Cerri was sitting behind the wheel of my 2002 Toyota, and I was under the hood. “Ok, try to start it again,” I said.
“Damn, damn, damn,” I said. Then I heard a scream from across the parking lot. I looked up to see a tow truck pulling a blue Honda Pilot up onto it’s bed, and a girl waving her arms and yelling. I looked again. The girl was Gail.
Forgetting Cerri, I sprinted down the lane, yelling at the tow truck driver. “What the hell’s going on? You can’t do this, it’s on private property.”
“Sorry, chum. No payments for over 4 months. Car goes back to the bank.” The driver said from his window.
The driver drove off, leaving Gail and me standing in the traffic lane, she in tears. Suddenly she buried her face in my chest, her arms around me. Sobs racked her body. I patted her back, saying, “It’ll be all right,” not knowing if it ever would.
I glanced toward the school and saw Van jogging toward us.
Van started running faster when his eyes caught Matt’s. “What happened?” he huffed while catching his breath.
“Her car,” I could feel Matt mouthing; his chin was rested on my shoulder.
“Aw, shit. I’m sorry, Gail.” Van said silently as Matt handed me over. I could also feel that Matt hadn’t wanted to let go but he did. I nodded sadly to Van, sobbing on his clean shirt while Matt backed away.
“This … sucks.” I sniffed and he nodded.
“Do you need a ride or something?”
“I thought you didn’t have a car.” I said, my voice breaking.
“I don’t.” he said as if just realizing it.
“Its okay, I’ll walk. My house is like three blocks away. Thanks, Van.” I pulled out of his hug and wiped my tears.
“She’s way too strong for a girl.” He murmured under his breath. I’ll just let him think I didn’t hear that I thought to myself as I walked away.
I headed behind the school and down the sidewalk toward my house but then I realized, I didn’t really want to go home.
Where to go …
As soon as Gail was out of earshot, Van turned on me. “What the hell’s going on? I thought you were done with her.”
“I…I thought I was.” I stammered.
“Matt, you’ve been my friend for a long time, and I love you like a brother, but I also love Gail.”
“Yeah, I figured that out,” I said “Maybe we ought to let her decide who she likes.”
Van was shaking his head, then, “No. If she decides it will be you, and you said yourself it was over between you two. So, what’s it gonna be, Matt?”
“Christ, Van, are we gonna let a girl come between us?”
“No, not just any girl, only Gail.”
I glanced around - No authority figures in sight. I lit up a Marlboro, stalling to think. “Did you find out why the cops were looking for her?” Van doesn’t live in that direction
“They just wanted to talk to her about her dad.”
“What did her dad do?”
Van shrugged, “Beats me.”
“Come on Van I’ll drive you home,” I said
“No thanks, Matt. I feel like walking today.”
Van turned and walked away.
Humm I thought,
Van doesn’t live in that direction