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Sweet as Candy: A Novel in Verse

By @Madison

Levi, the Chauffeur

He arrives ten minutes later

In a silver car I vaguely recognize

From the supermarket parking lot.

I see him pull up

Out the window the door.

I sling my purse over my shoulder

Wave at Snow White

And the nurse who saw me off

Before walking out the door.

Thank God the windows of Levi’s car are tinted

As to keep the nurse from seeing

That the driver inside

Is most definitely not my mother. 

When I climb into the passenger seat

Levi turns the radio down

Before looking over at me.

His eyes hold a sort of softness

Not the pathetic kind

That I see when people find out why I live with my aunt

Nor the kind

That many use to mask disappointment.

No

This seems genuine

Sweet

A bit like the nurse who gave me water.

In that moment

I’m thankful for Levi, too.

I buckle my seatbelt

Just before he opens his mouth.

Thankfully, he doesn’t say anything about where I asked him to pick me up from

Instead

He asks a much more obvious, respectful question.

“So, where to?”

I surprise myself

With my reply.

“Not home.”

This answer seems to surprise Levi, too

Causing him to give me a startled look

Wide eyes curious.

I lean back in the seat

Trying not to look into those eyes too much.

“Not yet, anyway.”

He nods.

Even if he doesn’t understand

He at least pretends to.

“Where would you rather go, then?” he asks.

I think about this.

What

If anything

Would make me feel better?

I answer with the first thing that comes to mind.

“Culpepper’s, maybe?”

He chuckles

Flashing his crooked grin

With a sense of solemnity

That is foreign to me. 

“If there’s anywhere I know the directions to, it’s there.”

I grin back

Trying to mirror the feeling.

“Good.”

Without another word

He puts the car in reverse

And we head to Culpepper’s drugstore.

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