Ed and I sit in the stairwell smoking. A security guard walks in the door. He bums a light off Ed.
“I love China,” Ed says.
I nod. We finish and walk back to the Kindergarten. The school is between a piano shop and a Costa Coffee. It is colorful. Inside the door, our boss approaches us.
“Hi boys.” Justin smiles. He always smiles at us, as a kind grandfather might smile toward his fat and greedy descendants.
“Where are your uniforms, boys?”
I look at Ed, Ed looks at me. We are both wearing casual dress-shirts.
Ed turns to Justin.
“We don’t want to wear them.”
Justin’s smile twitches, only a bit. “Why?”
“Well, they make us look like pedophiles,” Ed explains.
“Oh!” Justin says, then frowns “what is a pedophile?”
“It means you want to do things to kids, bad things.”
Justin’s eyes go wide. “You guys aren’t pedophiles, are you?”
“What? No,” Ed says.
Justin looks at me. I try to shake my head and roll my eyes simultaneously. It’s nauseating.
Justin takes a huge sigh, “Oh, good,” he says. “If you were,” he says, “we’d have to have a chat.”
He smiles. He pats me on the shoulder. He leaves.
I turn to Ed and frown.
“Does this mean we have to wear those stupid uniforms?”
Ed frowns after Justin.
“Haven’t a damn clue,” he mutters.