Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 128

“Did not,” he said, smiling.

“Close to it.”

“What’s your name?”

“Phoebe Elder.”

“What class are you in?”

“How to be a millionaire.”

“What?” He laughed. “C’mon.”

“They put me in some remedial reading class for the time being because I read like someone who just came from another country. I’m not staying here long, so I don’t care.”

“Where you going?”

“Back to my apartment in Atlanta, one way or another,” I told him.

“Sure,” he said. He turned away, and then he turned back and gave me a cigarette.


“I should give you the whole pack. I wish you had asked me this morning and I had,” he moaned.

“Maybe your daddy will get him to take you back on the team.”

“My mother will try to get him to do that, but my father’s a hard guy. He’ll tell me I deserved worse and even call the coach and thank him for throwing me off the team. He was a marine.”

“Your daddy was?”

“Yeah, and he never lets me forget it, so don’t complain about your aunt.”

“Who says she wasn’t a marine, too?” I told him, and he laughed again.

I liked his smile. When he relaxed his lips, his eyes brightened like two candles of crystal blue light. He had a very small dimple in his left cheek, too. It flashed when he smiled.

“I get off here,” he said as the bus came to its first stop. “Wish me luck.”

“Good luck,” I said as I stood to let him out. He brushed very close to me, pausing to look into my eyes, and then smiled again.

“How do I get into remedial reading class?” he teased.

“Flunk everything,” I told him, and he laughed.

“See you tomorrow if I’m still alive.”

“Same for me,” I called after him. He waved as he went down the bus steps.

Then I flopped back into my seat. When I turned to look at Barbara Ann, I saw she was glaring at me, looking more like her mother now, her eyes full of suspicion and criticism, as if it came natural.

“How come you were talking to that boy?” she asked when we reached our stop and got off.

“Don’t they let black girls talk to white boys here?”

“I don’t mean that. He’s on the basketball team. I saw him at the game. Shouldn’t he be at practice?”

“You’re awful nosy for an eight-year-old girl,” I told her. “Watch you don’t get it caught in a door.”

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