CORY DRAGGED THE end of a soggy French fry back and forth through a ketchup blob until the end broke off. She tilted her head and dropped the unbroken part into her mouth, fished out the other end, and stuffed it in, too. Licking her fingers, she reached past Kevyn for more ketchup. Jess sat across the table, watching in silence. The Double T diner buzzed from the noise of several kids at other tables, out of school on Friday afternoon.
Cory winced when she rolled onto that hurt side of her hip to reach for the red plastic squeeze bottle. It was still sore from the fall, but the enormous bruise that had blossomed over her hip and down her thigh, had turned from an angry eggplant color to yellowy green, more like a rotting daylily. The first week afterward she walked with a distinct limp. Then, it was only sore in the morning. Now, three weeks later, she was reminded of the fall only when she leaned on the hip or when reaching up with her sore shoulder.
“Do you want to see a movie?” Kevyn asked.
“I don’t care.” Cory stared out the window to the parking lot at nothing in particular. It was a sunny day and warm for a change. A perfect day for riding. Except not.
Kevyn took a sip from his chocolate shake. “We could all go over to Bradley’s and see who’s there and—”
“I said I don’t care. Whatever.” Cory didn’t turn from the window. A carload of kids arrived, spilled out, and sauntered up to the entrance. One of the boys ran and jumped onto the back of the guy in front of him. She heard the second guy’s muffled curse through the glass window. Turning back to the table, her eyes adjusted to the relative darkness. She noticed Kevyn’s sideways glance at Jess but ignored it and reached for another fry from the untouched pile on Jess’s plate. The diner was hot and smelled of grease mixed with a sweet, syrupy scent. Cory struggled out of her hoodie, annoyed that she was hot and annoyed that she couldn’t get her arm free and doubly annoyed that she knew she was being a pain and Kevyn didn’t say anything about it but just looked at Jess for sympathy.
“Or,” Jess spoke up, “you could just stop being such a bitch to everyone and go back to riding.”
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