Just for RUSH Week: Another excerpt
I’ve got another excerpt from RUSH:
The very first time I saw Aaliyah it was snowing. I had to go out and shovel in front of the clubhouse because Turk didn’t like snow blocking the door. A bunch of women who looked like big ass penguins were running after some kids that were trying to catch snowflakes in their hands and their mouths.
I kept shoveling and minding my own business, cos I figured they’d find out soon enough that snow was cold, wet, and what they had on wouldn’t keep ‘em warm. The little kids wore stuff regular kids around here usually had on, like hats and gloves. The women’s heads were covered with scarves but their faces were showing. From the neck on down there was no way to tell what kind of shape their bodies were in, especially since some of them had on multiple layers of scarves and long dresses under their coats. One of ‘em had given up trying to round up all the little kids. She didn’t seem serious about it, just grabbing at one or two, but then she’d end up letting go when they whined about wanting to feel the snow. Because Turk always said I had to earn my keep I tried to clear the sidewalk as fast as the stuff was landing. That’s all I did mostly. I was part handy man, part janitor, and part punching bag. I didn’t mind though. It’s when nobody paid me any attention that I worried, cos I’d get scared that Turk would kick me out on the street and I’d have nowhere to live.
Somehow with all the kids screaming and the wind howling I heard laughter, the kind that was full of joy and a sort of innocence, so I had to see who owned it. The voice was husky but definitely female. She was older than the other kids, but acting just a silly as them, opening her mouth to catch snowflakes and laughing when they’d land on her tongue. I think I stopped to look because I remembered how I reacted when I first came here and saw snow. She kept gulping down flakes and giggling, even though she was slipping and almost falling as she tried to do it. Her body twisted around and we caught each other’s eye. Instead of quickly looking down like most of ‘em did whenever they saw me, we just stared at each other. I know I was surprised to see one of ‘em returning my stare, and also that she was around my age. Neither of us said a word, though her laugh came out like a stutter, as if she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. I guess I did look pretty funny. One of my eyes was purplish and almost shut, and I’d been muttering all kinds of shit after getting thrown out of the clubhouse. It was snowing harder now, so I had to shake out my hair and dust off my jacket. I dropped my gaze lower, patting myself down to search for a cigarette. I lit it, took a deep inhale of tobacco and when I glanced up she was walking into the house directly across from the clubhouse. I didn’t have any gloves so I’d stop to cup my hands over my mouth and blow into them to keep warm. And I’d have to knock more snow outta my hair and off my shoulders. Every now and then I’d see the curtains move across the street, like somebody was watching me in the top right window.
Shit. If she lived there, then that meant her father was the guy we’d tried to run off the street about a year ago . . .
End of Excerpt
More Excerpts for RUSH: