Upset by the boys’ conversation, Polly insists that her husband take over driving the car they are in. She wants to be with the girls where they won’t discuss anything off color—like the contours of Maddie’s chest.
All the boys hit him—hard—while he laughed. Maddie laughed too. She was used to these guys. One reason she was with them was because the girls drove her crazy. They were so giggly and girly, it made her ill. Cliquish, they came from well to do families. They were also members of Job’s Daughters. Maddie wasn’t either of these. Her father owned a small dry cleaners, her mother worked as a teacher at an elementary school. After school and on weekends, Maddie worked with her father at the cleaner’s.
The guys may be crass, but they talked about something other than cute shoes, shopping and dating. She’d been chatting about The Hobbit with Daniel earlier and music with Brad. They had shared interests and liked being able to talk about anything around her—including her breasts. Admittedly, she was pleased that at least one of them had noticed. She wasn’t sure the others even thought of her as female. Clayton summed it up—a guy with boobs. Was that what she was to them?
“Can we have on the radio, Mr. C?” Brad asked. “Mrs. C wanted to play Barry Manilow. It was a unanimous veto on that.”
“What makes you think I don’t like Barry Manilow?” he asked over his shoulder.
“Because you’re too cool to think It’s a Miracle for Mandy to Be Somebody’s Baby over on Avenue C,” Brad replied.
The boys gave him an evil eye.
“You know an awful lot about Barry Manilow,” Maddie said. “Are you sure you aren’t a closet fan?”
“My mom listens to Manilow like—all day and forces me to pollute my mind with his lyrics. But when she’s gone, I put on some Hendrix or a little Jeff Beck and rock the rafters.”
“I’m not much for Manilow either,” Craig admitted. “Okay. Maddie, pick a station.”
Delighted at being given that honor, she reached for the dial and turned it for a few seconds before coming to an audible station. The new, but familiar, opening strains of Love is Alive filled the car.
“Leave it there!” the boys yelled.
Maddie passed it, just to tease them, but went right back to it. She happened to like the song too. By the first chorus, they were singing with Gary Wright. Brad played air guitar, imitating the part to perfection. Clayton took bass. Daniel beat on the back of the seat to the drums. Maddie and Richard sang, harmonizing together. Craig bounced to the beat, tapping the steering wheel. They cheered when the song ended.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes