Maddie is much more content with the boys than with the girls. It’s a long trip and their rude behavior is more than she can tolerate. Now that Miss Polly is in the other car, she can feel more relaxed. When Daniel gets out his precious collection of cassette tapes, they boys allow her to have first pick.
“You have Blow by Blow by Jeff Beck? You sneak, why didn’t you say something?”
“Didn’t know you cared?” Daniel raised an eyebrow.
“Not care? I totally love him.” She put the tape in and the exciting jazz guitar music filled the car. “Were you paying attention to our conversation earlier?”
“Not really as intently as I should have been, obviously.” He reddened.
“No, my brotha was too busy staring at your—turkeys to notice your musical taste,” Richard announced.
Daniel socked him, making him howl.
“I wasn’t!” He blushed even more. “Okay, maybe I was,” he poutingly admitted. “But they’re just kinda—there.” He made motions with his hands in front of his chest.
“I don’t want to go in the girl’s car,” Maddie scolded. “But if you guys can’t quit staring at my tits, I’m going! At least all of them have seen boobs on a regular basis!”
“Dad, help me out here,” Daniel begged.
His father kept his eyes steadfastly on the road. “There is only one set of turkeys I want to have anything to do with and I’m not saying another word.” He blushed and sped up.
They rode in silence, listening to Jeff Beck, which had somehow lost a bit of its appeal. The next rest stop loomed ahead. Craig took the exit a little too fast, screeching to a halt. He hopped out of the car with his coffee mug in hand and went to the information center for a refill. He’d left the keys in the car with the engine running.
“I think we’d better stop talking about boobs,” Daniel said. “I think we embarrassed my dad.”
“May I just say one more thing before we drop this, my most favorite of subjects?” Richard said. “I’m just gonna spit it out, Maddie, cause we’re all thinking it.” He looked at the other boys for backup.
Nodding, the encouraged him to continue.
“You’ve grown from a rather average looking girl to an absolutely, totally, completely smokin’ hot babe in the last year. Where before you had lil bitty cornish game hens, you now rock a pair of turkey hens. And you have to excuse a lot of sexually suppressed teenage males, but we are damn glad you’re in our car and not with all those snooty, bratty prom queens with sticks up their kootches. So please forgive us for any crass things we’ve said or any of the other crass things we will inevitably say and take it in the spirit it’s intended.”
Maddie was so flabbergasted, she could hardly speak. It took her a moment to process. They thought she was pretty. No, not just pretty, hot. They liked having her around because she wasn’t girly and obnoxious like the other girls. She had to say something. Thank you? Hardly seemed appropriate.
She cleared her throat. “So, what’s the spirit in which it’s intended?”
The boys exchanged a look, nodding at each other. They turned as one, responding as if they’d practiced it. “Lust.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes