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Other bus riders dribbled to the stop and eyed Adriel, Gabrielle and Duvan with suspicion. Duvan greeted all the arrivals with a smile and a quick, “Good morning!” When the bus arrived the half dozen passengers that were waiting with them rushed on in front of them as Duvan shook his head in playful dismay. “Do they think they’ll get there faster if they crowd in before you?” he asked Adriel.

Adriel grunted in response and Gabrielle said, “Happens all the time. You’d be shocked at some of the comments we get.”

Old pros at entering METRO buses and passing through subway gates Gabrielle loaded Adriel and the lift gate raised him up. She handed the driver their SmarTrip cards and pushed Adriel to the wheelchair area. Duvan followed, said, “Good morning,” to the driver and stood next to his new friends. “I love your country but everyone is always in such a hurry here,” he said quietly.

A nearby passenger glared at him, shook his head, snapped his newspaper and went back to reading the sports section. “You two should come down to Bar Louie’s sometime,” Duvan added. “Have a drink on me.”

“That’s very sweet of you, Duvan. We don’t get out much but next time we do we’ll make a point of coming to see you.”

“Great. That would be very nice.”

The bus stop was not far from the Shady Grove METRO station and when it pulled to a stop Duvan said, “Okay you two, take care. Good luck at the doctor’s, Adriel,” and dashed off the bus before the other passengers.

Gabrielle held back to wait for everyone else and as the newspaper reader left he said aloud, “Nice? If he doesn’t like how we do thing here he should go back to banana land. Freaks,” and then exited.

She shook her head at the departing man, kissed her husband and said, “Like I said before, I guess we’ll take what life throws our way.”

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