I glanced from my book to see a kid board the bus. He looked in age fairly new to the realm of double digits. He wore a red and heather hoodie and high socks to just below his knees; had a slim, black Under Armour pack slung over both shoulders; carried a zippered binder by its handle in his left hand.
Outside, it was raining steadily, lightly.
"You like this kind of weather?" the bus driver asked the boy.
Conditioned by my experiences working with middle-schoolers, I braced for the boy's mumbled one-word answer. What he said instead was, "I do, yes, but sitting out in it isn't all that pleasant. I like the dreariness of it."