The Ten-Year Nap
Ian, and he sprinted toward the commotion, Penny and Amy following. The crowd split apart, and it was revealed to be comprised entirely of boys, none older than around fifteen, all of them black, wearing big, unseasonal jackets. On the ground sprawled the Auburn Day boy, a sixth-grader named Dustin Kavanaugh, unhurt but crying. Ian tried to grab at one or two of the boys, but they were too fast, their ripstop nylon jackets swooshing past.
    “Ian, don’t,” Penny said. She put a hand on his arm—the first public touch between them. “Just go.”
    “I should chase those shits,” he said, breathless.
    “No, it’s too late. Go.”
    And so, dismissed, Ian left, while Amy frantically pressed the button on her walkie-talkie to summon the school. Through tears, Dustin Kavanaugh explained that he had been walking along with his earbuds in his ears, eating a bag of little fried corn curls and listening to music.
    “Oh, honey, are you hurt?” Amy asked the boy, crouching down and giving him some tissues from her pocketbook.
    “No,” he said shakily, blowing his nose. “But they got my iPod.” Then he added, “And I met them before.”
    “You did?” Penny asked. “Where?”
    “On Hand-in-Hand Day.”
    Whoosh, thought Amy, picturing the well-meaning but still troubling Hand-in-Hand Day struck from the calendar of the Auburn Day School. The white boys would stay forever with the white, the black with the black, the Hispanic with the Hispanic, and even that single designated day of unity would be shut down. Who knew if these were really the same boys as the ones who had come in to play sports and eat baked ziti? The school might never even try to find out.
    The security guard from the school arrived along with a policeman, and after the women gave him all the information they could, the guard coolly asked for their safety vests and walkie-talkie, as if they were being stripped of military rank. There were no excuses; an Auburn Day boy had been mugged right on the block they were patrolling. They should have been able to break it up as it started, or stop it before it happened, but instead they’d been standing in a dreamy cluster with an Englishman, briefly forgetting the real reason they were here on the street in these orange vests.
    Only now, as the guard and the policeman tended to Dustin Kavanaugh, did Amy see how upset Penny had become. She seemed stunned, nearly unable to speak, so Amy thought to take her to the Golden Horn. In the coffee shop, leaning against the aqua booth, Penny said, “I just feel so bad. It’s my fault that this happened.” She began to cry softly, and a couple of people looked up in curiosity. Penny pulled napkins from the dispenser and wiped her eyes.
    “No it’s not,” said Amy, though she thought, it’s our fault. “Even if we’d been paying attention, they probably would’ve followed him around the corner. Don’t you think?” she added, wanting reassurance herself.
    “Maybe.” The two women sat glumly in the muted din.
    “Thank God he’s not hurt.” Amy added, “We could send him something.”
    “A new iPod,” Penny tried, blowing her nose. Her skin was so pale that the brief release of tears had inflamed her whole face. “I heard he likes show tunes.”
    “Yes, show tunes, he loves them.” All the mothers had heard this about Dustin Kavanaugh, and it was always mentioned with a certain knowing inflection.
    “Those kids, those muggers, they’re going to listen to his iPod and get a big surprise,” said Penny. “‘The Circle of Life’ from The Lion King. ” Both women, despite the somberness, began to laugh a little.
    “And you know, we’re going to hear from Dustin Kavanaugh’s mother, and I don’t blame her.”
    “Oh, right, Helen. She will be very upset. Anyone would.”
    Helen Kavanaugh dressed as though she were the chairwoman of a bank, though she hadn’t held a paying job since right after college. Her stockbroker husband had made particularly

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