Outside, I slipped my red sweater on. It was my favorite sweater because it made my shoulder-blade length blonde hair stand out. My hair wasn’t too thin or too thick and it wasn’t fancy. It was normal. Today I had it pinned back in a bump while the rest of it curled down from my head. It was a light “thanks-to-my-Conair-curler” curl. I skipped over to the garage to search for my bike. It was right where I left it a week or two ago, next to Tara’s sandbox toys. I rolled it out onto my driveway and hopped on. I began to ride feeling the wind push up against me. It felt cleansing and almost relieving. My hair flew wildly behind me, like blonde fire whipping against my scalp. I glanced upwards toward the sky after 5 minutes of biking. As soon as I looked up, a raindrop plopped on my cheek. Then another fell, two turned into twenty and twenty turned into hundreds. Of course it would rain after I was a few minutes away. I stopped my bike momentarily on the path I was on. Quickly I zipped my sweater up and put my hood on. I pulled the strings to tighten the hood when a car pulled up.
It was an old blue Toyota with a knick or two in it. In the front seat was a bigger man. He had a scruff of a beard on his chin and longish red hair. In the back seat was a teenage boy. He looked no older than 16 with his pale not-a-boy-but-not-a-man face. He looked at me with dagger like green eyes. Both windows were down that were facing me.
“Hello, miss. It’s starting to storm and I’d hate for a pretty girl like you to get shocked my lightning! That bike is a lightning rod waiting to happen. Please let me take you to your destination!” he hollered over the pouring rain. The boy in the back looked at me with those emerald eyes with almost a mellow-fear. He was either intimated by me or just weird. The man’s offer reminded me of “saying no to strangers”.
“No sir. I’m fine, really. I’m off to the Rite Aid. It’s not too far.” I declined his offer. The boy in the back seat seemed to almost give a sigh of relief and fear all together.
“Nonsense! That’s where me and my boy back there were headed!” he hollered as a bolt of lightning struck in the distance. I looked at the man and the boy. I was now almost soaked.
“Eh.” I looked down at my now squishy gray converse and spotted blue jeans with holes in the knees.
“Just accept my offer. I’m no stranger; you and my boy go to school together. Your mother and I have done PTA work with your sister’s pre-K.” he tried to reassure me I was safe. “Just get in!” he almost demanded.
“Uh, okay. Fine.” I gave in because not only was I soaking wet but my mom apparently knew him. I walked to the other side of the car, leaving my bike in a bush, and slid into the backseat. I smiled at the boy now seated next to me. He was actually pretty cute. He had the skater haircut and his locks were a dark brown. His shirt was dry unlike mine, and it had some skate brand name printed across in neon green. His pants were a boy’s version of skinny jeans, and they were grey denim; stereotypical skater boy. I on the other hand was dressed semi –attractive today but sort of girly. I felt confident to be next to this guy. Our contrast showed. I had on skinny jeans and a white floral tank top with my sweater over it along with my converse.
“You know the girl, boy?” the man asked the boy as he started up driving again; but rather slowly.
“Uh.” He looked at me. He was trembling terribly as if he’d seen a ghost.
“Do you know her or not.” The man spat.
“No. Uh. I mean. Yeah, I don’t know her.” He stuttered trying to make his words come out straight.
“So, young girl. Why don’t you introduce yourself?” The man urged. I didn’t question why because the way he responded to the boy next to me.
“I’m Zoe.” I smiled at the boy.
“Kade.” He nodded nervously.
“Ok. I’m Tred. You’ll call me Tred, got it? Now that we’ve all gotten to know each other, let’s get this party started.” He slammed onto the gas and zoomed right past the Rite Aid.