“And I thought my dad was weird.” Jason stared down the street after the retreating sight of Calvin’s father racing away on his bicycle, oblivious to the torrents of rain obscuring the world around them. “He’s gonna get himself killed.”
Calvin watched his father with a tolerant, rueful smile. “Me and mom figure if he hasn’t killed himself by now, he probably isn’t going to. ‘Sides, he’s ridden through worse. You should see him in early winter – man thinks snow is fun.
“It is fun,” Jason grinned.
“Not for cyclists.”
“Cleary for some.”
Calvin rolled his eyes as they heard shouting at the intersection. “My dad is insane. I bet we’re going to get a call about this.”
Jason snickered. “You mean you’re not the only troublemaker in the family?”
“I don’t think my dad ever noticed that I get my penchant for trouble from him.” Calvin shuddered, “Thank god that’s all I got.” He motioned toward the house, careful to keep the blue umbrella he was holding over both of them as he turned. “C’mon, I’ve still got to kick your ass on level three.”
“You just got lucky,” Jason declared. He snaked his arm around Calvin’s waist, pinching his side and laughing when Calvin jerked away from it – right into Jason, sending them both stumbling off the sidewalk and into the grass.
Jason collided with a fence and managed to keep them both from the wet ground. He laughed harder at Calvin’s face, swiping at his now wet hair. “Umbrella boy, you’re not doing your job very well.”
“So sorry, sir. I tend to falter when I’m molested.”
“That wasn’t molestation.” Jason leered. “But I can do molestation, if you want.”
Calvin rolled his eyes, “Not in front of–”
Calvin winced, “–Satan’s house.” He looked toward the front door, resigned. “Hey, Susie.”
“When did you get home? Why didn’t you tell me? Were you going to call or just ignore me? Don’t you still have classes? Who’s he?” She narrowed her eyes at Jason, who smiled back and gave a small wave.
“Breathe, woman. Jeez. I got home late last night, we were going to come by later this afternoon.”
Susie narrowed her eyes, considering and weighing Calvin’s words. “It’s raining,” she said at last.
“You were always so clever, Susy.” Calvin beamed as she gave him a withering glare.
Jason tilted his head, examining Calvin’s oldest friend with curiousity. She was cute, as girls went. Brown hair cut into a bob, pulled back from her face with little clips. She wore a long khaki skirt and a tiny pink polo. A watch, gold hoops in her ears, a pink and white beaded necklace. School girl cute.
He was almost jealous. Almost, because he was the one with his arm around Calvin’s waist.
Susie gave up glaring and spoke with careful patience. “It is raining. You shouldn’t be outside. If you’ll stop being a brat, Calvin, you and your…friend.” She smirked, “Are welcome to come inside. Mom just made cookies. Come and stay in the hall while I get you towels.” Susie vanished, as if not doubting for a second that her orders would be followed.
Calvin sighed. “Come on, let’s go.” He winked, “Her mom makes really good cookies, so it won’t be too awful.”
“Why don’t you sound convincing?”
“Because,” Calvin said as they stepped inside and stood in puddles of water in the entryway. “You don’t chat with Susie over cookies – you get interrogated.”
Jason sighed. “Just so long as there are cookies.”
“Chocolate chip and oatmeal, smart alecks.” Susie said from behind them as she threw a bundle of towels and clothes at Calvin’s head. “There are some old clothes of my dad’s in there, too. While yours are drying. Hurry up, before your hot chocolate gets cold.” With that Susie turned on her heel and left them alone again the hallway.
Laughing, Jason began to change out of his wet clothes. “So – I thought you terrorized her growing up.”
“It went both ways, trust me. She was just more subtle about it.” Calvin sighed as they finished drying off and changing, gathering up the towels in one arm and holding Jason’s hand with the other as he led the way to the living room.