“I’m gonna kill him,” I said. “He’s one dead shegetz.”
Sarena gave me a funny look. “Not heard that before.”
“Like a shiksa, only male.” I made a rude gesture, causing my mother to purse up her lips.
I gave Sarena a quick kiss and hopped into the van. She got into the Lexus with Chester and Ma. They were taking the baby with them since Polly was going to the hospital. Confusing events and no sleep had my head spinning. Also, the beer I had at lunch was catching up with me. I sat up front with Steve, who, thank God, had not been drinking. The sisters sat in the back discussing what to get as gifts for their mother.
“Sorry about the siblings crack I made,” Steve said quietly. “I wasn’t thinking. Free shot to the chin,” he pointed.
“Naw, you’re driving.” I chuckled, shaking my head. “She wants to stay,” I said, awed by my good luck. “We’re a We,” I told him as if he’d even halfway understand. I was kind of shocked when he did.
“That’s cool, man. That is very cool. Can I be best man?”
“Hell, why not? I figure the girls will all be in the wedding.”
“What wedding? Who’s getting married?”
“Ma and Chester.”
“No, you were totally talking about you and Sarena,” Sally intruded.
“I’ve known the woman a week,” I said. “Not even—and we spent one, very high quality night together.”
“You’re still going to marry her,” Sally said. “I can see it in every line of your faces when you look at each other. You’re already a couple.”
“Thank you Psychic Sally,” I laughed.
“Go ahead, make fun. I’m right. I’ve never been wrong, not ever. I knew Steve and Angie would get together before they even went out. I knew about Polly and Dan and. . . .”
“I believe you!” I flung up my hands in surrender. Whether I did or not, I said I did.
“You girls go up first,” Steve told them. “We’ll come in later. I need a smoke,” he told his wife.
I had a feeling he wanted to talk to me about something, so I hung back with him. We went to the smoker’s pavilion and sat down. It was just about deserted.
“Sally’s right,” he said without preamble. “When she met me, I’d known Angie about ten days. She wasn’t even sure she liked me, let alone thought she was in love with me. She didn’t even get my name right. I was Sam the first three months she knew me. She got it right when it counted.” He smirked, punching my shoulder. “But the point is, Sally knew. So if she tells you that you’re going to marry Sarena, I’d believe her.”
“I don’t disbelieve her,” I said.
“Well, I wanted to reassure you, that’s all. One sure way to upset Sally is to ignore her gift. And it is a gift. I’ve never seen her hunches wrong. Not just about marriages, relationships in general. She senses things. It’s really pretty freaky.”
We headed toward the entrance when the shift was changing. Miss Parker was just walking out the door when we got there. Steve and I stood aside, waiting for her and a clutch of others to come out before we went in. She stopped beside me, looking up with a wistful expression.
“See you next field trip?”
“Yeah,” I said politely. “Sure. I’d like that.” I glanced at her nametag. It said Anisette Parker. How could I not know that? “I’d like that a lot.”
“You’re a good man, Mike. It’s hard to believe you were ever a trouble maker.”
“Baby, you’d have hated to have me in your class. I was hell on wheels.”
A couple of women lingered just out of range of our conversation. “My ride is waiting,” she said quietly. “We carpool to save gas. I need to. . . .” She pointed at her friends.
“Sure. You take care, okay?”
“Thanks. See you around.” Biting her lip, she looked near tears as she rushed to her friends with her head bowed, coat clutched to her chest.
One of the women gave me an angry look, saying something, but Miss Parker shook her head. She got in the car, slamming the door as she huddled in the backseat. I knew I’d messed up badly, but how the hell was I supposed to know that she liked me? I’m not psychic. Hell, I’m not even very observant! Obviously, I had missed the clues, if she’d given me any. Mentally kicking myself, I rushed to catch up with Steve. He was waiting just inside the door.
“Sup? What was that all about?”
I told him my suspicions.
© Dellani Oakes 2014