Urban St., Buffalo NY
“Ms. Hope says I got potential.”
“Potential,” the old man spat. He tossed the picture back.
Mama stroked my shoulder in that way she did that used to make the world go smooth. “Don’t you listen to him. Ms. Hope is right.”
He just snorted.
I studied the drawing again, squinting closer. I tried to imagine what Ms. Hope had seen. I could see now all the places I’d erased, where I’d rubbed the paper raw. How dumb to think it was special. I started to crumple it.
Mama eyed me. “Here I thought Ms. Hope was right. But you’re not special.”
I looked at her, surprised.
She shook her head. “You’d throw your potential away based on what others say? That’s not special.”
The old man stared at the broke-down Chevy in the drive and shook his head.
I pulled the paper back and made it smooth.
This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:
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This week’s prompt plunged me into a rabbit of research. Murder under the tracks maybe? Or a body in a vacant lot snagged from this week’s headlines (blocks away, as a matter of fact)? But then I stumbled upon a nearby school, run by an actual Ms. Hope. I loved the name so much I decided to do my best for her.