Growing Up

by Blake Patrick Swan

 

Two young boys sit on the dilapidated concrete steps outside of the school. The bell has long rung and they are the last to await rides. The smaller of the two boys, wearing denim torn at the knees, uncomfortable in his baggy, hand-me-down E.T. t-shirt, pulls a white sandwich with light brown edges from a lunch bag. The boy’s fingertips sink into the flesh of the bread as he removes the sandwich from its clear plastic bag. His hand then rotates in order to examine the bread and its fillings. Once satisfied, he goes in, mouth wide open, for his first bite.

The taller of the two boys, sitting a couple steps above his friend, stomach rolling with hunger, watched with fascination when the sandwich was pulled from its protective plastic. A look of confusion now owns his face as he watches the boy chew. With a puzzled tone, he asks, “you like the crust?”

The smaller boy eyes his next bite, and without taking his eyes off of his sandwich, he replies, “not really, but my mom says that the crust is good for you.”

Without hesitation the other boy blurts back, “That’s not true! The crust is the same as the rest of the bread, it’s just cooked a little more.”

Having looked up to take in these words, the boy looks back down at the slices of bread between his hands. The child then moves one hand towards the outer edges of the sandwich and gently squeezes the hard crust between his two fingers.

He pauses here for a moment. Fingers on the crust, ready to tear.

Blake Patrick Swan is a recent MA graduate currently working as a part-time sessional professor. When Blake is not teaching about the use of semicolons, he is reading or writing with at least one of his two dogs.

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November 2018

© 2020 by The Esthetic Apostle