Though she gets along well with the boys, Madison doesn’t get along with the girls. One in particular, Claire, seems bent on giving her grief. She purposely trash talks Maddie in the rest stop bathroom, making her sound like a slut. Madison is horrified and even more humiliated when Miss Polly won’t believe her. Fortunately, Craig and the boys, do.
“You don’t wanna be like them,” Daniel said calmly. “Cause they’re bitches.”
“Language,” Polly reprimanded.
“Sorry, Mom. You know it’s true. You can’t stand there and tell me it was an accident.”
“I’ll talk to them,” Polly promised. “We have to get back on the road. Are you okay, Maddie?” She didn’t sound particularly concerned. Instead, she sounded put out.
Madison nodded and shrugged. She wasn’t all right, but what could she say? She was hundreds of miles from home with no way back. She had to make the most of it. It was going to be a long ten days.
The boys loaded back in the car as the station wagon full of girls pulled away from the curb. Leslie and Caroline had their own car with no kids in it. Maddie envied them their peace and quiet. She would have liked to ride with them, but Caroline was such a nut job, she didn’t think she could handle being called Barbara the whole way to New Mexico.
Daniel, who was sitting directly behind her, put a hand on Maddie’s shoulder, squeezing gently. “Don’t sweat it, Mads. They’re just jealous.”
“Right, I’m so rich and wonderful,” she groused.
“No, cause you’re so much hotter than they are,” he said softly. “And because we’d never tolerate having any of them in the cool car.” He chuckled, patting her back.
“Thanks, guys. You’re the best.”
They put the subject aside and talked about other things. A loud argument popped up between Clayton and Richard about the lyrics to Purple Haze.
“Dad, would you please set them straight? You saw him in concert.”
“The real line is ‘Cuse me while I kiss the sky,” Craig said slowly, enunciating clearly. “But he did a joke version of the song, to tease the people who misinterpreted the lyrics, ‘Cuse me while I kiss this guy. In effect, you’re both right.”
“But in the spirit of the original, written down lyrics?” Daniel persisted.
“In deference to the original lyrics, it’s kiss the sky.“
“Told you!” Clayton said, punching the roof.
The sun was low in the sky as they pulled into the parking lot of the church where they would be spending the night. The minister met them at the door to the fellowship hall.
“We’ve got everything set up. Dinner is almost ready. The ladies have been cooking all day. Come on in. I’m Reverend Davis. We’ll get bags and things in a minute,” he said as they hesitated. “I’ve got lots of strong backs inside.”
The fellowship hall was nearly twice the size of the one at their church back home. Maddie was impressed at the size of the church too. When Reverend Davis told them the number of people in the congregation, she was stunned. That was over twice as many as attended their church. Then again, this was Denver. There were bound to be more Presbyterians here than in their small Nebraska town. The fellowship hall connected to the Sunday school classrooms. It was here that they would be staying.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes