Focus, Kyrese, and the flowers

photo credit // Hannah Nicole

photo credit // Hannah Nicole

[Here’s how this works: I see a photo, I am inspired. A story happens. This is a short story. A comedy. This is a tragedy. No, really.]

 Captain Crunch. Nobody has the last name Crunch. Have I ever looked at an older guy and thought, “He looks like a Crunch.” No. Nobody looks like a Crunch. Do I look like a Crunch?

Crunch. Siiiip. Smack, smack smack. Crrrunch. Kyrese?

I don’t think so – a Crunch would have crunchy-looking hair. Like, crinkled. The Captain doesn’t, but he’s just an advertisement. He isn’t real. Wonder if he has kids? He couldn’t have kids. No one would marry a guy named Crunch. And he still isn’t real.

Liiick. Sip. Ky? Kyrese. Spoon. I love Captain Crunch.

“Ky! Sweetheart, do I have you?” “Yeah, ma. I was just looking at the Captain. Do you think there really are people named Crunch?” “No. What? I’ve been trying to tell you, you’ll be late for school if you don’t stop eating and start leaving. As in now. You hear me?”

Yes, mom. “Goodbye mom. I’ve got my bag and books, and I’ll be back with the dusk.” “Did you read that somewhere? Oh – bye, hun!” Door closes. No I didn’t, I was just waxing poetic. Footsteps. The sidewalk is so warm today. Here comes the bus again.

Screee! Err-huh. Door opens. Good morning Ernie.

“Kyrese! Good morning, my friend.” Good old Ernie. Always wears the same hat. Blue. “How are you today?”

“I was thinking of Captain Crunch this morning, Ernie. I wondered if he has family. Can you imagine being named Crunch? He isn’t real. Neither are his kids.” Crooked smile, crooked blue hat. Good old Ernie. “I’m going to sit down.” A handshake. His face says surprise. Sit down by Aaron.

“Hello, Aaron. Do you know anybody named Crunch?” His face is full of sleep. It spills, it breaks – he yawns. “Aaaah… Crunch. Crunch? No. Like the Captain?” Yeah, that’s it. Hmm. “He isn’t real, Aaron.”

“No, really.” He borrows Ernie’s smile, but he doesn’t have a hat. His hair is crunchy. Hmm. “No relatives?” “What?” “Are you related to a Crunch?” “You are a Crunch, Ky.” I am not. Aaron knows that.

Screee! Buh-dom. “Nice hat, Ernie.” All the feet. Who wears red Nike’s? Cross country.

Chik, chik, chik, chik… The teachers don’t like interruptions. Shut up, clock. “Ms. Seville.” Heads and faces. Her blonde hair. Eyebrow raises. “Kyrese? Raise your hand please if you have something to say.” “It won’t help.” Beautiful blond hair. Fine. Hand raises. “I can not hear you, because the clock is not shutting up.” Aaron thinks that’s funny, because he is laughing. I smile, and my hand is still in the air.

“That’s okay, Ky. I’ll send some work for you after class if you can’t hear. Can you listen to what it’s saying, just for now?” Yes. Sit down. Oh – my hand is now on my desk. Chik, chik… Leaving. Thank you for the book Ms. Seville. “It said, ‘398.’”

The clocks won’t shut up. They are rowdy today. The Cafeteria is like a war zone. (I read that somewhere.) The only place where I cannot hear.

Here I am at home again. The porch step announces my arrival. The sliding glass agrees. Smells like dirt. Mom is at the sink, with the garden on her hands. “Shoes off, Ky. What did you learn at school today?” I got three books. I raise my hand. “398. And I got three books.” Mom is impressed. “I see that.” Water droplets hold her hand. “The clocks were bothering you again? Uff da. You have to focus on the teacher, Kyrese. Ms. Seville, right? Ky?” Focus. Hmm.

“I’m going to the garden, mom. I’ll be back with the dusk.”

Swit, shhhh… sssssssssAAAAaahhh… The flowers are anxious.

Focus, Ky. Focus.

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