Down Set One, Hut, Hut, Hike.
“Joe? Joe are you with us?” Mrs. D’Arcy asked the sleeping boy. Joe fidgeted and looked up at her, wide-eyed.
“Huh? What?” he mumbled sleepily.
“I asked you what redressed means. It’s part of your vocabulary for the novel we’re reading.”
“Oh…Uh… isn’t it putting your clothes back on after a wild party?” The class snickered, but their teacher frowned. I chuckled along with the rest of the class, but I guess I was the loudest.
She turned to me and sneered, “well Miss McGaverd? What does redress mean?"
“To set right or make amends,” I answered easily. Her frown deepened and she turned her back on me to write out homework on the whiteboard.
I took the chance to pass my note to Joe. I balled up a piece of paper and chucked it at the back of his head. Bad idea. The note hit the back of his head, but it was intercepted by his huge mane of hair.
I giggled and poked Pete. His head snapped up and his hazel eyes met mine. He looked at me curiously and I pointed to the back of Joe’a head where my note hung, still unnoticed.
Pete erupted into a fit of laughter and nearly fell out of his chair. This caught the attention of the rest of the class. After a minute, they saw the cause of his amusement and giggled with him.
Mrs. D’Arcy whipped around and her eyes bored into Joe’s. He stared back at her, bewildered.
A cloud rolled over the sun outside, the room growing darker. The portentous sign became obvious when Joe turned his head to look at me for help. The back of his head was now exposed to our English teacher.
Her lips formed into a snarl and she plucked the note from his hair. She skimmed through it and began to read out loud.
YO! FRO WITH LEGS!
I’m sooooo bored, so I threw you a note! We still on for the mall later? Panda told me Andy met some new guy and wanted us to meet him. Paul? Peterick? Vincent? I don’t remember.
ANYWHOOO the weathermen predicted tempests (HA vocab word!) tonight around eight I’ll prolly be spending the night at your house. No, the events aren’t linked in any way shape of form, but my mom doesn’t know that. I’ll call her later and… palter (HA did it again!) and she’ll let me stay.
We shall stay up all night and watch movies! All. Night. Will I won’t take your attention away from this beautiful class any longer.
The cheese that lurks in your hair
By the end of the note, the class was in stitches. I thought their sides were going to rive, they were laughing that hard. The note wasn’t embarrassing… the with love part made me blush though.
You see, I had a tiny crush on Joe…
Okay, it was a HUGEMEGAMAJRINSERTALLWORDSTHATMENLARGEHERE crush. No one really knows it, but when I say “with love”, I mean it as more then friends. At least, I want it to be more then friends.
The bell rang, signaling the end of our day. I jumped up and ran out of the class, racing to my locker. I could hear my classmates replications of the incident all down the hall and I became very self conscious. I threw all my books into my locker, slammed the door shut, and ran to Joe’s car.
I was sitting on the hood for nearly ten minutes before four boys waltzed my way. Two were people I’ve known since birth: Joe with his piercing blue eyes looking over at me with concern, and afro bouncing as he walked; and Pete, also concerned, but with short dark hair, highlighted red and angled across his face.
The third was one that I met in my sophomore year of high school. Andy had curly reddish brown hair that reached just under his chin, and mysterious dark brown eyes. He might only be a junior, but he could pass as a college student with his slight beard, thick glasses, and chin piercing.
The fourth boy was one that I’ve seen lurking at the very corners of the school. He seemed to shy away from the vulgar language Joe and Pete were using to describe our English teacher. He took off his thick rimmed glasses to clean them, and ended up walking into Joe’s car.
The cars alarm went off, scaring the living crap out of me. I fell off the hood and landed face first on the hard concrete. The boys ran over and pulled me off the ground.
After brushing myself off, I took a look at the boy responsible for the destruction of my favorite pants. He had thin strawberry blond hair peeking out from an “I ♥ Bingo” hat, and was a little on the chubby side, but nothing more then baby fat. His argyle sweater caught my eye and I giggled a little.
“Hi, I’m Tabby,” I interrupted the boy’s stuttered apologies and grabbed his hand, shaking it firmly. He seemed taken aback and looked at me with wide, bluish grey eyes.
“I’m Patrick Stumph. With an ‘h’ but you don’t say that so it’s just Stump,” he started rambling on nervously. I giggled again and turned to Andy.
“Where did you find this one?”
“He moved here not to long ago. He was switched into my Chem class and needed a partner and I joined him. We started talking about music and such and here we are,” I nodded and turned back to Patrick.
“Don’t construe their affable visage as fact. Their just big teddy bears trying to impress the new kid. Patrick smiled wide, revealing almost perfect teeth, and Joe started twitching.
“To many big words!” he yelped, clutched his head and flopped into the back of his green ’67 Chevy. “Pete drives!”
We all piled in after him and set off to the Atrium Mall. Pete and Andy were in the front, leaving me sandwiched between Patrick and Joe in the back.
Patrick turned to me when we were on the highway and smiled, “You should be careful with the big words. You may dismember his brain. I don’t think he would be much use if he took the semblance of a dead fish.”
I smiled back and shook my head, noting Joe’s twitch at the use of another big word. “You know, I don’t think there’s much to disjoin. The pot and insurrection messed him up pretty bad a few years ago.”
Patrick snorted and Joe faked a pained expression. I ignored him and continued my conversation with my new hat-clad friend.
“So how come I haven’t seen you more often? I know you’re new here, but did you move like… two months ago?” He shifted uncomfortably and frowned.
“Well you see…” he started slowly, “I’m sort of at the base of the social system. The carrion, if you will. People think I’m weird because I’m shy. Some girls even say my sideburns scare them!”
Everyone in the car laughed and I began to stroke his sideburns gently.
“Scared? Do they think that they’re going to eat them?” This earned another round of laughter from all except one. I glanced at Joe but he quickly looked away and out the window. I leaned my head on his shoulder and sighed.
“What’s wrong, muffin head?” I asked quietly.
“Nothing, cheese doodle. I’m fine,” He sure didn’t look fine. He was never in anything but a bouncy, hyper mood… Hmm… oh well…
When we got to the mall, Patrick and I continued our new conversation, but now, I was stealing glances at Joe everyone once in a while. I was beginning to worry about him. He seemed so consumed in thought.
After a little while of stolen glances, I noticed Joe doing what I thought to be the same thing. Could it be? NO! How absurd. Joe jealous of me spending time with Patrick? No way. NEVA EVA EVA!
We howled with laughter as Pete imitated the girl who gave me a nasty look.
“UGH! Um like, what was she wearing! Like Oh Em Gee, did you see her? And who she was with? How did she get someone THAT hott to even look at her?” It was scary accurate and we were rolling on the floor.
Oh how I loved when old women talk about our outbursts. It felt goo to know we weren’t going to be another face in the crowd. We were becoming a story to be told.
“Oh Pete, you and your saucy ways! You’re so full of boyish attitude!” Patrick managed to choke out between laughs.
“You bet!” Pete wiggled his hips and pout his lips.
“HEY YOU!” a security guard came over to our huddle. “OUT. NOW! Our good mall doesn’t need to be cluttered up with a bunch of hooligans!”
We laughed, but left. It was time to go home anyway.
We got back to Joe’s house and put on Star Wars. He still looked a little downtrodden and I figured it would cheer him up a bit.
About halfway through the movie, everyone was asleep. Everyone except Patrick and me.
“Hey Tabby…” I turned to look at him.
“Oui, monsieur Patrick?” He looked taken aback but quickly regained his composure and started up again.
“I know I’ve only known you for a couple hours but I want you to know…” he gulped and looked into my eyes, “I really like you. You’re the coolest girl I’ve ever met.”
“I like you too, Patrick.”
“Can I… kiss you?” I bit my lip. I liked Joe, but that could never happen. He was my best friend… and he could do so much better then the chick down the block. And if something did happen, then we broke up, it would never be the same. Besides, Patrick was really cute.
I nodded my head.
He leaned in slowly and I closed my eyes. His soft lips gently came in contact with mine and we shared a sweet, passionate kiss.
Joe woke up from his slumber to hushed voices. He recognized them as Patrick and Tabby’s.
“I know we’ve only known each other for a few hours but I want to let you know…” Joe kept his eyes closed, even though his body screamed to do something to interrupt this moment. He didn’t want Patrick to say what Joe knew what he was going to say next.
The thoughts screaming in his head made him miss the exchange of words, and there was silence. Joe oven his eyes slightly and he felt his heart tear.
They were kissing.
Patrick and Tabby were kissing.
Tabby; the girl Joe was in love with.
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