The bus made a sharp turn and I fell into the aisle, my friend Heather right behind me, pinning my right foot between her shin and the leg of the seat in front. My head smashed into the shoulder of the guy across the aisle and my sock hat slipped off as I slid to the floor. Landing on my book bag was not comfortable, but the pain in my trapped ankle trumped the bruised back. My heart hammered as I righted myself, perching one butt cheek on the edge of the seat. I quickly pulled my hat back on. I gripped the seatback across the aisle for stability, clearly violating the personal space of the aisle guy again.
We were crammed three to a seat on a strange bus. Our regular school bus had overheated and nearly blown up so we were herded onto one that was already full of kids.
The sun rose, making the snow drifts glow orange on top with blue shadows underneath. As cold as it was outside, inside my winter coat and surrounded by warm blooded high schoolers, I began to sweat. I hoped no one would notice.