Bravery part 1

December 21, 2009
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Aimie gazed out the window at the pouring rain. Dark, angry clouds loomed over the city skyline. Small umbrellas of different colors bobbed up and down above the people fighting the wind to get home. The loud, obnoxious blaring of car horns and typical city noise polluted the calming pitter-pat of the rain. Everything in the city was taken over by the gray day. Especially her mood.

A small gust of wind came in through the little square window on the third floor of the building, as the window didn’t close all the way. Aimie shoved her hands in her pockets to keep them warm. Aimie was a skinny-boned, pale-skinned, brown-curly-haired girl. She had one green eye, and one light brown eye. Her green glow-in-the-dark nail polish glowed lightly in her pockets. She was quiet and shy, often nervous and shaky, and today was stuck four blocks from her apartment in New York City after a singing lesson. She loved to sing, and was excited to turn eleven so that she would be old enough to be in the tri-school talent show. Her parents, as usual, weren’t home to come pick her up and take her home. Usually she would walk, but she had no umbrella or jacket. She felt her pockets and found two quarters. Definitely not enough to pay a cab, not even enough to pay a bus fee nowadays. Her brother was out with friends, but still she wondered if he would be able to come out and pick her up. She pushed a quarter into the pay phone downstairs and dialed his cell phone number. The phone was freezing cold, and it almost stung her hand to touch it. It rang three times before he picked up.

“Hello?” He answered. Aimie heard laughing in the backround. Loud, crazy laughing.

“Hi Luke, its Aimie.” More laughing. She could tell that it was one of his crazy friends. They were the type that always got into trouble. They were obnoxious, loud, and scary, and she didn’t like them at all. She didn’t know why he hung around him all the time, but would rather not get involved in his social life.

Aimie heard a loud, frantic car horn, but she couldn’t tell whether it came from right outside or through the phone. She hesitated a heartbeat before asking her question. “Can you pick me up from my singing lesson?”

“Sure. We’re actually driving by that street right now.” The phone rumbled as he put it away from his face. “Hey, dude, make the next left, we gotta go pick up my sister.”Aimie couldn’t hear a response.

“Are you sure it’s okay?”

“Yeah. Be outside when we come, okay?”

“Okay.”

She stepped outside and waited. If they had room to pick Aimie up, they couldn’t be in her brother’s old red truck. That meant that they were in one of his friends cars, with one of his friends driving. She considered calling back and saying she’d walk home, but then looked at the sky again. On top of the weather, it was starting to get dark. She sighed.

A small, green, dirty car pulled up to the curb next to Aimie. A window was broken, the leather seats were torn, and it smelled of something indefinable. Two boys that Aimie had seen before were in the front seat. The drivers name was Jackson, the one next to him was Zachary. Zachary let loose one of the out-of-control laughs that she’d heard over the phone. Luke was in the backseat. He smiled and opened the door for her to get in. The car pulled away.

Luke was a sixteen-year-old boy with brown curly hair just like Aimie’s, but cut short. He had green eyes and big feet, and a big smile. He was allergic to peanuts, and hated it because he always wanted to know what a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy tasted like, ever since he was a little kid. Not that he would ever tell anyone about that little detail. He carried allergy medication just in case in the right pocket of his red striped sweatshirt. He always wore his red striped sweatshirt when he went out. It was from ninth grade and was so worn out that it had a hole in one of the elbows and the zipper didn’t zip anymore. You could hardly recognize him without it. Jackson, on the other hand, was different. Not just in looks, but he was a different personality that Aimie didn’t like. He had wavy, red hair that always hung in his eyes. He had freckles, brown eyes, and always wore a less-than-friendly look on his face. His clothes weren’t anything special, but he always wore a black wristband with studs when Aimie saw him. It scared her a little bit. Zachary had straight black hair and today wore a big t-shirt that read ‘The Destroyer’.

Jackson ran a red light. Aimie held onto Luke’s arm tightly. Luke nervously fumbled with the zipper on his sweatshirt.

“Careful, Jackson.”

“Chill, Luke.”

Zachary laughed.

The car was swerving a little to the left. Then it pulled sharply to the right. Luke became a little bit pale.

“Du-u-u-de!” Zachary laughed and held onto his seat.

“Why don’t you drop us off at the corner by McDonalds? It’s closer.” Luke tried to stay calm, about as calm as you can be in a car with Jackson and Zachary.

“I thought we had to take your sister home.”

“Yeah, but-“

“Fine, whatever.” Jackson stepped on the pedal and the car began to swerve, in an attempt to switch lanes.

“Dude, I said be careful.”

“You rather Zachary take the wheel?”

The car pulled over and stopped abruptly, shooting all four forward in their seats. Jackson sauntered out and around to the door to the backseat. He mumbled as he toyed with his keys, and finally unlocked the door to let Luke and Aimie out.

“You’re leaving, too?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, bye.” Jackson shut the door. Aimie watched Zachary laugh in the car. Through the tinted windows they both looked like ghosts.

The car pulled away, looking very haphazard on the street. Luke pushed the door to McDonalds open, the warm, dry air wafting out. Suddenly there was a loud crash. They turned around to see that the car busted into a stop sign on the edge of the road. Luke and Aimie looked at each other and went inside.

Not that this wasn’t unusual. Since Aimie and Luke’s parents were rarely home before midnight and rarely still home by five thirty in the morning, Luke had always taken care of Aimie. So although they never spoke directly to Aimie, she knew his friends pretty well. And she knew that they had always been the type of people who were in detention one day, suspended the next, and in a cop’s car the day after that. Not much to her surprise, their parents were home as often as hers.





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