I am sitting in the driveway with a bucket of chalk and jeans streaked with it, yellow and blue to match my hands as I attempt to outline my skinny legs and naked feet. I have been abandoned by my best friend who is now racing her bike up and down the street, making regal noises, "da da-da da, da la!", and waving at the mailboxes as though she is the queen. She thinks she's hot stuff since she got a purple Schwinn for her birthday: glittered frame and a banana seat. Who wants a dumb bike anyway? We're not even allowed to leave the block. I'm trying to keep my right arm flat against the concrete long enough to outline my fingers. It's hard, and my pinky turns out too long and too fat. The summer sun is pressing the sweat out of my hands while I twist on my back to pull the chalk up the length of my arm. I relax my head back and start at my neck, the cool piece skimming my skin. I hear the car first. End of the block. Screeching tires, quick horn. Metal on metal. Crunching. Stand up quick. Chalk falls. Shatters. End of the driveway. Black car. Purple Schwinn. Blood. People running to the intersection. Police. Ambulance. I cannot leave my place in the driveway until my mother has rushed past me and returned, picking me up by the armpits and holding me tight against her chest. My heavy legs swing against her thighs. My head lays on her shoulder and she carries me inside. My best friend is dead. Red means stop. Green means go.
4 years ago