Later, I learned Johnny’s father had been hired as a construction worker for my father’s company. Father had fired him when he began drinking whiskey on the job. Johnny wanted to get even for what happened to his father.
When the boys made their formal apology, they were not sincere. Their eyes gleamed with hatred. They wanted revenged. I knew I had to watch my back. I began wearing shorts under my dresses and no longer walked home by myself.
I needed a new walking buddy. I never thought to ask Ellen to walk with me, until I saw her standing on the bar of the bike rack. I thought she walked home with her sister.
Ellen stood on top of the bar and began to walk across it. To get to the end, she had to step over the handlebars of one bike.
“Wow,” I whispered. “I wish I could do that!”
She heard me. “Do you want to try it?”
I scratched my head. “I don’t know.”
“It’s not that hard,” she said. “I’ll show you how.”
Ellen jumped off and climbed back on to demonstrate her skill.
I glanced at my shoes. “No.”
“Okay, maybe another time.” She leaped off the bar and began walking.
I followed behind her. “Where’s your sister?”
“With her boyfriend,” she mumbled not saying another word.
I got the message. It was none of my business.
Before we left the school ground, we heard someone yell, “Hey!”
We turned around to see a very, tall girl pointing at us.
“Get back here, Slab Town trash!”
We were weak at the knees, afraid to run. Like dummies, we both walked over to her.
“Which one of you put your dirty hands on my new bike?”
It was a pink bike with a white, straw basket. It had pink and white tassels shooting out from its handle bars.
She scorched our bodies with the famous ‘I-am-better-than-you-look.’
I was a bug caught in a spider’s web. But, not Ellen.
“Did you touch my bike?” she asked Ellen.
“I didn’t touch your stupid bike!” Ellen walked over and kicked one of the tires with her shoe.
The girl shrieked. She pushed Ellen on the ground. She put her hand on the back of Ellen’s head smothering her face in the dirt.
I yelled. “Stop it!” I dug my nails into her arm.
“Hey, what’s going on over there?” It was a familiar voice.
The girl let go of Ellen’s head knocking me on my backside. She got on her bike and rode away. Ellen took off running.
The story continues next week with part two of Survival.
Check out Saturna Brown’s website: alieninthekitchen.spaces.live.com
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