Luci took me under her wing.
Sat right next to me on the bus that Tuesday when brother was home with the flu.
She says things like “You’re a baby” and “Don’t be stupid.”
Luci has those shiny hair clips mama won’t buy me.
Luci don’t carry a plastic square lunchbox like mine.
“That’s Booger Boy. Don't talk to him.”
I know Booger Boy. I see him every morning. His parents are old like grandparents.
Didn’t matter what nobody said to that boy, his finger’ed be up his nose and then out on the green vinyl in front of him like it was all he knew how to do.
I nodded like I didn't know.
I wanted to learn everything.
I wanted to learn everything the way Luci told it.
Luci told me, “Watch out for white people they’re not like us.”
I peeked across the aisle. Saw Cat’s blonde hairs clinging to the static of the vinyl, shiny and long.
Luci says, “Don’t hold hands with boys unless their hair is brushed and their shoes is new.”
Luci calls me estúpido, says I’m lucky she sat next to me.
I believe it.
Her nails are lavender and her baby hairs are pressed smooth to her forehead.
I wonder if I could hold her hand. If she’d say that’s stupid or breaks some rule.
Luci says she saw me down the block.
Says there’s something wrong with girls who run around with boys.
Says I should know better.
By the end of the week, brother’s back. He says to stay away from Luci.
I act like I don’t care.
I watch her through the crack between the seat and the window.
I wonder if she’s looking for me.
I think maybe she’s tellin’ some new girl about Booger Boy.
Saying to stay away from me too.