“Where was it you’s said we were goin’?”
“To look for my puppy.” The man answered for the hundredth time.
“Are you sure we gonna find him?” The little boy asked.
“I’m sure we’re going to find something.”
“Cuz’ I’ve been lookin’, an’ I ain’t seen nothing. And I’m hungry.”
“I heard you the first time.”
“Ain’t you got something to eat?”
“No.” Came the rude reply.
“What chu’ say you’re dog looked like?”
“Is that him?” Screeched the child, pounding on the glass for impact.
“No!” Snapped the man, grabbing the young boy by the arm. “Just sit down and be quiet!”
“You’re no fun…” Pouted the boy, folding his arms with a huff.
The man’s eyebrow twitched uncontrollably before he slapped a hand atop it. Why had he done this again? He glanced over at the thin body of the boy. Oh yes. Driving around mid-afternoon, he’d passed a park full of children. It had been easy enough to pick out a suitable target. Hearing his sad story, the boy had been more than willing to follow him to the ends of the earth for his long lost puppy. It was hardly a challenge anymore. He was a pro after all.
Sleazily, he gripped the steering wheel tighter and turned a corner. Almost there now, just a little longer…
“So’s there’s this girl in my class right?” Broke the boy. “An’ she likes me, but I don’t know if she really likes me likes me, or if she just likes me. I as’ her once, but she jus’ ran off to the sand box.” Confided the boy.
“And?” Asked the man, hunched over the steering wheel in a pitiful attempt to shield himself from the boy’s attention.
“So what do ya’ think?” Asked the boy, throwing up his hands in a dramatic way.
“Think of what?”
“Do you think she likes me? I get al’ shy around her…”
“Hard to imagine.” Whispered the man under his breath.
“She’s awful nice when she wants to be. But she’s mean too. I wanted to play a game, and she said she would, but when time came she ditched meh.”
“Do you think I should give her something for Valentine’s Day? Bobby, he’s the one who sits on my left, say’s I should forget her. He said she was runnin’ around with Dylan just last week! But I’m not sure. I don’t remember seeing her with Dylan, and I would know cuz’ I was watchin’.”
“How old are you?” Begged the man.
“What’s back here?” A pair of legs dangled over the back of the passenger seat, kicking at odd angles.
To someone walking along the sidewalk it would have appeared that a grimy white van was driving itself down the street in that moment. The driver of said van was far too busy trying to wrangle a young child to be worried about steering.
With a short screech and a sudden stop, the van parked itself in the in the middle of the road.
“Get out!” The man yelled, throwing open the side door. “You’re more trouble than you’re worth!” Tossing the young boy onto the street he stomped his foot on the gas, slamming shut the door with force as he sped away.
“What a weirdo!” Dusting himself off, the young boy couldn’t help but smile as he looked back on the past ten minutes. “Works every time.” Smoothing his hair, he turned on his heels and headed back to school. He had obligations after all.