07 April 2009

green means go. | pt. 5

I feel like I've been walking for hours, though I'm not really sure because I didn't bring my watch. As soon as I got to the park, I stuck myself in the middle of the slide where no one could see me, my tennis shoes pressed tightly against the plastic to keep me from moving. It started to get scary, and my fingers were cold. So I slid down and kept walking. My feet hurt.

There's a bank sign that flashes "61°F" then "12:24." I have a long time before morning and I am getting sleepy. I should have thought this out better.

There's a gas station on the next block, and I go inside. The fluorescent lights are buzzing on the ceiling and I eye the teenager sitting behind the counter. He's watching TV and I don't think he notices me. His name tag says STEVE.

It's hard to decide what to buy. I'm a little hungry, but I don't want to spend all my money tonight. Who knows how long I'll be traveling. There's a box of Cracker Jacks and a bag of Skittles. I love them both, but I have to choose. I find a penny in my coat pocket. Heads is Cracker Jacks, tails is Skittles. I flip it but don't catch it. It hits the tile and rolls under the shelf. Out of reach. I duck after it and then slowly glance at STEVE, but his eyes are fixed on the screen. I slide the Skittles swiftly into my coat pocket and carry the Cracker Jacks to the counter.

I have to cough to get his attention. He looks at me strangely. I slide my crumpled $5 toward him and add, "My mom's waiting in the car." STEVE punches some buttons on the cash register and gives me my change. It gets crammed back into my jeans, and I push out the door.

It's 12:45. I feel a little guilty. The lump in my throat is rising. Because now, I'm not only a runaway; I'm also a thief.


Matthew said...

your writing is unreal

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