Brice pulled on his shirt trying to stop it from clinging to his sweaty torso. He rolled the window down but the breeze had been replaced by hot sticky air. His body felt heavy watching spiritless Mario's body being taken away. The shooter snuffed out a kid who had been smart, cool and kind. Qadira leaned in and kissed him on the lips.
“You needed that.” She said adding a grin.
Comforting a student with intimacy has jail written all over it, Brice thought. He wrestled in his seat, turning his face away. “Talk with your counselor tomorrow. I’m your teacher,” Brice said with his body tingling from her touch. He pushed her arms away. Then he crossed them in front of her. “Can’t you go to your parents or friends for support?”
“You mean Khalilah,” Qadira said with bulging eyes double checking the windows. "I should've talk to Officer Newberry."
"What would she have done?" Brice asked.
"Ebony always been there when I was terrified by my mother screaming at her relatives who weren't there." Qadira relaxed her shoulders. "She would put me in her patrol car and drive me around, taking me away from mom's craziness."
Maybe Officer Newberry would've help her with Mario's death, Brice thought. He wasn't prepared to trust the officer. She might worked with Tattle Tale gang or another drug dealer. "Make sure you talk to your counselor tomorrow."
“Miss Sanders wants me to draw and paint what happens in this ghetto.” Qadira paused. “My mother when she okay in the mind tell me to go to school and keep quiet, the trouble will move on. She lives in a see no evil and hear no evil world."
Brice frowned. His parents were the same way. Quick to blame him. Why didn't he stay out of trouble? He glared at the broken liquor bottles surrounding the apartment buildings and searched for one spot untouched by poverty. A place he could have live safe in his childhood. The burned out apartment with boarded up windows was adjacent to apartment buildings that had For Rent signs. The landlord advertised the rooms without even fixing the space next to it. The view hadn't change from days he attended Cody. It was acceptable to people who lived here, even him. The bad part, it was expected to look like this.
“Let’s go, Mr. Frankel,” Qadira said. “It’s never going to change.”
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