“Two truths, one lie?”
It was one of those summer days where everything sticks — shirt to skin, skin to seat. Even the bus seemed to sweat under the heavy gaze of late afternoon sun, windows dripping with condensation, as it lumbered out the school gates.
Two girls, one with red hair and the other blonde, huddled together at the back of the crowded bus. The redhead grinned at her friend, “OK you first.”
They had played this game since year 7. It felt like forever since those first bus rides, in their regulation skirts with knotted stomachs and backpacks that could curve spines.
Same people, same bus, but everything different.
Backpacks had been replaced with equally uniform handbags and skirts rolled high in a proclamation of womanhood. Gone were the days of sitting upfront with kids and social pariahs, now they had finally earned that back seat status. The back of the bus was reserved for the most popular in school, the VIP lounge with a zero-tolerance backpack policy.
”Let’s see…” The blonde feigned deep thought.
One, I’m a Libra.
Two, I love you.
Three, peanuts are my favourite food.
They laughed. A life-long nut allergy put her lie in plain view. “You never play properly,” the redhead said. “It’s supposed to be hard to guess!”
It was only after the blonde had peeled herself from their seat and stepped off the bus for the last time that the redhead noticed the Snickers wrapper, discarded in her place.