“Why didn’t you give the tickets to me,” Gene asked.
He and Lisa stood under a street light, or maybe it should be called a sidewalk light since it wasn’t near any street. It was along the walk way leading up to the coliseum where ShapeShifter was going to play. They were waiting for Ben, who was talking to some guys unloading a truck.
“You were busy at the time.” Lisa shrugged.
“What was I doing?”
“Getting dragged into the principal’s office for skateboarding down the hall.” Lisa grinned like it was a joke.
“Oh. Oh, yeah.” Now he knew what Ben and Lisa were talking about the last day of school.
Not that it mattered all that much. If the two of them wanted to go off and talk, it had nothing to do with him. Except she HAD given the tickets to Ben with him knowing Gene was supposed to get one, hadn’t she?
“Did Ben know he was supposed to give me one of the tickets?”
“Well, I didn’t really say he had to. I just thought he would. I mean, the two of you are always together. You’re best friends. Since I couldn’t go, and there were two, I just assumed he’d share with you.”
“If it weren’t like that, if you had two tickets and wanted to go yourself, which one of us would you have asked?”
“Please, don’t ask me that.” She wouldn’t look at him when she said it.
She kind of shifted away from him. Up until then it was kind of cozy under the light. Almost everywhere else was dark, or getting that way with the sun setting and clouds rolling in. Lots of people were walking around, mostly going into the show. Only him and Lisa stood around like idiots without tickets.
About the time Gene thought he’d to nuts wondering what to say to her next, Ben came back. He dragged his feet and hunched over like he’d been kicked.
“They said they don’t need any help.”
“That was the friend you said would get us in?” Gene asked.
“No. He isn’t here this year. I don’t know any of those guys.” Ben waved back the way he’d come.
Lisa chewed her lip for a minute or two. “I’ve got an idea. You guys wait here.” She took off into the dark.
For a minute it looked like Ben would take off after her, but then he moved over and leaned against the lamp post instead. Every few seconds he looked the way Lisa had gone. Suddenly it all made sense.
“You really like her, don’t you,” Gene asked, already sure of the answer.
“Yeah. So what if I do?” Ben straightened up, ready for a fight.
“Nothing wrong with that. I just wondered.”
The two of them waited some more. They’d give her a couple more minutes, then they’d go after her. He didn’t like the idea of her being alone.
“So if you had to chose between her and me, who would it be?” Gene asked.
Ben looked guilty, looking back and forth between them like he couldn’t make up his mind. That just irritated Gene all the more, but he didn’t say anything. There was a lot he might have said to Ben before he started living in Ben’s house, in Ben’s room. Now, it was almost like he was afraid to get kicked out, like he belonged, but didn’t too.
He looked over at Lisa, too. He liked her. He liked her a lot. But not more than he liked where he was living.
“Don’t worry.” Gene clapped Ben on the back. “I won’t get in your way.”
The relief on Ben’s face was almost comical.
If you enjoy Suzie’s House and would like to see more, please leave a comment. Suzie’s House is powered by its readers.