This will be the last post for this story for awhile. I need to let the writing catch up with the posting…stay tuned though. I will be posting other stories and background material. Thanks for reading.
With the bell ringing to signal the end of lunchtime, Sue walked quickly up to a bench in the central courtyard of the school with her backpack and her blue cashmere sweater and sat down. She laid the sweater on the bench beside her and then slid the backpack from her shoulder and let it rest on the sweater. She unzipped her backpack, looked inside, reached in and pulled out a pencil. She examined the point and put the pencil back into the backpack. She looked momentarily at her watch, hurriedly zipped up the backpack and, and in one motion put it back on her shoulder, stood up quickly and headed off to her next class.
Or at least that’s the impression that she intended to leave on anyone watching, instead of actually heading off to class, she tucked herself away in a little alcove that was little more than a space for a water fountain but, it had a view of the part of the bench where she had left her sweater and waited. She had hardly had time to wedge herself in next to the water fountain to wait when someone approached the bench, looked around and sat down next to the sweater.
Sue could see that someone had sat down next to the sweater. “I wish that I could see who it is” she thought to herself. “From the legs, pants and shoes I can tell that it is a girl, but that’s all I can see.” She just watched anxiously.
Then in an almost exact repetition of Sue’s actions, our mystery person took off her backpack, set it on top of Sue’s sweater and opened it up to check the contents. She then closed up the backpack, gathered up the sweater and headed off in the same direction that she had approached from. “Ooooh, she went back the way she came!” Sue thought so clearly out loud that she was afraid that she might have actually said it out loud. She could not see where the girl was going to from her alcove, so she had to leave it to try to follow her carefully. Cutting across the courtyard to the opposite side, she could see a very thin girl with short brown hair, a maroon sweater, blue jeans, white socks and faded red high top tennis shoes. Sue followed in the shadows that covered most of the hallway around to the right of the courtyard so as not to be seen. By the time Sue, reached the opposite corner of the courtyard, the girl with the sweater was going around the next corner to the right. Thinking almost out loud again, “Gosh, I need to be really careful not to make a sound with my footsteps. I’m glad that I wore my tennis shoes, they’re quiet” as she hurried to the next corner trying hard to catch up but not get caught following the other girl.
She carefully poked her head around the next corner when she saw one of the top lockers on the right hand side opened in her direction hiding the face of the person at the locker. The legs, pants and shoes were those of her thief so she backed quickly around the corner and tried to get her quickly beating heart back down her throat and into her chest again. She was convinced that anyone around could hear her heart beating and she stood there and waited for the locker to close so that she could find out who it was.
No sooner had her breathing began to slow down when she heard the quiet click of a locker closing and footsteps heading her way. Sue quickly decided that she needed something from her backpack. She knelt down with her head toward the wall of lockers with her back to the direction the footsteps were coming from, opened up her backpack and was rummaging through it when the girl that she had been watching came around the corner, hesitated slightly and then walked quickly past Sue to a classroom halfway down the hall.
Sue looked up just as the girl was entering the classroom. At the same time, the girl looked back at Sue. Their eyes locked for just a moment.
Sue now hurried to her own classroom. “I’m sorry Mrs. Appleton; I was trying to find my sweater. I seem to have mislaid it somewhere” said Sue as she entered. “All right, Sue, try to be more careful next time, make sure that you check the lost and found after school,” Mrs. Appleton responded. “Thank you, Ma’am” said Sue as she hurried to take her seat. She reached down and got out her history book and notebook opened them up and laid them on her desktop. She then glanced at Andrea and saw a concerned look on her face. Explanations would have to wait until after class.