FWF cont…”Preparation”

I glanced down at these Mary Janes, which just last week Miranda had said were “for babies.”

“You’re too old to wear those. Plus they make your feet look big.” she had said. She promptly went out the next day to buy a remarkably similar pair, only with chunky heels. “THESE,” she remarked, waving them in my face, “are for grown-ups.”

I had to admit for the moment, as I stared at my shoes, I didn’t miss her. But I did hope she was safe. I prayed that if there was a God would He please just ignore the evil though I had about not missing my sister.

“Let me see what I’ve got,” Ms. Hansen said, rummaging through the trunk of her red sedan, “I usually keep a spare pair of trainers in here–a ha! One! And two!”

For someone who seemed so organized in class, her trunk was a mess. Thankfully the trainers fit–they were only a tad big at the toe. Thank goodness for those “big feet.”

“There’s some more stuff we need from here–yes!” She threw contents from her trunk pell mell on the ground. Thankfully, we were far away enough from whatever activity spewed forth from Cinder Ridge, and it was mainly just ash here.

“These FIRST! Tie this around your face!” She threw a bright orange bandana at my head. Well, at least if someone were looking for me, they’d spot the bandana first.

“Now thish, and thish, and THESE, and THOSH…” her voice was slightly muffled under her bright pink bandana. This woman sure liked color.  I stared down at the lime green sneakers on my feet. She threw open a pack and shoved a plastic jug of water in, a handheld turquoise GPS, several nutrition bars, and a tin of nuts. The pack already held rope, a first aid kit, and some other items I couldn’t identify right off the bat.

“I may not be organized,” Ms. Hansen winked at me, “but I’m always PREPARED.” Her hair was swirling and flying in a million directions now, and I really was beginning to wonder if this woman was the same one who wrote “SHOW YOUR WORK” in bright red pencil all over my homework pages.

“NOW let’s GO!” Some of the contents of her trunk still lay about the road. A man in the car behind us laid on his horn.

Ms. Hansen rolled her eyes. “Moron. This traffic ain’t moving any time soon, buddy. Get a grip.” Yep, definitely the same red-pencil yielding teacher.

“What about your car?” I asked her.

“Oh, I’m insured…wouldn’t you rather be alive than hanging out here? Here, here’s a spare hoody. Wrap that around your waist. It may get cold later.”

And we joined what seemed to be about a hundred other people who decided to walk next to the highway than sit still on it.


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