The first day of school, Jack always stopped the bus by the cemetery, put out the stop sign and opened the door, like he did for every kid.
The younger kids who’d seen this before giggled nervously. The older kids rolled their eyes. The new kids – someone always asked.
“What are you doing, Mr. Bus Driver?”
“Picking up John Karpen.”
“But nobody got on.”
“Just because you can’t see him, doesn’t mean he’s not here. John Karpen died twenty years ago, on his way to school. He’s buried here. His ghost sits right there.” The front left seat was always empty.
This year, a smartass popped up. There was always one, one of the older kids. “There’s no John Karpen on any headstone in that cemetery. I went looking over the summer.”
Jack turned to look at the smartass, and all the other kids on his bus. “Just because there’s no headstone, doesn’t mean nobody was buried there.”
Every kid on that bus stayed quiet, the rest of the way to school. Even John Karpen, the little brat.
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