Joy Ride-Chapter 5
I could already hear the soulful voices of the Isley Brothers as I trudged my way through fresh blankets of snow, the morning light blinding me. It was too cold for anyone to be outside, heading to work, school or not. Most of the other high schools around the city were closed, but I had to go. I opened the minivan door to an ear-splitting sound.
“You’re just in time for the good part,” my father said, as howling to the tune of ‘Make Me Say it again.’
I grumbled a good morning and strapped myself in. In minutes we were off, passing up rows of identical houses full of kids playing in their front yards. I groaned.
Turning the music down, my father asked, “So, how has school, been?”
“It’s been okay.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Really? No bullies?”
My father frowned. “Look, you’re going to school. Grow up and talk to me.”
I sighed. We were approaching Morrehouse quickly. I explained to him the situation with Robert and how my friends stood up for me. He in turn reminded me that standing up for myself makes a bigger impact than when a friend does. I was dropped off a minute later, watching him speed off in the slushy snow. Inside school, I sat alone at a table in the cafeteria, waiting for Curtis and Leavitt to show. Filled with colorful booths and stalls, the lunchroom buzzed with chatter from anxious students waiting for classes to begin. I spotted Leavitt ordering breakfast.
“Been waiting a while?” she asked, taking a seat.
“Not really,” I grinned. “You seen Curtis?”
Leavitt shook her head. “He’s usually late, so I wouldn’t worry about him. But, I do need to ask you something.”
“Okay, what’s up?”
“I’m heading out with some friends this Friday, and I wanted to see if you and Curtis could come.” She said taking a bite off her toast.
I shrugged. “It all depends on the time.”
“Five o’ clock.”
I choked on my milk. My father was not a big fan of me hanging out at night. He grew up in a crime-ridden neighborhood, where most of the violence occurred at sundown. He lost most of his friends from being out at the wrong time.
“I’ll have to talk to my dad.” I said.
Our conversation was interrupted by a dreadlocked boy who greeted us, sitting down at the table.
“Yo Lev, you still with us on Friday?”
“Of course,” she smiled. “But I might bright some friends with me.”
“Cool. See you then.”
The bell rang soon after, signaling the start of class. Leavitt and I said our goodbyes split into the leaving crowd. I almost shouted in disappointment, realizing I forget to ask where she was heading this Friday. But something bigger loomed in the back of my mind. My father’s approval.