8 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Doorway It happened fast

Doorway It happened fast and it lasted forever. Tayla walked with me through the parking lot. Sunlight burned through thin clouds. Budding leaves sang in the trees. A raven told lies in the sky. Because I was always scared, and I always watched everyone all of the time, I saw Coy and I assumed the woman with him was his mother because they wore the same face except for the bruises and the tape over the ridge of his nose. I stopped and then Tayla stopped. She looked at me and then she looked at the door. “Shit,” she said. Time got thick and the day got heavy. I could barely move. Something was going to happen. I wanted it to just be a normal day. I wanted it to be one of those days that no one talked to me. I wasn’t ready for name-calling and the bullying. Tayla grabbed my hand and pulled. I couldn’t move. “Come on,” she said. “No.” “Butter,” she said. “We have to do this.” I shook my head. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to. “Come on,” Tayla said. “What can they do?” Mr. Skarey came and stood with them and my gut went hollow. “This should be good,” Tayla said. She half-dragged me to the door. She squared off with Coy and his mother. Mr. Skarey looked like he’d licked a slug. “We have to talk,” he said. “No,” Tayla said. Mr. Skarey blinked. “We’re not doing this,” Tayla said. Something sharp and hard seemed to press through the palms of my hands. I rubbed them with my fingertips. “I don’t think you understand,” Mr. Skarey said.

“I understand,” Tayla said. “Not going to happen.” Coy sneered. His mother’s face looked like a stewed tomato. “Young lady,” Mrs. Henderson said. “Not talking to you,” Tayla snapped. “I’m talking to you,” Mrs. Henderson snapped back. The two of them stared at each other. Mrs. Henderson was all lines and angles and righteousness. Tayla was simply defiance and rage. “Are you going to call the cops?” Tayla asked. “I don’t think we need to do that,” Mr. Skarey said. “Didn’t think so.” Tayla dragged me through the door into the school. Eyes and grins floated out of the walls. The colors here were orange and yellow, floating and waving like banners. “Did you have to do that?” I asked. I would’ve been just as happy at home. “Seven more months,” Tayla said. “Seven more months and we’re out of here. They’re not taking that away from us.” Tayla’s need for a fight, her need to be right, was one of my least favorite things. Fighting’s easy when you have nothing to lose. Tayla didn’t understand how dangerous things were. She didn’t understand that she was the only thing keeping me here. She didn’t understand that mouthy women seldom lived long in a world of angry men.