The rows of identical buildings fell behind him, and if it weren’t for the sky and the cracks in the asphalt, it would have been hard to tell if he was moving at all. The sun stood at high noon, gleaming with a drowsy yet feverish intensity.
The sun gleamed at high noon, hot and sallow as a fever. Occasionally a seagull would soar across the horizon, swooping onto the rooftops to perch on the ledge and peer down.
Gentry wasn’t sure why he’d volunteered to go, or what he’d expect. The only thing he was certain of was that it was god damn hot.
He sauntered through the identical rows of flat, blue-brick classrooms that made up the school, keeping his eyes glued to his feet to check if he was moving.
Everything went by too slowly.
Occasionally a lone student or an office worker would patrol by with a walky-talkie in hand, making their rounds to ensure order. Some girl shuffled by, head and shoulders lowered as she nudged a textbook across the dusty ground with the tip of her shoe. It wasn’t long before Nasty stormed to her, roughly pulled her shoulders back bellowing “No no no,” and demanded to know why she was mistreating a piece of school property, sternly reminding her that the fine for a textbook was eighty dollars and, if those were not paid, a Delinquency on her permanent record.
Gentry walked past her, sharply turning into the cafeteria and pushing open the bathroom door. The neat blue stalls all lined up, spotless, lifeless and clean.
He swiped a look underneath the doors, before figuring that Zach probably had his feet on the seat.
“I know you’re in here.”
This was stupid.
Leaning against the door of the far-left stall, he let the seconds roll by.Then, he exhaled forcefully. Crossed his arms impatiently, debating with himself over word choice, before deciding that there was no particularily subtle way to put this.
“I have better things to do than fish you out of here.”
The answer came briskly, a soft yet strained attempt at a comeback:
“… then why did you come?”
“Would you prefer Sydney?”