“Water Stains” By Kyle Schmidt

I’m waiting like I’m supposed to. I always listen. He should be ready soon to take me home. My mom drops me off at school. It’s a 20-minute drive. The arrangement is that a family friend, who happens to be a teacher at my school, gives me a ride home since my parents work late. My rain boots squeak against each other as I sway. My umbrella supports me like a cane. It’s my guaranteed support.

His door is closed, which means he is most likely finishing with a student based on the voices inside. Mr. Yates, his name on a metal strip next to the door. I start to feel sick. He’ll be out soon.

The voices stop talking, and the door opens. A boy student, of course, leaves his office. He comes to the door smiling, “Are you ready, Dave?”

I nod in reply. There are never any words to say.

He looks down at my rain boots and umbrella. “You really came prepared today.”

I don’t nod this time. Because even though I know what’s coming, I’m never prepared for it.

We go to his car. The rain has died down, and it’s warm now. The rain boots and umbrella I have are unnecessary, but there are still puddles that splash water against my boots. He opens my door first, and then we leave the school parking lot. I wish I would sit in the backseat to save time, but that would make him worry. Even considering everything, or maybe because of it, I can’t do that.

He talks about his day, and my head nods up and down when it’s suppose to, even if it makes me sick. He’s finished and finally drops me off at home. It’s been two hours since we left the school parking lot.

He smiles and places his erect index finger to his lips. His hand touches my shoulder, causing me to shiver in the spring weather.

There is no one home yet. There never is. That must be why it’s so easy. My rain boots come off, and I set them next to my umbrella. The water drips off them and soaks into the mat, making an immediate water stain. They will be dried by tomorrow and nothing will be noticeable anymore. There may be some pebbles or dirt, but everyone will choose to ignore them. Little specks are easy to miss. My parents won’t even know about the water stains, and they never see the specks. I hope they never do. I hope no one does.

Kyle Schmidt was born and raised in Wisconsin, and is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Kyle’s love of writing came as a result of his love of reading. The works Kyle creates vary greatly in length, anywhere from a novella to flash. Kyle’s interests include being a cat enthusiast (fueled by his two cats Jamie and Bartholomew), a lover of horror films, and a gamer.

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