the 11:20 from indianapolis

Gum Ball Machine and chairs


Sixty three year old Betsy Thompson sat in the waiting room. The 11:20 bus from Indianapolis was due to pull up any time now and she was very excited to board. This was her first trip away. She'd spent her entire life in Gary, never venturing far from home. Until Rick had unexpectedly passed away last June, Gary had been enough.  She and Rick were happy, had built a home and raised a family. Now, however, Betsy wanted more than anything to escape. The last year had been tough on her. Rick's death, the funeral, and even worse the pity she could see in the eyes of her friends and neighbors.

Soon that would all be behind her. As soon as the 11:20 arrived, Betsy could leave all of it behind. First was a week in Chicago with her brother Bill’s family. Then she would make her way by train and bus to San Jose. California! She could hardly imagine what California would be like. When her sister Ellie’s letter came, asking her to join come west, Betsy immediately pounced upon the invitation as the solution to all of her problems. California and Ellie. Would there be palm trees?  Did you see movie stars in California? She supposed that they were probably so common, that nobody paid them much attention. Maybe she would get to see Gary Cooper? If only that bus would get here. Where was that 11:20 from Indianapolis? Betsy wanted to start living again.


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