M’chelle swaggers under the weight of the boxes she carries, her head poking from the side as the load she carries is as tall as it’s heavy. Once she clears the cemented walkway and her feet smoosh into the rain soaked loam, she moves even slower. The ordinary walk of less than a minute has taken close to ten. She is certain not to be hasty.
At the do-it-yourself heavy plastic shed, M’chelle pushes the boxes into the side, draws up a leg for added support, and reaches for the door handle. It sticks. She tries again.
Her load prevents her from getting the leverage she needs.
It kills me not to be able to help and takes all my concentrated effort to simply be still. I try not to watch, sensing that will only serve to aggravate her more. Yet that much I’m unable to do.
The tip of her tongue appears between her lips. With a contorted wrench of her neck, her eyes scan the area. Her gaze locks onto a plastic upturned crate.
Carefully backing up, the boxes shifting slightly into her chest, M’chelle turns in one spot, mud sticking to the sides of her sneakers, frothy water bubbling just above the mulch, and begins a slow cadence towards the crate.
My lip is raw from my teeth gnawing into it. Behind my back I cross my fingers as my body tightens, priming itself to launch if need be.
The conclusion will be published tomorrow.