Ash Hamid:

(Excerpt from Chapter 1, Switchback)

She stepped out of line just as a rusted orange Honda with a mismatched blue door came to a squealing stop on the street. A disheveled looking teen tumbled out of the driver’s seat. 

“WAIT!” Ash shouted. “Wait for me!” 

He grabbed a hastily-filled backpack with clothing hanging half out of it, slammed the door with his knee, then sprinted forward, cell phone held aloft.

The tension in Vale’s chest released and a wide grin broke across her face. 

Ash came after all!

If Ashton Hamid had a patronus, it was an overgrown Great Dane. He was all long arms and knobby-kneed legs, bony elbows and size sixteen feet. The resemblance extended to his face too. His brown eyes seemed perennially tired, punctuated by drooping lids and sloping black brows. Chin-length hair flopped over his eyes and behind his ears. His clothes—bought to fit his six and a half foot frame—always looked three

sizes too big.

“Woohoo! I made it!” Ash shouted as he ran toward the class. “Ms. Holland! MISS HOLLAND! I’m—”

Halfway across the parking lot, he tripped over his untied laces, and his bag tumbled to the ground, spewing clothing across the pavement. Kids laughed.(Whether it was intentional or not, he often played the role of comic relief for the class.) Ash grinned as he grabbed his pack off the ground and jammed a dropped sweatshirt and socks back inside, then half-jogged, half-skipped to Vale’s side. Laughter filled the air.

“Nice entrance,” she said. “You might get a standing ovation next time.”

He did a stage bow. “It’s all in the timing.”

“Timing, hmmm?” She giggled. “I thought it was untied laces.”

“They’re my signature, you know. Pure class.”

Vale giggled“Classy is not the word that came to mind."

Image above used in accordance with Creative Commons Licensing (Pixabay).