She waited in their car for her husband to come out of the Clinical Translational Research building. The car had been her responsibility until three days ago when her last paycheck from the TV station ran out, making Dave the one paying the automobile bill. All the bills, in fact. She watched a group of skateboarders doing tricks on the bench tops of the concrete forecourt and resented the concept of “housewife.” As if. She didn’t know what she was going to do, but it wasn’t that. Her mother didn’t raise that kind of girl.
Mom was also a workaholic who cracked her whip on the pallid horse one too many times.
The first skateboarder glided over the benches, followed by a second skateboarder who rolled alongside filming. The first guy inevitably stacked it, and they started over. Tempting fate, again and again. The two other guys seemed content to offer occasional commentary and pass a large brown cigarette back and forth. Probably marijuana.
Dave would have to walk right through them.
The closest dude, clothed in a skull cap and over-sized black pea coat, stared back at her as he exhaled smoke.
She locked the car doors and typed on her phone.
“Oh, jeez, one of them is going to get hurt,” the surgical tech at the bus stop muttered to herself. She rubbed her hands over the dark skin of her face and into the untame-able mass of hair inherited from her Dad. Last night’s downpour soaked into her scrub pants and she tugged at them, trying to find a less puddly spot while she waited for the Nineteen. The rain was just starting when she went in yesterday and apparently God had time to drench the city, clear every cloud from the sky and switch to pouring sun while she worked.
The young man stacked it again and she jerked reflexively to run towards them. She knew exactly how much an unhelmeted young man could bleed. She’d assisted on more than one sew up of busted skateboarder heads in her time. If he got hurt before she left, she’d have help get him into the Emergency Department. Didn’t matter she just left work, if she had to go right back in, she would. She whistled through her teeth. The hospital was just across the street, but that would feel a lot further away if you were packing an exsanguinating skater.
An older black man in an aged leather jacket leaned against the bus stop sign and nodded approval. “Man, look at those guys. They must really love what they do.”
Danny sucked on his cigarette and exhaled the smoke. That lady sure was watching them hard. Hadn’t she ever seen skaters filming themselves before? Stores should sell skateboards with a Go-Pro voucher. Hell, they probably already did.
“Come on, Sammy!” he barked past teeth clamped on the cigarette and clapped his hands together. If Sammy could make this trick, and if Danny could edit the film with their music, Skatevillens could go viral. The Sam-nado could get a million hits.
“We should take the clips of Sammy screwing up all over the city and set ‘em to, like, clown music,” he said to Tommy. “That’d be effing massive.”
“Jesus, that would be the thing that got us famous,” Tommy retorted. “Hey, is that lady creeping on you, or what?”
Danny exhaled slowly and stared the lady down as a guy pushed the door open to the building they were filming in front of. Sammy kicked his board into his hands and the skaters purposefully looked down as the guy walked between them to get in the creeper’s car. None of them knew what the building was for— probably some kinda office— and nobody wanted some dick calling the cops to bounce them before they got their footage.
Sammy went back to the end of the benches and prepped to launch.
Danny passed the cigarette to Tommy. “C’mon, Sammy, you got it this time!”