CHICKENED OUT

Walking up Windsor Place with my girlfriend, holding hands I feel wonderful. Her dad is way out in front, he walks a lot faster than we do.

As we get to the corner, right outside Ballard’s Pharmacy, we cross Windsor Place towards Bob’s Hardware store – her dad is already on the other side of the avenue, walking past Holy Name school.

“Damn your dad walks fast,” I say to her.

“I know, he’s always in a rush.”

Whenever I see him going to or coming from the train station, he’s speed walking.

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Standing outside Bob’s, we wait for the light to turn green. We’re still holding hands.  It’s the corner I have stood on many times in the past to go to the schoolyard and to school. Usually I cross when there’s no cars, I even cross sometimes when there are cars coming. It’s a game we like to play. Drivers honk, but I just give them the finger.

When the light turns green, she starts to cross, I let go of her hand.

She’s in the middle of the avenue, I am still on the curb.

“Come on,” she says.

I look at her. Then up the block; her dad is getting closer to the church. There is a car stopped at all three corners. People are crossing the street, on their way to church.

“What are you doing?” she asks.

“Forget it, I’m going upstairs,” I announce as I turn around and head towards my apartment door.

She continues crossing the street and gets to the other side while the light turns red. We’ve hung out on that corner many times too.

I watch her walking past the convent. I am standing in the hallway. I look at her, she waves and keeps on walking. God, what the fuck am I doing?

Racing up the two flights of stairs I sprint to the window facing ninth avenue and watch her continue her walk to the church. She is jogging to catch up to her dad.

Sitting by the window. I feel like an idiot.

Respectfully,

Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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