“Talk to the hand, Pockets,” Jeff reached down and stuck his hand in my face so I could get a good look at it. “Talk to the hand.”
Jeff started calling me Pockets for my habit of wearing cargo pants all the time so I won’t have to carry a purse in school. It’s kind of catching on a little and now Billy and Tyler call me that sometimes too. I don’t really mind. It’s better than Flower, and it’s a sure sight better than Sir.
I grabbed his wrist and spoke into his hand like a microphone. “Tell the doorknob at the other end of your arm what a dweeb he is!” His hand twisted left and right as if deflecting the words as they came from my mouth.
Jeff’s been on all semester about how he wants us all to ditch when he gets his license and take the truck out to the Z. The cliff at the top side of the lake has always been a popular spot for kids to sneak out drinking. Jeff seems to think it’s some sort of requirement, a mandatory part of life, like puberty.
There’s no way I’m going. The park rangers are catching kids up there all the time. Daddy would be ready to kill me when the Attendance Office called. If I got caught out at the Z, drinking or not, I might as well start work on my eulogy now. It was this argument that met Jeff’s open-palmed rebuff. He cupped his hand now into a puppet and made it flap its mouth at me. I swatted it out of my face.
“You’re coming,” he said.
Whatever. There was no sense in arguing with him. I just wouldn’t go when the time came. You can never argue with Jeff anyway. He’s one of those guys who’s convinced the universe was built so he could be at the center of it. The rest of us are mere decorations in his illustrious affair with life, like furniture to be rearranged at a whim. The problem is he’s smart, and funny, and good-looking, so everyone just goes along for the ride.
“You’re gonna get in trouble for the beer,” I said.
“We’re gonna get in trouble,” he corrected me.
“You know I don’t drink,” I said. “Anyway, beer tastes like crap.”
“Pull your head out,” Jeff laughed. “Jessi tell you that? You never sucked a brew in your life. Did she also happen to mention she’s a fucking fish? You know you’re drinking with the rest of us; it’ll be fun! Gimme one good reason why I should let you skate.”
A moment’s reflection reminded me what a waste of time that would be.
“I’ll give you five good reasons,” I said. I held my up my hand in a fist facing him and opened my fingers one at a time. “Talk to the hand, Jeff!”
© 2011 Anne Schilde