A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Two of Millions
by Larry Foreman (Jan 2010)

        Caleb had never before seen hair that bright. He thought it might be “hot pink.” He thought that her petite features and smooth complexion were very pretty, even with the short, hot-pink hair. He wondered what color her hair really was. Maybe bleach blonde, he laughed to himself. How ironic.

      Sierra looked up to see Caleb staring at her. Both were seated at the front of the city bus in long bench seats directly facing each other across the aisle. She wiggled nervously and looked down at her book again. When she brought her eyes up, head still down, he was still staring.

      She brought her head up and asked somewhat assertively, “Do you have a problem?”

      With some hesitation, searching for the proper words, he stammered, “I was just admiring your hot-pink hair.”

      “It’s actually ‘Fuchsia Brilliánce,’ in case you want to buy a bottle for yourself,” she shot back. Right away, she realized she had been needlessly sarcastic to his honest reply. Anyway, what did you expect when you did this hair? she thought to herself.

      “No thanks, I’m fine.”

      “So, I guess then you don’t stare at all the girls on the bus?” she asked in a friendlier voice, partly to atone.

      “I try to be more discreet, but I guess my eyes were a little riveted.” Wanting to talk more, but having nothing clever to say, he asked, “Are you going far?”

      “Just three more stops. I get off at Pacific.” She realized she was giving too much information to a stranger, but he looked harmless enough and talked easily.” He is pretty cute.

      “That’s kind of a rough area. If you like, I could get off, too, and maybe walk you a ways.”

      “I get off and walk there everyday,” she answered. She saw he looked a little embarrassed at being put off. Oh, there you go with the sarcastic tone again.

      “Well, maybe another day.” That was all he could think to say. Gee, first you stare, and then you try to force yourself on the poor girl.

      After a moment’s thought, she said, “No, I’d prefer it were today. I think I might like to know you better. My name’s Sierra.”

      “Your name is as pretty as your hair. My name’s Caleb McKayde. It’s nice to meet you, Sierra.”

      As the bus pulled up to the Pacific Avenue stop, they got off, both feeling warm and relaxed inside.


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