Charlie dragged out each step as she once again, made the trek home. She took the long way, winding through parks, staying on sidewalks until they ended, and going around every block.
Her eyes drifted upward to match her head in the clouds. The toe of her shoe scuffed the ground and she stutter-stepped forward, her hands flying out in front of her.
A high yip from across the street caught her attention, dismissing her embarrassment, and her gaze landed on a familiar energetic poodle.
“Spot!” she yelled as the happy dog galloped her way over with tags jingling and tongue flopping. Charlie laughed and bent over to her little friend.
“She seems to really like you.”
The ragged voice came from a few feet away on the sidewalk.
“Oh!” Charlie gasped and met Evan’s eyes, but only for a second. His hand was on his hip and he was breathing slowly. Spot definitely ran off again.
Evan chuckled. “Sorry for scared you,” he said with a good smile.
Charlie stood up with the leash, brushing back her messy hair. “It’s okay.”
“I always forget Spot is a feisty one,” he grabbed the leash from her hand, “and she runs whenever I forget.”
Spot shook out his hair and bopped over to Evan. Charlie slowly raised her gaze.
“How—” Charlie stopped short and cleared her throat, tucking her hair behind her ears. “How are you?”
“I’m doing very well!” He beamed, answering almost before Charlie had finished asking. “Walking these dogs hasn’t been too bad these past few days.
Charlie grabbed a bit of her hair and combed her fingers through it. “Well, that’s good. I’m glad.”
“How are— wow, Flower! Right now? Really?” Evan yelled, looking down the street where a chocolate lab decided to do her business. He turned back to Charlie and held up a finger. “One second.”
Evan jogged over to the mess and pulled a small plastic bag out of his pocket. He put it on one hand like a glove and used his other hand, that had the leashes around his wrist, to pull his nose.
Charlie laughed as he bent down to pick it up. He stood as far away as he could with his butt sticking out and arms reaching for the ground.
That boy was something else.
Only three more episodes left! There is a nice little message in this story (though it may not be clear until the last lines). Any predictions on what it is?
Thanks for reading!