Things changed in the summer. During the rest of the
school-year, kids would bolt to the back of the bus to grab a seat as far back
as possible. But now that there were fewer of them, and they were all getting
hauled to and from summer school,
kids wanted to sit as close to the door as possible. So, Bo and Danny basically
had the back of the bus to themselves: each sprawled in their own seat, hands
on the back of the seat ahead of them while the bus barreled down to cross
George Street and the huge bump in the road, flinging themselves up into the
air when the back of the bus bucked up, each swearing they’d bashed their heads
on the ceiling.
“Here, let me feel your pulse!” Danny laughed, scuttling to
the aisle-edge of his seat and reaching out for Bo’s arm.
Danny put two fingers on his wrist, just below his curled
“It’s racing! Can you feel it? No, no, not your thumb, two
fingers, like this. If you feel with your thumb you just feel your own pulse…
oh, I guess that wouldn’t matter since it’s you, but…”
“Oh yeah, I feel it! Huh! That’s awesome.”
Danny shooed Bo’s fingers off his own wrist and put his two
fingers back. Then he tapped at the heel of Danny’s fist.
“Wow, is that your Fate Line?”
“Open your fist, dude, let me see.”
Bo swallowed, opened his palm. The skin was pink and damp,
and a map of lines the kind Bo only noticed when he left a muddy hand-print on
the side of Danny’s mailbox when they were younger.
“What are you looking at?”
“I want to read your palm, man.” Danny was speaking more
quietly now, one finger in the soft center of Bo’s palm.
“You know how to read palms?? No you don’t—your dad’s a
“He has a book on it.”
“Yeah,” Danny poked at the pillow of the palm that was the
Mount of Saturn. Bo swallowed, cupped his hand a little around the finger testing
the firmness of the edge of his palm so that the lines showed.
“…what’s it say?”
“You’ve got a really deep Fate Line,” Danny didn’t look up. “N-not
“It, uh, means you are gonna get really affected by fate and
destiny and stuff. Stuff you can’t control.”
“Good or bad stuff??”
“I don’t know. P-probably good! Probably good.”
Bo watched the cuticle of Danny’s index finger, pale purple,
while he traced the different lines and hatches in Bo’s hand. He didn’t look up
at Danny and Danny didn’t look up at him.
“Dude,” he said when Danny traced the curving imprint of the
line closest to his fingers. “Do you really know anything about this.”
‘Yeah, course I do!” Danny huffed, still intent on his palm.
He pointed to the next line down, “This is the Head Line, this is the Life
Line, Fate Line—like I told you—Mount of Jupiter, Mount of the Sun, Mercury, ….,
Saturn. You’ve got… short fingers, so probably an Earth type.”
“Oh. Um. Okay.” They sat, the bus rattled over a bump in the
road and they were lifted briefly airborne. Danny took Bo’s wrist to keep their
hands in contact.
“I guess I’m not very good, though. It’s… it’s just
something I read in a book.”