As I turned the corner, Elvin was not in his usual spot. He was fanatical about being punctual, so I had a sinking feeling that something was amiss. Of all the times we walked to school together, he was only late once. It was a winter morning two years prior, when he was suffering from a nasty stomach bug. I made my way up the curved path to his front door. The chime sounded cold and hollow as it rang throughout the quiet house.
“Elvin said to tell you he would see you at school.”
The muffled, barely audible voice was that of his sister. Both of his parents had already left for work and his sister did not look ready to offer any further insight into Elvin’s exact whereabouts.
“Thank you,” I replied, with a slight note of reproach. “Sorry to have bothered you.”
Struggling to gather my thoughts, I found myself walking, one foot in front of the other, alone. If I could have thought of any place I could spend the morning, other than school, surely I would have done so ex post facto. I finally arrived in my seat at school, and there was no sign of Elvin. I longed to be almost anywhere else, but I summoned the inner strength to display outward composure. Each minute seemed to last an hour, but it was finally almost time for lunch. I was perspiring heavily now and grew jealous of meat that resides unknowingly in a cold locker awaiting butchering.
To be continued…