About half-way through Officers Candidate School I received a 2 week pass for the Christmas holiday. I took a Trailways bus back to Nebraska and spent Christmas with my parents in Aurora. On Dec 29 I boarded the bus for the 3 day trip back to Ft. Belvoir, Va.
Angela got on at the Chicago stop and sat down next to me. She was returning to Washington D.C. after spending Christmas with her sister. Angela was an attractive young woman with a great sense of humor and a quick wit. We had a lot of fun traveling together.
We were crossing Pennsylvania on December 31st when we realized that it was almost midnight. Most people traveling by bus on New Years Eve are not among those who have been dealt the high cards in life. Angela and I decided that the new year should be celebrated even if we were only passengers on a bus.
At the stroke of midnight, we went up to the front of the bus and wished everyone a happy new year. I kissed Angela and then we started down the aisle.
She kissed every guy traveling alone and wished each one a happy new year. I did the same for each of the women traveling alone. The handful of couples traveling together kissed and wished each other a happy new year.
By the time we got to the back of the bus, everyone was laughing and exchanging new years greetings. Bottles of booze mysteriously appeared and were passed around along with all sorts of cookies and chips.
Somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania, 40 strangers became 40 friends celebrating the new year together.