"How do you like school, Hussein?" And he'd say yes. Just yes. 'Anything you don't like, Hussein?' And he'd shrug. 'Oh there must be something. I think the grounds are to small-' 'Windows.' then he'd look away. 'Windows? What wrong with them?' 'They can see in here.'
The Shah stopped at the corner of the building, hesitated then seemed to push himself around by centimeters. The Shah straightened, took a breath and strode from the shadow of the building. He stood alone in the sun for several seconds with his fists by his side.
' why not?'
'hey, horse , going to beat me today?'
'Hussein was in a plant nursery' pearl said. 'Hussein?' Bruce said. 'Oh, you mean the shah.' 'Hussein. I was taking Suzy-my kid sister-to the library when we saw him running his fingers over a small mandarin tree, as if he couldn't believe that it was there. Smelling the fruit, pressing at the earth and even listening to the leaves.'
'Its growing.''There all growing.'
Bruce came to school looking as if he'd been trying to think things out for a long while. 'went to the shahs place, yesty.' 'you did' pearl was surprised. ' he caught me coming out of the vet with the rabbit. said he had a pet mouse at home , would i like to see it?. caught it in a wreaked house and kept it in his cellar. he thought it would last because it was so fast and smart. but it didn't . He said nothing lasts.
'Hey, horse going to beat me today.' Bruce said, and smiled. Hussein smiled back. 'why not?' he hesitated for a moment, then pulled the purple t-shirt over his head. the main scar, a bloodless seam, ran from his right shoulder to his left hip. the second scar was a second bellybutton punched in his side. marks of shrapnel and a bullet. A soldiers wounds.