Your Chariot Awaits

I abandon the idea of putting makeup on as the truck bucks its way down the road. Despite the rough delivery to my destination, I truly am grateful, so when James parks the truck and turns it off, I touch his forearm to get his attention.

“Thank you.”

“No problem,” he replies with a genuine smile.

James is about to get out of the truck when I open my backpack and pull out a notebook. He stops with his hand on the door. “What are you doing?”

“I need a note. Any unexcused absence will result in a phone call to the parental units.”

I scribble two lines:

Please excuse Amber’s tardiness. Her grandmother is in the hospital.

I do my best to forge my mom’s signature. It’s a risky move, but if I can get away with it, no one gets hurt. In fact, I am doing mom a favor. The less she has to worry about the better.

“Do you think they’ll buy it,” James was reading the note over my shoulder.

“Actually, my grandmother is sick.” My voice softens, “She goes in for heart surgery, today.”

“Oh” James looks at me with a mixture of pity and surprise. I can see an unasked question in his eyes. I give him a shrug and tore the page from my notebook before putting it back in my bag.

James is still sitting there a little stunned when I reach for the handle of the passenger’s side door.

Naturally, the unlatched door barely budges, so I give it a good body slam. The door jolts open on its rusty hinges. When I turn to look at James, he is still sitting their staring at me.

“No, No. I’ve got it,” I say as I wave my hand for him to sit (as if he weren’t already). I give him a mischievous little smile as I jump out of the truck and slam the door shut. I can’t hear him, but it looks as if he’s shaking his head and chuckling as he turns to open his door.

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