Segment 7: The Man in the Truck

Blog Directory The next day I was on the bus and I saw the girl I’d met two days before sitting in the third to the front seat with her short hair tussled and the dye worn down and a pink bag slung over her shoulder. She looked out of character like she’d lost the confidence in feist that I’d seen in her when she was lighting matches in the driveway of her garage and smoking with the band leader in front of her big lawn. I could see circles under her eyes and a greyness over her lids from where I sat to the right in the fifth row down by the aisle, that had been covered with purple shadow when I first brought her her binder and I sat back against my green leather seat fingering at the earmark of my plastic notebook, wondering what was the matter. Everyone stood to get out twenty minutes later and after I’d let the girl with my chemistry class out so that she could stop reaching back to talk with the people she really wanted to, I leaned out my window to watch in which direction Sheedy would go and then I walked out the aisle and down the steps after a guy with freckles and his hair in front of his face with a walkman plugging his ears and out towards the concession stands between the library and gym. I found her hiding in between the brick walls standing against one and I remembered that in my chemistry lab we were making aspirin today which at the beginning of the morning got me excited and willing to go but which now felt like a second priority. “I haven’t seen you in a couple of days.” I walked up to Sheedy to say. Sheedy looked up at me unsuprised by me being there and stared back down at her tennis shoes while I checked out the gate and the trees above it on the hill that led out to a neighborhood I thought, for where we could run, hide, smoke cigarettes, get out from this heavy roof but Sheedy kicked a rock and said she had to go. I guessed that she’d needed to be alone that someone or people at home hadn’t given her that chance and that she’d missed it by me stopping her from having moments to herself alone at school before everything got started. I gave her credit for doing the right thing and my throat got dry to think that I was the one left alone not doing it either and so I rushed out across the lawn keeping my eyes averted and away from her until I stepped up the three flights pulling myself up by the stairway rail until I got to the top and to my chemistry lab where I’d raced to meet my class at the back of the line to make aspirin, which I now needed, at 9 am in the morning.

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