Jay & Miles
"I can't believe you asked him that!" Linda's voice went up an octave as she looked at her younger brother standing by his ancient blue Ford pickup. Jay looked around the school's parking lot, but it was nearly empty this late in the afternoon; while taking Miles home, he remembered that he had to pick up his sister after cheerleading practice, so it meant another trip to the high school--two in one day was one too many!
The high school lot was at the north end, mostly gravel, extending behind the school and to the football field with its metal and wood bleachers. Beyond that, was a smaller single lane path leading back into the large wooded area which served as a nature lab for the school, as well as a secluded place for other activities after school hours. The building itself was mostly one story tan brick around a central courtyard, the two story gym at the north end also held the main cafeteria; the southern end beyond the classrooms, was another one story rectangle set back from the main building--this time without the central court--it held the 7th- and 8th-Grade middle school classrooms along with a smaller cafeteria and the Industrial Arts shops. It was the height of late-Fifties style with its roof overhangs and metal-framed banks of five horizontal windows paired for each classroom. Everyone prayed that the air conditioning would work, for only the bottom light of each bank was operable to let in even a slight breeze.
"It's only for pizza, for Chrissakes! He's a nice guy, and…" Jay's sister waved that aside with one hand. "He's not even in 4-H! He isn't in any groups except Art Club...I heard he got switched out of Algebra Two so he could take Poetry! What sort of guy does that?"
There it was again, his sister's obsession with all things popular--just so she could fit into the jock/cheerleader clique like her other useless girlfriends. She had the same blonde hair he did, but her eyes were brown like their father's, while Jay's were nearly the same shade of blue as his mother's. Besides hair color, they shared similar facial features--hers being only slightly more delicate than his own--other than that, they were completely different personality-wise. Jay couldn't care less about being popular!
"Ya know what, sis? I've had class with him for four months now--I think I know him better than you! We have a lot of interests in common--music, books...we even like the same jokes--so you can shove that attitude up your ass!"
Jay yanked the massive door open and jumped onto the worn cloth seat from the running board, not caring whether his sister got in or not. He turned the key and punched the starter button with a vengeance, causing the engine to kick into life with a bang of backfire and a cloud of blue smoke. He turned the knob on the big chrome radio in the dash, and the strains of Foghat's Slow Ride came through the single speaker once the radio warmed up.
"Miles is my friend--you don't pick mine, just like I don't comment on those brain-dead jocks you chase after! Either get in and shut up--or walk--it's your choice…."
As the truck left the parking lot, Jay felt good; I told my bossy sister where to get off--and it's only one more day until Friday--when Miles and I can start sorting things out!
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