Any minute now.
He had slipped her the note after class. 3:15, bottom of hill. I’ll walk you home. But the line of school buses had already fumed away. The hands of her watch scissored to 3:23 as she eyed the safety mirror across the street.
Shit, shit, fuck, fuck
From the low wall, she peeked over the top of her book. More cars leaked by. But nothing materialized in the dead space behind her.
Two juniors whose names escaped her passed by, squealing. Their hollow dance repulsed her. She was reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Sort of.
Girls. Stupid, little girls.
She stuffed her nose deeper into the book's pages, and glued her knees together. Becoming a sophomore had suited her. It was like being the middle kid in a family. Invisible. But she could still watch, and record the universe crunching around her.
3:25 . . . 3:26.
The weight of the day, all that effort spent not caring, embraced her body like a lead apron. Behind her lids, the round eye of the mirror squiggled into stardust. Her thoughts retreated into familiar landscapes. Pastel fantasies.
Jaw slackening, she permitted the book to drop an inch.
Her eyes flapped open. Staggering to her feet, she caught the dark reflection painted in the mirror.
Meredith turned and tossed her hair.
“Bonjour, Monsieur Binegar.”
If only she could do something about that shake in her voice.
It totally ruined her pronunciation.