For the most part the METRO personnel did not make the Gibeons feel like a freak show. Adriel could see the long intake of breath some of the employees made when they saw him and Gabrielle coming but he didn’t begrudge them that. A dude in a wheelchair accompanied by a blind chick meant extra work and at the end of a long, hot summer shift most folks weren’t looking for extra work. The METRO employees weren’t bad but sometimes their fellow passengers were downright rude. As Gabrielle piloted the wheelchair to the Plexiglas lean-to that was the bus stop Adriel couldn’t help but wonder what reaction the raving Hispanic youth would have to their presence.
“Man, can you believe that?” the youngster asked in heavily accented English. “That driver’s got to be blind! He had to see me running for his bus.” He looked at the Gibeons and added, “Oh, crap. Sorry. No offense. You blind?”
Gabrielle laughed. “None taken, but yeah, I’m blind. My husband said you’re quite the sprinter.”
“Huh? Oh! Yeah, I’m late for work. I was supposed to be there at nine but I slept in. I closed last night and I was supposed to open this morning. Stupid. What, they think I can get off work at two and then be back at nine? Maybe if I slept in a room above the restaurant like in Nicaragua. My name is Duvan, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Duvan. My name is Gabrielle and this is Adriel.”
“Hi, Duvan, That was a fast run but you’d better look out for cars.” Adriel’s voder recited without emotion.
“Whoa!” the young man responded, momentarily pulling back the hand he had been extending in greeting. “Man, that’s one hell of a boom box you’ve got there!”
Adriel smiled in response and Gabrielle said, “Adriel doesn’t have much voluntary muscle control so he has to talk with his voder; although I kind of like the name boom box better.”