I knew what it felt like to near death. To have your heart stop, to feel your breath quicken. I hadn’t been held at gunpoint or felt the point of a knife digging into my neck. My life wasn’t half exciting as that.
I crossed the street, my school bag slung over my shoulder, the contents–my insulin and water, plus some school books–heavy, a slight lilt to my step warning anyone not to cross me. I could feel my dark ponytail hitting my shoulder blades. I was just about to step onto the sidewalk when a taxi stopped at a screeching halt, a foot away from me. My heart stopped; my breath quickened. Before he could react, I beat my hand on the window, screaming curses.
“Apologies, ma’am,” the black man mumbled as he rolled down his window, quickly rolling it up again.
He sped off the street, and I was so angry I could spit. I sprinted after the cab, my legs pumping in the hot air, sweat already dripping down my legs. Athletic as I was, I soon caught up to the taxi and resumed cussing him out. The man wasn’t fazed.
The taxi came to a screeching halt on a street I didn’t know, next to a lot. Trash lined the edges, but most was cleared away. People bent, their hands in dirt.
Ew. I never liked to get my hands dirty.
The black man in the taxi ran out, and I raced after him, screaming how he almost killed me and he should be a safer driver and I’m gonna call the cops. But he ignored me.
A few people glanced up as we ran past, but I scowled at them and they looked back down to their plants. The man quickly grabbed lettuce up out of the ground, shoving it into a bucket full of water and ran back to his taxi, leaving tire marks on the road.
I was still pissed at him. I glared at the cab till it disappeared.
Then I realized I was still in the lot. The street sign on the corner told me a name I wasn’t familiar with. Perspiration dripped from my arms. I thought about retracing my steps.
And then I saw her.
She was crouched, her black hair hanging in front of her face so I almost couldn’t see her. She was watering a small plant, her hands digging into the ground. Her sneakers were muddy, her long sleeves pulled up.
I immediately remembered two years ago, when I had teased her. She looked different: almond-shaped eyes, black hair, short. She was quiet and timid, constantly crying and wiping her nose. I picked at whatever I could.
But what pained me most was that she could have teased me, too, and others did. The insulin I had to carry around, the greens I ate and how I always denied sweets. Yet she didn’t. She just bowed her head, tears dripping down her cheeks, and crawled away.
Maybe she forgot.
“Um, hi,” I said to her.
She didn’t look up.
“Kim?” I tried.
Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe it was just a girl who looked like her.
This time she looked up, her eyes widening in fear. Quickly, she looked away and resumed watering her plant.
“Kim,” I said again.
“Yes,” she answered this time, “my name is Kim.” That voice was strong. Now it broke. “Please, just go–go away.”
“Kim, I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
“Go. Okay? Go, Koko. I can’t talk to you!”
I showed no sign of leaving. Kim knew this, and stood up, the cup she poured water from in her hand. She ran off, leaving me.
A man came up to me.
“Hello,” he said, extending his white hand. “I’m Sam. Welcome to the garden.”
I wiped my hand on my pants and shook his politely. I might seem like a tough bully, but everyone needs to have some manners. Sam’s hand was sweaty, too.
“I’m lost,” I told him. “I followed the cabbie here, and…well, yeah.”
Sam nodded. “”You’re not lost anymore.” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a handful of seeds. “Extras,” he informed me. “They’re flowers. Plant them. Next to the girl’s.”
He saw the whole thing, I realized, and blushed.
I took the seeds. Sam brought me a cup of water. I dug into the dirt, not grossed out anymore. I planted the seeds, and covered them with dirt, and watered them.
Sam smiled when I finished, like a proud father or uncle.
“Come back tomorrow,” he urged me.
“I’ll see if I can,” was my response.
I wanted to. I wanted to see Kim, and show her that I wasn’t all bully. That I was human, too.
Please give me feedback! This is a school story, using characters from a book we just read, called Seedfolks. So it’s fanfiction. :P But, please, I need feedback. Tell me if I changed the tense, any silly mistakes. [Also, you may not understand everything because it’s fanfiction. Just edit based on easy stuff. Grammar, spelling.]