Thomas was thrown from his bike into the street, skidding on his hands and knees. The sharp rocks on the road sliced open a shallow wound on his chin. He could hear his bike clatter to the ground, the wheels spinning in the air, and the girl groaning in pain. His brain was scrambled, and his body was racked with tremors, unsure if he should get up or just lay there in pain. The road-rash on his hands stung and burned, and he felt like he had knelt in a puddle of nails, his knees stinging even through his pants.
“Gggh….” The girl was collapsed on the sidewalk, the bike sitting next to her, it’s front wheel still spinning.
“…Shit…!” Thomas hissed, shoving himself up onto his burning knees and crawling over to the girl.
He placed a hand on her shoulder. “Are you okay?”
She looked up at him, dazed and confused. “I…I guess so…”
“I’m so sorry…I didn’t see you at all. I don’t usually ride home at night…” He sounded like he was making excuses. He had no idea what to say to let her know how genuinely sorry he was.
She slowly got up and brushed herself off.
“You look more injured than I am,” she said.
It was true. Thomas couldn’t see any terrible injury on her, other than some dust on her clothes and some blood on her left hand. She helped him up.
“Are you okay?” she asked him.
“Um, yeah, I guess…”
He put a hand to his chin and felt the cut.
“Oh…It’s fine. I was just on my way home, I’ll get a bandage. Um…Are you sure you’re okay? I really really feel terrible about this…I’ve never hit anyone, and…I just don’t know how to say I’m sorry I guess…”
She laughed lightly, relaxing him a little. “I’m fine. I was just going to a job interview, I’m sure they’ll have bandages I can buy there if I really need them.” She down at her hand, which was stinging terribly. There was a long, bloody scrape, lined with dirt and rocks from the sidewalk. "Looks like I do."
“I scuffed you up before your job interview…I’m so sorry…!”
“It’s fine…really.” She brushed more of the dust off of her jacket and pants. “See? Good as new.”
Fortunately, she really didn’t seem to be very injured. It probably helped that she was wearing long sleeves and long pants.
Then he realized what she had said earlier. “A job interview? It’s past 9:00…”
“I know…” She seemed to get very fidgety on this subject, looking down at the sidewalk instead of at Thomas. “She made an exception…I…Well, I really needed this interview tonight.”
Thomas was still puzzled, but he didn’t know this girl at all. He felt like asking why tonight? But she was obviously uncomfortable about the subject (which seemed extremely odd. A lot of strange people lately).
“What’s your name?” He sort of blurted out the question without meaning to.
“I’m Thomas.” He held out his hand. She hesitated for a few awkward seconds, and then quickly shook his hand, stepping back afterward. She brushed her hair out of her eyes and looked up shyly at him.
“I’m sorry…I need to get to Geil’s, or I’m going to be late…”
“You’re going to work at Geil’s?”
“Yeah...Is that strange?”
“No, it’s just…I work there too.”
“Oh…Well…I guess I’ll see you later then.”
She quickly walked away.
He didn’t understand it. First the Beverly Hills girl in line at Geil’s, and now this weird teenager he’d never seen before acting nearly the same way. Was there something in the water?
She was probably just acting strangely because she hit her head. Anyone would act strangely after that. The interview thing was weird, but she must have something important going on tomorrow.
He lifted his bike upright, checking it for damage before mounting it again and starting once again for home.