“Did you hear that snow is predicted for tonight?” Marissa said as she passed Brian and Jordan’s table.
“Hey,” Chase, one of Brian’s few good friends, stopped at their table, flopping on Jordan’s stool while she was at the supply cupboard. “Did you remember about the bonfire tonight?”
“My place, of course. Dad and I have been gathering wood for days. It’s going to be a great one. Bring whatever you wanna toast. Mom will have every conceivable, non-alcoholic beverage imaginable. Bring your lady friend. Starts at eight.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Brian tried to explain.
“So what. Bring her anyway.” He leaned closer. “So, if y’all aren’t dating, is she single?”
“I have no idea. You’d have to ask her.”
“‘Cause, dude, if you haven’t noticed, she is smokin’ hot!”
Brian had noticed, but it didn’t seem quite as important as the fact they’d both been attacked
and seemed to be the targets for some massive paranormal upheaval. He hadn’t missed the fact that Jordan was pretty and well built, he just hadn’t dwelt on it. Apparently, Chase had.
“I’ll see if she’s free. My mom and I are going to her house for dinner. We may be later than eight.”
“Fire won’t start until nine, so that’s cool. See you there.”
“I hope so.”
It did sound fun. Brian wanted something like a bonfire party to make him feel like a real teenager again. He’d played adult since his dad left, even more after his mother’s accident robbed her of her sight. The days and nights of worrying about her, spending weeks in the hospital, hoping she’d be able to see again, had taken their toll. He wanted something calming and a bonfire would go a long way to relaxing him.
“Who’s that?” Jordan asked as she sat down.
“That was Chase. He invited us to a bonfire tonight.”
“Sweet. Not quite the social pariahs we envisioned, huh?”
“I guess not,” Brian chuckled. “Have to square it with the folks. We’re due at your house for dinner.”
“Mom will probably be delighted I’m meeting more young people. She used to worry about me back home. I never went out much. So many kids my age are so superfluous.” She waved her hands like she was brushing away fluff.
Brian had to agree. With very few exceptions, he found kids his age annoying. They embraced the rap culture, watched reality TV and thought that The Lord of the Rings was a series of movies, not epic novels.
“I still need to call Andre and them,” Brian murmured as he measured water for their experiment.
“Wait until after school. Then, if we need to, we can make plans to get together this weekend.”
“Good point. They’re probably all in school too.”
“How’s it coming along?” Mr. Sullivan asked from behind Brian, making him jump.
“Fine, until you scared three years off his life,” Jordan replied with a sweet smile. “You always sneak up on folks like that?”
“Not unless I think they’re talking about something other than the experiment. Were you talking about personal matters?” He raised a curious, yet knowing, eyebrow.
“Never, not us,” Jordan replied with a perky grin that made Brian choke. “We’re all business, Mr. Sullivan.” She sounded a lot like Shirley Temple, pout and all.
Brian almost choked, he was trying so hard not to laugh. Instead, he made it sound like a sneeze, covering his mouth with his hands.
“Bless you,” Mr. Sullivan said automatically.
“Thanks.” Brian rubbed his nose, pretending it still tickled. “I guess these chemicals irritated my delicate nasal passages.”
Mr. Sullivan smiled and moved on. The two of them fought down the giggles. Fortunately, class was almost over. They were able to contain their laughter until they got down the hall a few steps.
“Oh, my God!” Jordan burst out laughing. “I almost peed myself!” She clung to Brian, laughing so hard she had tears.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes