Can you help me more on my story for school? Any ideas on how I can make her a part of the garden and show that she’s a bully without the taxi scene? And how to make her soften more?
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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 people to stay away. I could feel my dark ponytail hitting my shoulder blades.
I was just about to step onto the sidewalk when a taxi stopped a foot away from me. My heart stopped; my breath quickened. Before the driver could react, I beat my hand on the window, screaming curses.
“Apologies,” the black man mumbled as he rolled down his window, quickly rolling it up again.
He sped off the street, and I angrily spat on the ground. I wasn’t going to just let him go. I sprinted after the cab, my legs pumping in the hot air, sweat already dripping down my legs. 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 an abandoned lot. Trash lined the edges, but most was cleared away. People bent, their hands in dirt.
Dirt. Ew. I hated the feeling of dirt under my fingernails and it covering my palms.
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. As he was bending down, I snagged his elbow, steering him to face me. Just as I was about to reprimand him, he wrenched himself free and ran back to his taxi. He sped off before I could react.
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. Her eyes were different: almond-shaped and only a shade lighter than her hair, which was raven black. But it wasn’t just how she looked; it was her demeanor. She had been quiet and timid, constantly crying and wiping her nose. I had 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 hadn’t. She had 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.
“Go away, Koko,” she stated, her voice just above a whisper.
“Kim, I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
“Go. Okay? Go, Koko. I can’t talk to you!”
I stood my ground, my hands clenching into fists. I planted myself, like a strong tree. Kim 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. 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. He saw me trying to talk to Kim, saw her run away, scared.
I took the seeds. Sam brought me a cup of water. I dug into the dirt, not me 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.
All advice is appreciated!