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June's Cafe Scene

“Do you have a ride home?”


“I’ll walk.”


“In the rain?”


“Y-yes,” I say as I look toward the window and notice it’s pouring.


Keys jingle in Thane’s hand. “I’ll take you home. Don’t worry, I won’t bite.”


We leave the coffee house, and Thane holds the door open for me.


“Hold up,” he instructs once we are outside under the awning. He moves to take off his jacket for me. “Use it as an umbrella.”


That’s when I hear it—a group of boys from Rayon High School are crowded under the awning behind us. One of them turns around, looks me up and down and calls, “Nacoma slut.”


Thane goes rigid and turns on his heels. “Excuse me. I don’t think I heard you the first time. Can you repeat what you said?”


The boys chuckles, and then he speaks. “I just call it like I see it.”


“You call it like you see it?” Thane’s voice sends a chill through the air. “And what exactly do you see?”


“Everyone knows girls from Nacoma are easy,” the boy says, making a lewd gesture with his hand.

Thane moves fast, closing the distance and punching the kid in the face. His head snaps back, and blood gushes from his nose. In seconds, Thane is on him, punching him over and over again. The other boys surround them. I hurry forward, pushing them out of the way.


“Thane! No! Stop!”


“I’m calling the cops!” I hear someone yell.


I pull on his arm and he breaks away, stumbling back, breathing hard. “Let’s go!”


We run through the rain to Thane’s car. It’s a black charger with tinted windows. Once inside, I turn to glare at him. “That was completely unnecessary.”


“The kid was a bastard. He needed to be taught a lesson.”


“So you could go to jail?”


“It would have been worth it.”


“No, it wouldn’t have.”


“You’re not upset by what he said?”


“I mean, yes. He was completely out of line, but what he said isn’t true.”


He’s silent. He doesn’t look at me, and his knuckles are bloodied. His shirt is soaked through and clings to his skin.


“But thank you,” I say after a moment. “I don’t think he’ll be calling girls sluts again any time soon.”

He smiles and then starts his car. “See? Worth it.”


The drive to my house is short, especially since I tell Thane not to drop me off directly in front of my house.


“But it’s still pouring,” he says.


“That’s okay. I like the rain.” He doesn’t look convinced, but doesn’t argue. I add, “Thanks for the ride.”


“Anytime, especially if it’s raining and I need to get away from cops.”


I glare at him. “No, never again, especially if you need to get away from cops.”


I start to get out and leave his jacket behind. “Take it,” he holds it to me. “You can give it to me at school on Monday.”


“I’ll be fine.”


“Just do it; I’m already wet. It won’t help me.”


I take the jacket and put it over my head as I get out of the car. “See you Monday.”


I close the door and walk the rest of the way to my house in the pouring rain with Thane’s jacket covering my head, smelling of cigarettes.

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