Misfit [ficlet]

Jojo’s books were piled carelessly on the seat next to her, threatening to fall with every lurch of the bus. She had a short cap of raven tresses and matching eyeliner. Jojo sat smoking a cigarette. An Asian woman across the aisle kept giving her dirty looks. Not that anyone could really smell the cigarette smoke with the smelly man sitting behind her. Jojo wrinkled her pierced nose and shifted her weight on the seat.

Her mother didn’t know that she took the bus to school. Every morning she gave Jojo money for a cab, and every morning Jojo used that money to buy cigarettes at the 7-11. Her mother wouldn’t have approved of her taking the bus or understood the kinship Jojo felt with those who rode with her. There was Henriette who spoke only in iambic pentameter. Ilene who liked to take off her prosthetic leg in the bus, to the horror of the other passengers. Even Smelly Man belonged here. Her mother never would’ve understood that it was precisely here where Jojo felt she belonged. A misfit among misfits.

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