Every week, bus drivers get to meet several people with different characters and attitudes. While some are smiling, others will come with a sober face. Some will appear distracted and lost, whereas another group will appear to be in a hurry. Among all these people, there are the “regulars” as bus drivers would call them. They are those who take the buses daily either while leaving for school or work.
Daily Road Life
One of these bus drivers is Tim Watson, an experienced driver who always give attention to those alighting and entering his bus. Due to his several years of service, he has regular passengers already. He is familiar to their drop zones and knows a considerable part of their daily schedules. Among these regular passengers, some have become friends to Tim.
Once these group of regular-turn-friends enter – or about to leave - the bus, Tim would have a quick conversation such as “enjoy your day” or “take care” with them. And in return, they would pray for Tim’s safety while on duty. This happens daily until one day.
On that day, Tim was operating smoothly along his regular route until one man, and a boy entered his bus at a particular bus stop. Immediately those two entered, Tim knew that the man and little boy were not among his usual passengers. The man, who appeared to be in his mid-twenties, seemed perturbed while the boy was being restrained. Then, they sat on a seat in the middle of the bus.
Immediately, they entered the bus, the little boy began to cry – a scene which Tim is already familiar with. However, unlike the typical temper which the bus driver usually sees in little kids entering with a temper tantrum, the boy’s manner of crying was utterly different. It was evident that the boy was scared while crying; an appearance which is not typical of any child entering the bus while expressing a temper tantrum.
As much as Tim tried, he couldn’t put off a strange feeling about the whole scene as he checked on the pair from time to time. Despite the man’s effort to keep the boy quiet, the boy continued to shed tears. Ideally, Tim would never keep checking on his passengers via the rear-view mirror; however, in this case, something was pushing him to keep watching – a strange feeling which he cannot explain. By the time Tim checked again, something had happened.
The earlier news report
When Tim rechecked his rear-view mirror, he found an answer to his strange feeling. The case of a missing person which he read in the news earlier that morning crossed his mind. From the news report, it was declared that a three-year-old boy is missing from a library in San Francisco. While Tim was trying to remember the remaining part of the story, a suspicion materialized within him.
As a father of two, Tim began to agree with what his gut feeling was trying to tell him. Maybe the little boy was the missing three-year-old boy from the news.
Nevertheless, he didn’t reject the possibility of being wrong outrightly. So, in his mind, he tried to recollect other details from the report. Fortunately, he remembered that the missing boy was reported to be wearing a plaid short, a blue shirt, and on his feet, there are red crocks.
A Parent’ Intuition
In his thought, Tim began to imagine what the boy’s parent must be going through while their son is still missing. Then, he remembered his children and how bad he would feel if anything bad happen to them.
As he recollected the other details from the report, Tim tried to find a way of seeing the boy clearly in order to be sure. However, stopping the bus abruptly to confront the man would be unwise, considering the other passengers on board.
Covering His Suspicions
Tim concluded that whether the little boy is the missing person or not, he must never alert the man with him. It will be unwise to scare the man off if the situation is truly a kidnapping case. So, he decided to keep driving normally without checking the rear-view mirror. By this time, the man has become restless as he appeared to leave the bus as soon as possible.
A Brilliant Cover-up
Tim knew that the man might decide to alight from the bus at any moment. After all, none of the passengers seem to have noticed as they were busy with their business. Understandably, the time to do something is running out. While Tim was trying to relax and find a solution, a perfect idea came to his mind.
The idea is to make things appear normal as much as possible. Consequently, Tim made an announcement that a previous passenger had forgotten a green backpack on the bus, so he has to check the bus. In fact, Tim claimed that the passenger insists that the bus should be checked to confirm. Afterward, Tim stood up and started checking the bus casually.
Assessing the Target
Politely, Tim asked all passengers to look under their seats to check for the bag. Once he reached the middle where the man and the boy were sitting, he looked at the boy closely. Alas, his gut feeling was right! The tiredly looking boy was putting on red crocks, blue shirt, and plaid shorts. At that moment, Tim realized that the little boy was the missing person from the news.
She immediately called out her husband Lance, saying: “It’s got to be her.” He rushed out of the house and convinced his wife to talk to the woman. So, they knocked on the door and Dawn opened it.
Once the search was complete, Tim returned to his seat casually. Then, he started planning on the next line of action. Tim realized that to deal with the situation at hand alone will not be a good idea, so he developed a plan.
Ideally, the bus engine usually makes a loud noise that can make soft sounds inaudible, most especially if you are speaking from the middle of the bus to the driver’s seat. Since the pair were seated at the middle and busy looking at the window, Tim went for his phone and placed a call.
Alerting the Police
While Tim was driving at a regular place, he was calling the police discretely at the same time. He informed the police that he has a boy that matches the description of the missing person in his bus. Immediately, the police gave Tim a set of instructions on the next move. Tim listened carefully, even though he feared that something terrible might happen. However, he was determined to save the boy.
According to the police instruction, Tim moved to the next stop as scheduled. The police assured Tim that by the time he reaches the next stop, police officers would be waiting to move into action.
Again, the bus driver checked his rear-view mirror to see if the suspected kidnapper has been alerted. Luckily, he appeared relaxed.
The Crucial Moment
Once Tim reached the next stop, the rear of the bus was covered by two police officers while many officers were positioned at the front. One after another, the passengers moved out of the bus. Even though the passengers were concerned about the whole situation, nobody dared question their authority. The eyes of the officers were fully focused on the bus as they wait for the man and the boy to alight.
Immediately the pair moved out of the bus, the police officers snatched the boy from the suspected kidnapper’s arm. After making a few minor attempts to struggle, the man was arrested. From the look on the boy’s face, it was apparent that he understood the whole situation concerning his rescue.
Afterward, the police officers drove the man and the boy to the police station for proper investigation
Informing the Parents
Before the rescue scene, it seemed that the possible lead had been passed across to the parents. The parents were phoned immediately once the officers reached the station. It was obvious that the parents were profoundly relieved and happy to see their son soon. In Tim’s imagination, he wondered how happy the parent would be to meet their son hale and hearty.
A Heroic Act
As expected, the police officers and the parents were exceedingly grateful. The innocent boy had been rescued, all thanks to the excellent memory, bravery, and keen instinct of Tim. Everyone involved was proud of the bus driver.
Before Tim would understand what was happening, the news had spread like wildfire and instantly, he became a celebrity. During an interview with a local news station, the brave Tim disclosed that he did just what any father would do.
The kidnapper would have succeeded in his devilish act if Tim had neglected his gut feeling. According to Tim, everyone should understand something; Try to go with a feeling that comes to the gut. Failure to comply might result in future regret.