Some people say life is all about the journey, not the destination.
“I-I-I-I-I-I, I’m hooked on a feeling. I’m high on believing. That you’re in love with me!”
I jump awake and fish around my pockets for my phone that’s blaring Hooked on a Feeling for the whole bus to hear.
“Hey, why haven’t you text me back?”
“I just woke up.”
“Shit. She just woke up. You going to try get the bus tomorrow then?”
“No, no. I’m on the bus. I just fell asleep, I’m a bit hung over.”
“Oh good, you have a good time?”
“Eh, so much pressure to have fun. It was like everyone was just trying a bit too hard.”
“True. Your dad was betting that you’d miss the bus. I got your text at like 2am, then nothing.”
“Well I didn’t want to wake you this morning, ha, but obviously at 2am I wasn’t concerned. I’ll text you when I’m close okay?”
“Love you boo”
I slump back into my seat and look out the window. It’s a bland looking day. Grey skies loom over grey hillsides, which slope into the grey road that the bus is stumbling along. I do this trip by bus up to ten times a year so I let the scenery slide by without paying much notice. The window struggles to hold my attention for long and I reach down into my bag to pull out my laptop. I watch a movie, I play games on my phone, I check my Facebook and suddenly I am there.
But sometimes the journey is inconsequential, sometimes it’s all about the smiling faces waiting for you.
Once I’m off the bus the sun sinks through my heavy woollen jumper and jeans and I am instantly hot. I love the heat and straightaway I’m excited to be home. The bus driver pulls my pack from the undercarriage and I hoist it on my shoulders unsteadily and look about me. Behind all the hustle and bustle of people getting their belongings and greeting their loved ones he’s standing, leaning against a lamppost. He’s a big man, not overly tall, about 6ft, but he is wider that most with shoulders that struggle through doorframes.
I kiss his cheek and we hug. He takes the pack off my shoulder with one hand and carries it like a dainty handbag even though it weighs almost 20kgs.
“How was the trip?”
“What’s the weather like down there?”
“Bloody cold, feeling a bit overdressed now.”
Dad throws my pack and my satchel into the back of his huge 4WD, a big car for a big man. We hop in, dad starts the ignition and Meatloaf comes screaming on. We look at each other and smile before breaking out in song.
“And I would do anything for love, I’d run right into hell and back.”
I do some dramatic gestures and dad throws his head back and howls before throwing the 4WD into reverse and taking off.
“Where’s Jordan?” I ask.
“We’re just going to get him now, he’s at his mum’s. Can you text him?”
In Napier everything is usually less than a ten-minute drive away unless you head out to the burbs, so five minutes later he’s in the backseat.
“What’s for dinner Dad?”
“Old Rangi aye, you’re here five seconds and already looking for a feed.”
“Shut up” I laugh. “Hey, where are we going?” after I notice we’re not heading home.
“Thought we’d go pull the pots.”