“Last stop!” The driver belted over the speaker. I wondered if he knew I was the only one there to listen. I stood up and scanned the inside of the bus once more, hoping if I kept looking, more people would appear to keep me from being alone. The heels of my brown leather boots clicked with each step as I approached the front of the bus.
“Excuse me, does this route go to the Strip District?” I held my breath waiting for a response.
“Oh no, if that’s where you were heading you should’ve got on the bus going the other direction. But the train station right here will get you there. Good luck and be careful crossing the tracks.” With that I was off. I walked over the tracks and onto the concrete platform marked ‘To Pittsburgh.’ My boots collected bits of stale gum along the way, which I would discover later. The air reeked of desolation. I waited for tumbleweeds to roll by.
After each passing minute, I glanced at my watch. 12:47. With every tick of the rose gold hand, I grew increasingly anxious. 12:48. Maybe if I click my heels together, some miracle will take me away from here. Not that there was anything wrong with being in the middle of nowhere. Any other day, I would have embraced the moment, but I had places to go.
I didn’t know exactly how far I was from the Strip District, but I soon realized no mode of transportation would take me there in twelve minutes. I was left with no option but to collect myself and call to reschedule the meeting I was meant to attend regarding an internship opportunity for a local magazine.
The train came within a few minutes, and by 1:30 I was in downtown Pittsburgh, all dressed up in my favorite Banana Republic blazer and skirt with nowhere to go. My watch served as both an accessory and a reminder of my mistake.
Fed up with public transportation, I resolved to walk the two and a half miles back to campus. However, after walking about half a mile, I decided to make light of the situation, and called a friend to meet me downtown. We ate lunch at our favorite bakery/café and browsed in a few stores. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon!
**Tips for adventures: Always make sure you have a jacket and comfortable shoes in case you end up walking farther than you expect. Alternatives to heels for a dressy outfit can include boots, flats, or my go-to— Oxford shoes. Also, be sure to bring a credit/debit card or cash in case you need it for transportation or if a shopping opportunity arises.**