“Huh. That Tracy.” Ben said as he and Gene walked home. He couldn’t believe she had kissed both Gene and himself right there in Lisa’s living room with Lisa watching and everything.” She’s really something,”
“Yeah. She is.” Gene grinned like he knew something more.
Ben hated it when Gene got like that, all mysterious and knowing. He walked half a step faster down the uneven sidewalk with his head up like it belonged up there in the bright green leaves of Summer trees. Half the time he didn’t know jack. But the other half he did and Ben could never be sure which was which without asking. So he asked. “So what does it mean?”
“Isn’t that obvious? It leans Tracy is mine.” Gene’s grin got bigger.
“How do you come up with that?” Like he really minded. Except he didn’t want to come in second, even with a girl who wasn’t all that comfortable to be around.
“She kissed me longer, didn’t she?”
“Yeah, but she kissed me first.”
“But when she kissed you, she was looking to see what Lisa was thinking. Didn’t you notice?”
Ben had noticed. He’d also noticed the way Lisa got really mad about Tracy kissing himself, but not so mad about kissing Gene. Or maybe he just wanted it to seem that way. “Well, if Tracy’s yours then Lisa’s mine.”
“Huh. No big deal there. Lisa’s been yours all along.”
“I wish,” Ben muttered. As if all these weeks when he’d been agonizing about who she liked better didn’t count.
“What? You didn’t know?”
“No I didn’t know. How am I supposed to know something like that?”
“I thought it was obvious.” Gene glanced over his shoulder, one eyebrow arched.
They hit Jennifer Street and walked along in silence for a while. It was weird. When he and Lisa left the house that morning it was just another day of vacation. Nothing much was going on except Mom getting strange about Lisa. Now everything looked different, even the old houses and all the cars parked up and down the street.
“So. Now that we know who belongs to who, what are we going to do about it?”
“I don’t know.” Gene shrugged.
“I think…. Maybe… we should go on a double date.” Ben wanted to go out with Lisa, but he was still nervous. It would be better to do it with a friend.
Gene didn’t answer that for way too long. When he did, it was mostly a grunt.
Yeah, well. Whatever. Whether Gene or Tracy would come along or not, Ben was going to got out with Lisa. He’d ask her even if he had to close his eyes to get the words out.
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