“Small black, please.”
The woman behind the counter rang up the price and Sam handed her a few coins. She grabbed the paper cup and quickly made for the door. Damn, that line had been longer than she had expected. Her watch read ten to nine. She needed to hurry or she’d be late for school.
Sam walked at a brisk pace, trying to balance the need to rush with the need to keep her coffee from spilling all over herself and the ground. God, she wished these things came with better lids. She turned down an alley, wanting to avoid the crowded thoroughfare in order to save time. She’d already been late twice this week and couldn’t deal with the lecture a third infraction would bring.
The first intersection she passed she noticed two guys from her high school. Craig and Kyle. Idiots who loved to get on her case whenever they had the chance. Normally, she wouldn’t mind putting them in their place, but she just didn’t have the time right now. She walked faster and tightened her grip on her cup to minimize the sloshing. Hopefully they hadn’t noticed her.
She wasn’t so lucky. In her peripheral vision she saw their heads turn toward her.
Sam crossed the street, remaining pointedly oblivious, but she heard sneakers slapping pavement behind her. She weighed her options. Running might work, but she wasn’t sure she could outpace them and she really didn’t want to spill the rest of her coffee. And giving them a chase might just encourage them. Probably better to just deal with them now and be on her way.
She stopped and turned around.
“Hey Simpson,” Craig smiled. “Knew you couldn’t resist spending some time with me.”
“Fuck off, asshole. I’m late for school. Just leave me alone.”
“Well, that’s not very polite. She’s not very polite, is she Kyle?”
“No, she isn’t.” Kyle grinned as though he was incredibly clever.
“Maybe we should teach her a lesson then,” Craig said, flexing his fingers suggestively.
“Maybe you should suck my dick.” The words were out of Sam’s mouth before she could think. Not the wittiest comeback, to be sure. And probably not the best way to get out of the situation. Screw it, though. She hated these guys and wanted to be out of here. She braced herself for what was coming next.
Craig scowled. “That’s it, Simpson. Little bitch, I’m going to make you pay for that.”
He moved to grab Sam’s arm. But as his hand came down, it closed around nothing but air. Sam’s arm had shifted just enough to completely miss being touched. She looked Craig dead in the eye as he made another swipe, this time as her left arm, which also barely slipped away from his grasp. The movement sent some coffee sloshing over the edge of her cup onto Craig’s skin, burning him. Now he looked really pissed. She couldn’t help but smile.
“Fucking bitch! Come on, let’s get her!”
Kyle came at her with a punch aimed at her stomach. Her legs moved to the right half a foot. Kyle’s fist pulled the rest of him stumbling past her. At almost the same time, Craig punched at her chest. Sam moved back just enough to have his fist stop right in front of her. His feet froze from the unexpected lack of impact. Then she rotated ninety degrees, avoiding Kyle as he tried to hit her from behind. Instead, he hit Craig. The two fell to the ground.
“Aagh! Get the fuck off me dude!”
“Sorry! She moved!”
They weren’t done yet. From the ground, Craig tried to grab her ankle, but she hopped over his hand. Kyle stood up and threw his whole body at her, but Sam again slid to the side and he fell over.
This went on for several more minutes. The two boys would try to hit, grab, smack or tackle Sam, but she slipped away every time. By the end, she was laughing to herself. As long as she could remember, Sam had had this ability. If she wanted to avoid contact, her body found a way to do it. All she had to was concentrate on being untouchable and she was. It was exhilarating, knowing she had so much power over any physical altercation. Her opponents essentially beat themselves up. The two boys lying on the ground in front of her were evidence of that. She almost felt bad for them, not knowing what they were up against. But that didn’t stop her from enjoying it.
As she walked away from the scene, she checked her watch. Ten after nine. And her coffee had almost entirely spilled onto the pavement. Those idiots had still managed to ruin her morning.