Riding the Bus with My Sister

Riding the Bus with My Sister

by

Rachel Simon

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Riding the Bus with My Sister: 34. December: Finding the Twin Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A few days after their fight, Beth starts sending Rachel apology letters and leaving her voicemail messages. At first, Rachel doesn’t respond. But after two days, she decides that it’s selfish and unfair to give Beth the silent treatment. She admits that her “dark voice” will always be there, and she must learn to manage it if she wants to save her relationship with Beth. When Rachel goes inside, the phone rings. It’s Beth, apologizing and promising that she is “really trying to change.” Rachel knows that Beth finds apologies difficult, and Rachel hates herself for the way she treated Beth. At the end of the call, she agrees to keep visiting. Then, she runs out to her car and gets Beth’s present to her: a scrapbook.
Rachel and Beth’s fight has served as the “cataclysmic event” that Beth needed in order to finally recognize that she needs to change. Rachel is still furious, but she’s also secretly relieved that this fight didn’t affect anyone else—particularly anyone with less sympathy and patience for Beth than she has. Meanwhile, Beth’s phone call and her gift to Rachel mark a monumental step in Beth’s personal growth. Specifically, these gestures show that Beth is finally moving beyond her stubborn, egotistical perspective to make genuinely selfless gestures toward her sister. Of course, the scrapbook itself represents the memories that Rachel and Beth will share from their year riding the buses, which is finally coming to a close.
Themes
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
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