From the Vault: Oh, Fudge

“I can’t believe you got us lost.”

All for a piece of fudge, Misty thought.  She looked over at Sarah, who was huddling close to James, her blond hair in a high ponytail curling onto her shoulder.  James said something quietly that made Sarah giggle.  I can’t believe I ran off with these two, thinking I could be one of the ‘cool’ kids.  Misty pushed her glasses back up, shifted her backpack, and tried once again to read the Spanish road signs.  “Aren’t you guys worried?” she asked.

“Naw,” James said, “don’t worry so much, Missy.”

“It’s Misty.”

James looked up, his shaggy brown hair falling into his eyes.  Brushing it aside, he grinned at her.  “Ok, Misty.  What would you have us do?  I rather think this was much more fun than seeing those fountains.”  He bent his head back over his laptop, which was emitting some squeaking, beeping noise.  Sarah laughed at the screen, her dimple only making her look cuter.  James looked up at Sarah, smiling.

“I think we should get back.  The bus will be leaving for the hotel soon, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stay out here for the night.”  Thunder cracked overhead as the storm rolled towards them.  Misty shifted her backpack and started walking towards what she hoped was a bus stop.  Lightning flashed, tinting the city streets with a ghostly light.

“Hey, Misty, wait up!”  Sarah called, now sounding a bit frightened.  She probably just doesn’t want to get wet, Misty thought.  Looking over her shoulder to James, who was putting away his laptop, Sarah trotted up to where Misty was waiting for her.  “Thanks,” she said, giving Misty a weak smile.  Rain began pelting down from the blackened sky, pasting Misty’s hair to her scalp and fogging her glasses.

“Look, we’re fine,” James called from behind her.  The wind flung his wet hair around, and he pulled his jacket tighter.  “We can’t be that far from the bus stop.”  Almost under his breathe, Misty heard, “Can we?”  In the darkened light, the buildings loomed close, creeping over their heads and casting shadows that wavered across their sight.  “Here, that sign says ‘Bus Station this way.’  We just have to head that direction,” James said, pointing down what looked to be an alley.

“It says, ‘No buses this way’.”

“Oh,” James said, running his hand through his hair and looking at the ground, “I knew that.”  He shifted his feet, kicking a rock into the alley.  “Stupid signs.”

“Stupid signs!  Well, I think it was rather stupid to go traipsing off for chocolate in the middle of the field trip!”  Misty spun towards him, her checks flushed.  “Now, we’re lost in a foreign city!”  Trying to get her temper under control, Misty spun away from them and continued walking.

It’s ok, Misty thought, taking a deep breath.  You’ll find your way back.  You won’t be wandering the streets here forever.  She heard footsteps behind her, and, glancing over her shoulder, she saw both Sarah and James walking behind her solemnly.  I don’t care if he does like her.

Up ahead, the street turned to the left.  Following it, Misty walked out into the plaza they were at two hours ago.  On her left, the statue of a fat woman lounged on her marble slat, her rolling curves covered with flecks of pigeon dung.  Misty smiled, relieved to see a familiar sight.  “Ok, from here we need to go…that way!”  Ignoring the rain, she walked boldly towards the intersection, turning to her right towards a building with an overhang.  Behind her, Sarah and James followed her, their footsteps splashing in the puddles now gathering on the sidewalk.

Next time, Misty thought as she entered the bus station, no fudge.

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