yet still had an underlying thought of, How did I get here? and How in the world do I get back to that freezing cold bus? I could hear the strong beginning cords of “Surfin’ U.S.A.” ripple through the air, except there wasn’t a single person there who had a radio. As the Beach Boys started singing, I looked around incredulously, but no one else seemed even slightly fazed by the catchy music. I suddenly realized what had just happened…

I was stuck in a song.

Families threw Frisbees and young children dug in the sand. It was like a picture-perfect version of what the beach should be like. After sitting on the sand for what felt like hours, waiting and trying to snap back into my reality, I finally got up and decided to do something with myself. The only thing I could think to do was to try to talk to someone and ask them for any help they were willing to give. I tried to approach many people, but each time they acted as if they couldn’t see me. At one point, I even tried to tap a young lady with a huge sunhat, but my hand passed right through her. I gasped, a claustrophobic feeling washed over me as I saw that there was no way I could get out of this song. My breath started coming in and out faster and faster, and I felt an anxiety attack creeping up on me.

I plopped down onto the sand, and sobbed. Life around me went on normally, laughter and the lyrics of “Surfin’ U.S.A.” floated through the area. After crying enough tears to fill a separate ocean, I suddenly had an idea. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and saw that it somehow was still functioning. I clicked the pause button on my phone and closed my eyes, praying that I would return to the smelly bus. I opened my eyes timidly and was welcomed by the sight of my toothy 6-year-old cousin who rides the same bus as me staring at me.

“Jeez Cathryn, you look like you saw a ghost,” she giggled and plopped down beside me. “Are you okay? Do I need to tell Auntie that you are sick?”

“No, I’m okay kiddo, just a little cold is all,” I responded. I could hear her small voice carry on and on about her day and I nodded and smiled at all the right times, but I couldn’t shake the experience I had just had. All I could think about was how happy I was to be home and here on this stinky, noisy bus headed to a family who cared deeply about me.

As soon as we stepped off the bus, I hugged Amelia close and felt her squirm out of my grasp. She started laughing, “Cathryn you are acting so weird. I think you need to take a nap. You never give me hugs.” She grabbed a hold of my hand, taking advantage of my huggy demeanor, and skipped up to my family’s house. I looked around and realized, I really like the snow…