We had only been hanging out together in school for about a week after the party … before Lin pops the question I’ve been dreading:
“Why don’t I come over to your place?”
Yeah, why don’t you … girl-who’s-about-to-inherit-the-seventh-biggest-company-in-the-state?
“Sure thing, that’d be … fine.”
“Yeah, yeah – jus’ come by.”
“Uh … yeah, why not? Me mum’s prob’ly home, tho’ … “
“Well, we … it’s a small apartment … “
Suddenly the noises from the yard seem crisp and intent, as if they are all zooming in on me. I glance around. Denise passes over by the shed, some new boy wrapped around her but I’m not sure if she looked in our direction.
“I’m sure I can fit in,” Lin says. “I’m not that voluptuous.” She flashes a grin, as she heaves up in her A-cup breasts and I try to find a stance that indicates to people who’re looking that we’re not having this conversation.
“Okay,” I manage to confirm. “Ye can come.”
“Okay!” Lin sparkles even more. “I can go with you after the last lesson?”
I nod, feeling as if somebody had strapped an anvil to my neck.
“Maybe I should call first? It’d be better if she’s out … “
“I wouldn’t mind meeting your mum, Carrie. I’m sure she’s nicer than mine.”
“Lin, it’s only two rooms.”
Her eyes widen, just for a sec, and then she quickly finds the ‘normal-mask’ again.
“So?” Lin shrugs.
“Lin, ye live in a friggin’… castle… ”
“So maybe I’m tired of that. Did I tell you my mum’s gonna sell everything and move back to England?”
“Yeah, everything – company’s going to some cousin or something. But she gets a lot of money. She won’t have to work for the rest of her life.”
Lin shrugs again. “I’ll tell you later. Let’s go back in? I think I saw Old Hacksaw heading our way. He probably thinks we’ve been smoking again.”
“Admit it, Lin – ye have the hots fer him.”
“Oh, I’m sure the old fart likes petite girls, but I’m not gonna be one of them. I’d rather be Willie the Groundkeeper’s wife!”
We both crack up for a few, joyful moments, but enough to notice – for the first time today – that the winter sun over Cleveland feels mild. Continue reading