An odor of sour sweetness filled the kitchen. Hannah wrinkled her nose, and seeing her brother at the counter said, “Oh, not you too.”
He was sitting, hunched over a bowl of teal colored berries. The previous day she had seen a bunch of posh kids going on and on about them, eating them up like they were a new boy band. She found the smell, color, and even shape of the things unpleasant.
Her brother smiled at her, teeth full of juicy pulp.
“Oh, grow up!” Hannah sighed as she headed for the door.
“Come back! You need to try them!”
Hannah shot him a middle finger over her shoulder.
At the end of the block, she saw kids clumping around the bus stop. Normally they were spread out, separated into their cliques of the week. A breeze delivered a sour sweet smell. Squinting she saw they were gathered around a backpack, overflowing with berries. They were shoveling them into their mouths; hands and chins covered in slimy pulp.
Susan, one of her only friends, saw her. She ran towards Hannah, holding out fists full of berries.
“Try them! You must try them!”
Susan’s eyes were wild, her smile stretched painfully wide.
Hannah turned, and ran towards her house. Her brother was on the porch, eating berries.
“Try them!” he howled.
Changing direction, she noticed there were no cars on the street. Glancing at her watch, the bus was also late. The bus was never late.
She ran, dodging faces covered in berry pulp.
The voice belonged to Jen. They barely knew each other. She was crouched in the shadows between two houses. Hannah hesitated.
Jen held out her hands, “I’m clean. I haven’t eaten them! Hurry!”
Gripping the shoulder straps of her backpack, Hannah ran towards her.