TITLE: The Many Stony and Wild Things
GENRE: Literary fiction
“So, um, is that all right? If I turn it in by Friday? I have my letter from the Dean here and everything.” Lora starts to fumble through a dark brown corduroy bag; I can see a lining of red and blue flowers, the tops of stuffed notebooks and folders, a few paperbacks wedged in between them. She bends her head, her thigh-length curly brown hair gathered and wrapped today under a deep red scarf.
“That’s fine, Lora,” I say, trying to offer a reassuring smile. “I trust you. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Get that flu shot next year.”
“Oh, God, I will. I felt like I got run over by a truck.”
“Well, I’m pleased to have you back in class. It’s a shame you missed so much of our discussion on Joyce, though. Maybe you can get the notes?”
“I’ve already gotten them from Sadiyah.”
“Oh, good. How are you getting caught up in your other classes?” I’m certain that Maria is on Lora’s case about this already, but I’m looking for any excuse to not go home, to linger a little while longer and think about unwrapping the long red scarf from around her hair and watching it uncoil and fall all the way down her back. I don’t know how I never noticed it before that Christmas party, hardly a month ago, when she was wearing a red dress, silky, wrong for the weather, and her hair a wild waterfall of dark brown curls.