The Girl Down Front

Daniel W. Davis

She sat in the second row, first seat on the left-hand isle. She held her shoulders straight, every day, for all fifty minutes of the period. She was there when Patrick arrived, and she stayed when he left. Her outfit changed, though he noticed a certain rotation: green sweatshirt on Mondays, blue on Tuesdays, gray on Wednesdays, gold on Thursdays, and dark pink on Fridays. One Wednesday she wore a red sweatshirt, and he thought about it for the rest of the day, dreamed about it when he went to sleep that night. He expected a change the next day; but there she was, fifth period, in a gold sweatshirt. His heart sank a little, but the red sweatshirt stayed with him.

It was traditional in study hall for the teacher to call out the names of the students. Mr. Spitz was atypical however, and took attendance by reading his sheet. He called out names whenever a student raised their hand, but the girl down front never did. She never seemed to move, and Patrick wondered if she was reading a book. Some romance novel, something fantastical where the hero gets the girl (or vice versa) and the bad guy gets his comeuppance.

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