Plan to Make Do
by Michele Chai
published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto - Book 2
—“Ow...yo, that hurt.”
A young woman jams her elbow into my chest shoving me out of her space. Her distracted exit from a department store propels her small pod of friends askew. My chest hurts, not in a call-the-ambulance kind of way but in a startled unexpected physical-contact-with-a-stranger kind of way. People simply don’t get that close, that fast, unless they’re force-fed onto public transport during rush hour and get stuck with a driver whose foot is as heavy on the gas as it is on the brake.
My squeak of protest enlists her friends, who now want to pick a fight— with me.
I get shoved. I know better than to shove back.
“Yuh must be making joke.
“Yuh want tuh fight me, after yuh almost knock mih ass down?
“But cross my stars. Chile, don’t let me go an’ find yuh mudder,” my finger wagging in the air like dragonfly wings.
But that would be small island talk. And I would have to look like a mother to make any such threat. A fifteen-year-old lost his life last week over a bus ticket. Instead I yell, “Why is it everyone is so ready to fight?”
To read the full piece, purchase TOK: Writing the New Toronto - Book 2