"Good morning, Mayne Island!" ldyck
"I set the table," I tell Mom.
She stops chopping carrots just long enough to say, "Add a plate. Your brother's bringing a guest."
I slid his placemat over, making room. "Another girl?"
I walk over to the cluttery drawer and pull out a knife, fork, and spoon.
"No, a boy from work."
"He's about your age."
It hits me like a punch. "Jeff Goodridge?" He's in the cool group. And he's way too cute--all the girls are crazy about him. He can't come here! I'll say the wrong thing, spill my milk, drink my milk. He'll think I'm a kid.
"Yes, that's his name."
"I'm not hungry." I throw over my shoulder as I bolt for the door.
"Amanda, you can't--"
I slam the door on the rest of Mom's sentence. A red flash of paint turns off the highway onto our driveway--my brother's ragtop. I'm trapped. There's nowhere to go, except maybe...up. Branch after branch, I climb the tree. But it's spring. There are no leaves to hide behind.
"Hi, Mandy," my brother says, walking past.
Jeff looks around but can't find me.
The kitchen window slides open. "Young lady get down from there, right now!"
Now Jeff sees me. Our eyes connect for the first time since elementary. And I could die. Seriously, I feel like letting go and falling. I'd lose nothing, my life is already over. But I don't fall. I suck it up, Buttercup. My face as hot as fire, I climb down.
Next post: Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)