Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a start?

The hem had come undone and she fingered the frayed threads. She'd sat down ten minutes earlier, waiting for the bus. Once a week she took the twenty minute bus ride south. The volunteer opportunity had piqued her interest when she heard about if from one of her teachers. Now she searched inside her bag for the safety pin she'd been carrying around for months. Her hand scrabbled around in her bag before coming to a resting stop as she remembered the safety pin was gone; she'd given it to the little boy with the runny nose.

They'd drawn a blue dinosaur together. Blue with orange spots. And they'd named him Ralph. Well, they was a generous term because, really, she'd suggested at least a dozen names while he stared blankly at her. It took awhile before she hit upon Ralph. His silent smile after her utterance spoke of his approval. He handed her the blue crayon, and she slowly wrote each letter above his own self-scrawled name.

She had opened the safety pin, pushed it through his overalls' strap, stuck it through the paper Ralph, and closed it. The boy had rubbed his eyes and looked up at her with another smile, this time opening his mouth slightly as if he was actually going to let words escape. He didn't, though. She, in turn, had patted his head and told him goodbye as his mother grabbed his hand and whisked him away.

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