Hope you like ‘em.
The Stories I Throw In The Trash
The Testimony of Television Eyes.
The alarm clock summons, leaving me to toss and turn.
Ugh, you can’t be serious... I get up, and sure enough, I’m on the bed. I frown and check my skin, and sure enough I find bedbugs. This is why I didn’t want to sleep on the bed. Bedbugs everywhere. I hate this motel. I look in the mirror and again try to take the slightly bloodied feather out of my hair. The story behind this feather begins with an exotic goose named Sham’a and ends with a massacre.
I was walking down the street from my work, about to hang out at the cvs store, when I happened to pass by he two old women who herded all kinds of exoctic birds, from peacock to dove, you name it. It would’ve amazed me, I would’ve made fast friends with these two elderly bird sheperdesses, if......
They weren’t all aggressive.
The birds squacked and jeered at all the passerby, and the old women threw insults at everyone under 50 years old, perhaps translating for the birds. The most aggressive of all of them was a goose named Sham’a, all white except for her ashy black face, and was filled with hatred for humans. And I was no exception.
I happened to pass by the sheperdesses, and they threw insults at me, calling me a sellout, as usual, when I sneezed. Sham’a ‘s blood boiled at this, and charge at me with her wings up, her beak open so the teeth under them bared, yelled her war cry, and...
“And tried to rip out my hair and stab me in the skull. I am dead serious.” “Oh my god...” Miss Penny put her hands over her mouth. Me and her were hanging out in the lounge until break time was over. “Don’t worry. I don’t have any significant brain damage. I think. I had to stay in the hospital for the rest of the day and the next day, but they did some scans and said I was fine.” “ You should put that feather in your headband. I hear clients pay more when you look exotic.”
Oh yeah, I work at one of those phony fortune teller places. Yeah, yeah, call me awful, but I’m not the one who decides to waste money on impostors just because you believe in supernatural entities and this non-existent thing called “fate” or whatever. Besides, some people literally fall apart at the fact that there may not be an afterlife, and that’s where people like me come in. It’s really the thought that counts.
The bell rings, indicating that there’s a new customer. I look up and try to get something of the customer’s personality from his or her clothes. That’s because I could be the one telling her fortune, and I want to be as accurate as possible to seem convincing. Besides, this way, you can tell most people’s fates from their clothes and body language. “Are you here to get a tarot card reading, a palm reading, or simply to get your fortune told?” Miss Anne investigated behind the desk. “Just me fortune.” “Alright..” Miss Anne checked her appointments schedule. “Oh dear, I forgot that Miss Margaret couldn’t come today. Let me see if anyone is available at this moment..”
Miss Anne rubbed her hands to her forehead in a meditative manner, as if she could tell which place everything was in the past, how they are in the present, and how they will be in the future. As if she hadn’t already checked who was available today. “Ah. Miss Cheryl may be able to help you.” “Aight,” the unnamed customer replied. She had blonde dreadlocks as well as a black leather jacket and a ripped pink denim skirt. On the outer layer of her personality, she seemed to have a carefree and assertive attitude, but I saw something beneath that. I couldn’t quite tell what it was.
“Velcome,” I acknowledged when she came inside, with my fake Russian accent. “Sup. I came here because it’s less expensive than therapy.” I managed the most sophisticated laugh at her joke, then got to business. “Vhat would you like to know about your fate?” “I just wanna get to a place I actually like.” “Vhat do you mean?” “I mean, like..” The dreadlock girl sighed discreetly, then continued. “I’ve tried traveling away from California, but it seems that everywhere I look, people are just the same, and I feel weird like I did growing up in California. I wanna go somewhere where I don’t feel like that.”
I nodded, noticing her bag that had a rastafari pattern on it. “I see you are close with the spirit realm.” “Yeah.” I brewed up something purely from my imagination. I have to reward myself for making up this one, in retrospect. “I see a boat and two shepherds. You can try and find the boat, but you must hurry. I see spirits lurking, and while some will help you, some will try to cast you to the darkness that is the sea to be with them.” The girl gasped. “Yes. But I believe you can outrun them. There are some charms by the door to protect you, if you like. Only $5 each.”
“Yeah, that’s aight.” The girl shot a determined look towards the exit. “I think I can get to the boat myself.” She dropped $20 on my desk, went through the door, and disappeared into the shadows without a trace.
Later that day, Miss Anne appeared through my door. “I brought you some apple juice. I heard what happened, are you alright?” “Yeah.” I cast my eyes away. I was a bit bothered when Miss Anne acted motherly towards me, especially since I could take care of myself now. “I just came in to check on you. It’s strange, you could’ve come back here and said you wanted to pursue a job such other than this and I would’ve obliged. I think you would do wonderful in drama school.” Oh, here we go, I thought. Miss Anne tried to get me to quit my job everyday. I don’t blame her, these kinds of jobs are for failing middle aged businesswomen who couldn’t make ends meet, and I was so young and full of opportunity and blah blah blah..
But what I felt she didn’t understand was that I like this job, middle aged women or not. I wanted to be able to help people with their hopes and doubts about whatever the spirit world is. Besides, it’s a fun way for me to get some money so I could stand on both feet. I’m wasn’t even sure I could have that hopeful of a future anyway. I know better now.
“Please, promise me, you’ll at least consider it.” I nodded, faked a smile, and walked out. My head was still spinning with Dreadlock Girl’s request. It was almost as if she had been some figment of my imagination. Most asked similar questions to her, but this girl was different from the rest. Because while most asked for something to benefit themselves, this one just asked for a change of scenery. She didn’t want to be rich or lucky. This one just wanted room to breathe. I was starting to wonder if me and Dreadlock Girl were so different after all.
My head was still spinning when I went to hang out at the cvs store. I mostly just hang out there and read all the magazines in the magazine shack, from gossip to science magazines. I’m not picky. “Hey,” Calvin introduced himself. “I don’t suppose you’re going to buy something this time?” Calvin was the cashier here. He had a sarcastic sense of humor, which was why I was friends with him. “Don’t worry, Calvin, I’ll probably buy a lollipop or something.” Calvin frowned. The lollipops were only 50 cents each. I laughed at his expression. “Fine, fine, maybe I’ll buy a magazine or something.” “Alright, girl. But you’d better beat it in thirty minutes or my boss will think you’re here to shoplift or something.”
“Okay.” I looked back at what I was reading. “God, gossip magazines are so mindless. Look at this! So apparently this girl named “Violet”- EEP!” I quickly hid behind the door of the girl’s bathroom. Dreadlock Girl was here! I couldn’t let her see me like this. What are you doing? Calvin mouthed to me. I held a finger towards my lips, and immediately Calvin understood, and his expression darkened when he saw Dreadlock Girl.
I can’t let my clients see me outside of work, because it would ruin the illusion that I was a mystic fortune teller who lived by the ways of the spirit world, and people would soon come to doubt me and my “abilities”. Still, I cracked open the door of the girl’s bathroom slightly, because I was still dying to know more about Dreadlock Girl. She was grabbing handfuls of energy bars and drinks, then stuffing them into her purse. “Ma’am, you need to pay for those...” She simply walked towards the automatic doors, ready to leave.
“Ma’am!” She quickly made a rude gesture....
“And she just ran and ran and ran...” I was explaining the story to Miss Penny again, except this time it was after work hours.”Wow... It seems like all the interesting things happen to you, Cheryl.” “Well, seems as if there’ll be interesting things happening to me from here on out, whether I like it or not.” I half-glared at the bird herders, and they leered at me back. “Anyways, Calvin was quite angry after Dreadlock Girl made that rude hand gesture. I asked him if he was okay after he was finished with his shift, and he said that he was okay, he was just working out some mental issues and sometimes small things set him off. I hope he’ll be okay...”
I spotted Dreadlock Girl at a distance, and I quickly turned to Miss Penny. “Quick! Put scarves over your head and pretend you’re doing magic stuff!” We did as I told, but I peered curiously at Dreadlock Girl from a distance. I know it’s not good to be nosey, especially around these streets, but in the case of dreadlock girl I simply couldn’t help myself. She was walking on the sidewalk, not in an everyday manner, but in a sort of ninja manner, as if she were trying to hide something.
Enter Sham’a.
SHAM’A: (translated from goose squacks) Foolish mortal! How dare you go within 10 feet of my grass field! Draw if thou be not a coward!
DREADLOCK GIRL: (aside) What the-
(SHAM’A and DREADLOCK GIRL fight, running offstage)
Dreadlock Girl swung at the goose aggressively, determined to win this fight, and they both disappeared into the forest like shadows, as if they were figments of my imagination. Alright, I’ll admit, at this point I was crossing the line and wasn’t only being nosy, but straight-up meddlesome. I walked into the forest they had disappeared into. Miss Penny’s forehead wrinkled as they went in. “Cheryl, what are you doing?” I rolled my eyes impatiently. “Are you coming or not?”
I went into the forest that Mystery Girl and Sham’a disappeared into, not checking to see if Miss Penny was behind me, but I heard footsteps, indicating that she was following me. The forest was more filled with palm trees than I was comfortable with, and as the trees branched out to block the sun, with only tiny rays making their way through. I could feel leaves make their way through my hair as I navigated my way through bushes and dank trees.
Dreadlock Girl was there, but no Sham’a to be seen yet. Dreadlock Girl seemed to be... chugging the energy drinks that were stolen earlier? Shouldn’t she be catching a boat or something after that fortune? My curiosity beckoned me further. Penny interrupted a bit too loudly. “Hey, Cheryl, this forest creeps me out let’s get out of here-“ “SHHH!” I glared at her. “Don’t be too loud, she’ll hear US-“ Suddenly, some kind of wild beast knocked me over and scratched me violently, every scratch singing into my skin. I howl in pain as I attempt to beat the creature off of me. When I look up, I realize it’s Sham’a. I should’ve known.
I flail and flail; until I see Dreadlock Girl has kicked off the goose in a flash. I grab a few of my spare “mystic looking” scarves to cover a few of my bleeding wounds. “Dank you,” I muttered in my fake Russian accent before dusting myself off. Miss Penny had ran. I wouldn’t blame her, a hot-tempered goose had just chased and attacked us. I turn around to leave, when suddenly I hear her voice. “You don’t have to use that fake accent, y’know. I heard your real voice back at the cvs. It’s real pretty. Like.. you know how bands sound better live than edited? Like that.”
For some reason I’m not terrified that one of my clients had seen me outside of work, and actually kind of... intrigued. “You think I sound pretty?” “Yeah.” We sat in silence for a while. “...Aren’t you going to get on a boat or whatever to fulfill your fortune or whatever?” “I would, but...” She sighed in distress. “The United States is what I’m used to. I’m used to nothing new happening. I’m used to seeing things like department stores and gas stations and.. I don’t know. I’m used to things being mindless. It’s depressing, but it’s true.”
“And I want something new, I really do. It’s all I’ve ever wished for since I was a little kid. But... I’m scared. I’m scared of what might happen. I don’t know if I’m going to like it- I just- I just don’t know if- I-“ Now Dreadlock Girl had me worried. I’ve heard conversations like this with people before, and those experiences have never ended well. Never. I shake her shoulder, desperate for her to answer me. Please answer me. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.
“Hey, hey,hey,hey. Are you okay-“ I’m cut off. Dreadlock Girl had put her lips on my lips and wrapped her arms around me. Her lips are very soft on mine. I don’t know how to react to this. I go with the flow anyway. I kiss her back. I debate whether I should take this kiss deeper or pull away. I don’t know how to react to this. I pull away. “I-I thought you were with that guy that you followed into that motel room?” She frowns slightly. “Nah. As soon as I stepped in he asked me to pretend to be his ex-girlfriend. He didn’t even ask my name.” “Some people can’t move on from the past,” I answered, feeling like I was dreaming and was going to wake up at any moment. I laid my eyes on Dreadlock Girl, once again wondering what her name was.
“Mbali.” “Huh?” “That’s my name, if you were wondering. Someone may as well know it before I leave this place.” I look at her again, and this time, a smile hints it’s way through. “Cheryl. Wishing you luck.”
I wake up the next morning on the couch this time. I exhale a breath of relief. I wouldn’t have to be bothered about my bedbug infested bed today. I heard a loud howl from a few rooms across from mine, tagged along with a crash that shook the earth around me. Forgetting that I was only in a pair of my old high school gym shorts and a tank top. A crowd had already gathered near the source of the crashing noise, but now the motel manager was beating them off. The door was missing, possibly falling in the enormous crater. “ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! STAND BACK, PEOPLE, I DON’T WANT MY MOTEL TO BE INSPECTED MORE THAN ONCE AFTER THIS DISASTER RIGHT HERE! God, this is an even bigger hole than the last time something like this happened.. This slip up might leave me with just the clothes on my back...” The chasm was ginormous, and if it were any bigger I might’ve fallen in as well. “What happened..?” I was awed.
“Well, I remember that the guy who was staying here was crying about that girl that got drowned in the lake. I’d seen her with him a few days ago, so maybe she was his girlfriend or something. I don’t see what he’s crying about, something like this happens every other day, it’s pretty much expected at this point, but what does he do? BOOM! crashes his way into the basement and will make me cost a lawsuit!” I blinked. Mbali? Drowned? How would she...
Then I remembered my fortune to her.
I told her to catch a boat passing by.
This is my fault! I started it! Why didn’t I tell her to catch a bus instead?!? This is my fault! This is my fault! This is my fault-
“Cheryl, dear God, are you okay?” Miss Anne was concerned about me for some reason, and I wondered why before I felt my cheeks get wet. Wait a minute, am I crying? “What? I mean, I think I’m okay...” Obviously I wasn’t, but I couldn’t think of any reason besides the fact that Mbali was dead.. But I hadn’t even known her that well..
“Come, now, you know I can’t stand when you have problems you’re not telling me about. You didn’t show up for work all day yesterday, and that’s not like you, not at all. And now that you finally show up, you can be used as a fireman’s hose with all those tears! Please, honey, just talk to me, okay?” It would sound ridiculous coming out of my mouth, but I missed Mbali. Maybe she had tried to get to that rickety old boat I had seen earlier.. and she never made it.. Mbali, I’m so sorry, I’m so, so sorry.
“I just-“ I was choking on my tears, but eventually I got around to telling her why I was crying a river. “Oh.. Mbali? I guess you might be grieved because it turned out to be your dear friend who did it, Calvin, I think his name was. Oh, sweetie!” She put on a remorseful face suddenly, seeing my shell-shocked face. “Oh.. honey, I’m sorry, did you not know? I’m sorry, it’s really not my business...” she gently put a hand on my cheek. “No, it’s fine. I think I slept in all day yesterday, so I’d have to find out somehow.”
“Why don’t you take the day off? In fact, why don’t you take all your days off?”
“What? Are you firing me?!?”
“What? No! Well, technically I am, but listen to me. I get about $100,000 per week. Customers tip me more because they think I’m more relevant, I suppose. Anyway, this old soul has plenty of retirement money to go around, so how do you feel about being given a quarter of what I get every week so you don’t have to work much to pay for groceries and rent. I can even go into all the money I have and perhaps help you pay for whatever profession you may want to have.”
She smiled sadly, her wrinkles showing more in her eyes. This is the point where I got to capture a bit more of her age. Gray was dominant in her hair, with only slight streaks of perhaps a light brown. While she wasn’t considered feeble quite yet, she was getting close to it. Her red rimmed reading glasses hung on her broad yet slouched shoulders with a chain of fake pearls, and her hips flashed back to a time when she was younger and perhaps attractive. It was almost as if you could see into her soul.
“I was like you when I was younger. I had just graduated from high school, and in that time, ladies like me often got married young. So I thought, ‘Well, going to college really is unnecessary, since I’ll probably be proposed to sooner or later.’ So I got a job as a waitress, and eventually got proposed to. Sure, we were financially secure, since the money system was easier in those days, but he was always gone all day, working himself in that business firm, and he wasn’t exactly fair when it came to sharing money, so I realized that I was going to have to fend for myself.
“And so, I found this fortune telling business that said they’d been looking for attractive and convincing young women to tell fake fortunes, and while I didn’t take pride in my work, it was a way to get around, and eventually I made more money than my husband because my boss thought I was such a good worker, that he raised my salary and paid me more to lie to people.” She gulped, reliving the disgust of the situation. “So then we had children, and then we got grandchildren, and eventually my husband kicked the bucket. Since my kids had already moved out of our house, I really had nobody left. I did hang out with my old friend Sherry sometimes on the weekends, but otherwise, from that point on, it was just me and my job where I lie.
“The only reason I haven’t quit yet is because I’m trying to help these people out of the situation I got myself stuck in. I don’t want these people to have to lie their whole lives. Cheryl, I don’t want you to have to lie your whole life.”
I was silent. I truly didn’t know what to say. I was sorry poor Miss Anne had to go through this. I used to like my job because some people couldn’t handle the truth. But was it really right to hold out on them, even if it 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 tear them apart? I contemplated for a short while. Even if the economic system is different now than it was, this was really a rare chance and I’d be a fool to pass it up. I searched for words while absorbing hers.
“Thank you. Really. I don’t even know how I should repay you.”
“You ain’t have to. Your gratitude is payment enough.” She gave me a warm, genuine smile as I left the fortune telling booth for the last time.
I blinked at the description of the crime in the newspaper. Choked with a scarf that I had accidentally left behind, then tossed into the water. I checked the newspaper again to make sure it didn’t actually say 𝐶𝑎𝑙𝑣𝑖𝑛. Calvin isn’t like this. Calvin would never do this, he’s not like that. Calvin was the guy who let me loiter in the store he worked in even though the other customers were never allowed to do that. Calvin was the guy who brought me chocolates and let me watch movies on his account on Webfilms when I felt sad. He was the one who actually remembered when my birthday was. He was the one who stayed on the phone with me when I called him in the middle of the night with something I had to talk about or else I’d just die on the inside.
Calvin would never do this. The mugshot of him isn’t supposed to be there, it’s supposed to be someone else. He would never choke someone with one of my scarves. Never. This is fake. Someone is playing a prank on me and was waiting until I fell for it. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this. Calvin would never do this.
I decided to “visit” him that day, just to prove that it wasn’t really him. Once I get there, I’m going to give the stranger that hurt my Mbali a good talking to. I’m going to give that guy a piece of my mind. Or girl. How would I know it’s a guy, anyway? Either way, Calvin didn’t do this. He’s working behind the cashier in that store right now. He didn’t do this...
I stop in front of the metal detector, the security guard waiting patiently as I go through. “Name?” I hold up my birth certificate for him to see. “Cheryl Marie Blood. Born on 1994, June 22nd. I am 23 years old and my biological sex is female and I identify as a female. My parents are-“ “Woah, girl. I can read everything on that birth certificate there. And stop shaking, will ya?” I realized I was acting a little too tense. I took a deep breath and walked into the room.
I couldn’t believe I was here. I didn’t ever see myself in my place, yet here I was. I looked around for magazines, and found none. I want a magazine. I don’t care if it’s a gossip magazine about Violet and her relentless drama or whatever. I want a magazine. Please. “Hey, Calvin, can you point to where the magazine shack is-“ I turn next to me and find someone I’ve never talked to before. I turn back and pinch myself. I can’t afford to lose my mind right now.
After fifteen minutes, I look around for Calvin. Obviously, he wasn’t here, I just wanted to prove that. I’m going to give the guy who really hurt Mbali a piece of my mind. I’m going to make him wish he was never born, I’m going to-
I walk over to the chair and pick the telephone up, looking at him through the glass window. “I was afraid it was you.” “Surprise,” He smiled, but his heart wasn’t in it. “I don’t even know why I did it. I don’t even remember doing it, all I remember is feeling just- so mad, then seeing her in the lake with the scarf around her neck too tightly, and then I looked and my hands, and-“ He suddenly stopped, as if he was going to throw up if he continued.
“I’m sorry. I never saw you this way. Do you think you might’ve had something happen in your past to make you this way?” All was silent for a long minute. I feared I made Calvin uncomfortable with this question, and so I stated “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” “No, wait.” Calvin deeply inhaled, his whole body quaking. “It was after my dad left when I was five. No need to feel sad, I barely remember him. What I do remember is that my mom started to humiliate me a lot, and yell at me and hit me for any reason she could find.
“It mad me mad at her a lot of the time, and it also made me feel sorry for myself a lot of the time, too, because I felt like she just saw me as another mouth to feed. Maybe she did. I tried to be positive, thinking about how mom and dad weren’t going to yell at each other all the time anymore, but it didn’t really cheer me up, because now mom was yelling at me instead. I still tried to make good grades in school, even though I was slow, and when middle school came around, I had friends who really cared about me!
It was nice, really. They listened to me whatever I told them. They were even okay after I told them I like boys instead of girls!” “Wait, you never told me-“ He gave me a distressed look. “I’m sorry. I won’t interrupt anymore. Please continue.” “Well, things were getting better, so I told my mom about it, finally. It took a lot of guts, but I felt brave for doing it.” He smiled, but it quickly faded away as he uttered his next few words. “But.. let’s just say she wasn’t too happy after I told her that. She s-sent me to this camp, and-“
He paused, tears forming up in his eyes. “Cheryl, you don’t want to know what it’s like there. Trust me, I’d never wish that camp on anyone. I can’t even begin to describe it, it’s so.. awful. After that, I felt like something was missing inside of me, and I tried to go to college to become a doctor, but my mom had taken away my college fund. Then I was left to work there in that shop, with nothing but my mental issues, and always close to blowing up every time someone does something even slightly irritating.
And now..” Tears were running down his face now. “Calvin, you don’t have to-“ “And now I just feel like the whole world is trying to get rid of me, just like my mom did! And it’s all my fault, all of it!” “Listen, Calvin, it’s not your fault!Well, technically it is, but... it’s partially your mom’s fault for never taking care of you like she should have!” “What can I do now, though? I’ll never be able to pick myself back up after this charge! I don’t want to go to prison, I heard all kinds of awful things about that place!” “Please trust me when I say I’ll do my very best to help you in your life. Why, you could’ve told me all you were struggling with before... this happened, and I would’ve tried my very best to help you! I swear on it. I’d make sure you’d never have to worry about your mother again.” Calvin ceased crying, then looked up at me. “Really?”
I put my hand on the glass, looking at him. “I never break promises, Calvin.”
I walked towards the door, and I got a weird feeling in my stomach, since nobody seemed to see me walk out, even though some were looking right at me.
“Psychology, Psychology. Ah, this college has a psychology course.”I ordered a bus ticket to Arizona, the place where the college was at. “Hang in there, Calvin.” I gathered my things. Toiletries. Clothes. Fifteen hundred dollars. My phone. Magazines to read on the way. Earbuds. My ID. Should I bring my scarves? I don’t think it ever gets cold in Arizona..
I looked out the window of my motel room, and got a bittersweet feeling. This place is where the nobodies go, yes, but.. I was going to miss some things about this place. The bird sheperdesses always throwing insults at me. My friends at my old fortune telling place. The snarky motel manager. The guy who would ask for a smoke every once in a while, even though nobody has any. The guy who I’m pretty sure is loony, but somehow manages to function that rickety old boat of his...
I pack in the scarves.
“Excuse me? I’m here for bus number 56?” The lady was ignoring me, continuing to chew her blue bubblegum. How rude. I clear my throat impatiently. “Ahem. Bus number 56. Where is it?” Silence from her. I’m getting angry, and usually I have respect for people with these kinds of jobs, but...
“Ma’am, I have something very important waiting for me in Arizona, so I suggest you take that bubble gum out of your mouth and listen to me!” I bang my fist on the desk, only to find that it went straight through. “Huh?” Not only that, but.. I noticed I was see through. Not a good sign. Wait, am I a ghost? Why? I’m pretty sure I’d remember dying! I frantically look around for help, when..
I turn around to see Mbali.
“Hey. It’s okay, I found the connecting bus that goes to the afterlife. Well, more like a plane, really.”
“Yeah, I was kinda confused when I died, too. You died in that chasm back in the motel, but you were asleep, so that’s why you don’t remember dying. But it’s cool now. Found the bus to the afterlife. Why don’t you come with me? Pretty sure all your dead relatives are there, or there’s really good ice cream or something there, or something related to heaven.”
“What are you just standing there for? Come with me.”
“I-I can’t.”
“Says who?”
I take a deep breath, preparing for her to be disappointed. I’m sorry, Mbali, but I’m not prepared to be a ghost yet. “Says me. I made a promise to a friend earlier. And I don’t break promises. That’s not who I am. I need to stay alive right now. Let me be alive.”
“Oh..” She looks down, closing her eyes. “It’s okay, don’t feel sorry. I’m gonna miss you a lot, though.”
“Me too, Mbali. But I’ll see you after I’m done with all this.. Unfinished business. See you on the flip side?”
She looks up, and smiles genuinely for the first time since I’ve met her. “Yeah.”
I get a feeling like I’ve just been kissed on the cheek. Mbali is gone, and so is that white bus in the background. I look down at my hands...
Hey, I’m not see through anymore! I’m so giddy I could laugh, or dance or run. I’m alive! “Hey ma’am, sorry to keep you waiting.” Bubblegum girl looks at me. “You said bus number 56?” “Yeah, thanks.”
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