It’s been a crazy couple of months.
That’s what Miranda says, anyway. Seven, she says, shit like this never happened before you moved in. And then she laughs about it.
Adam says that’s her way of dealing with things. I asked him about it once, and he said something about blowing steam.
I told him it’s a gas, and that’s impossible.
Tre figured it wouldn’t make much sense for me to have a job. So he bought me a bunch of textbooks, and I read those every day. I’ve got one on math, one on science, and Gray’s Anatomy, which is the one I like the most.
He also left me a book called “The Once and Future King”. He got it from a library and thought I’d like it. It’s pretty good, I guess.
In the afternoon, I walk over to his shop, which is right in town, and drop off lunch for him. Polly taught me how to cook some easy things, as long as I promised not to play with the knives. I do it anyway because I like to play the game with her.
I taught myself how to juggle, and she starts screeching about her heart and danger and what the hell are you doing whenever I do it. It’s funny.
I take a nice, long walk around the town whenever I drop off lunch. I see the same people, the barbershop, the supermarket, the three kids on bikes, the old guy at the diner who always has pancakes with syrup and strawberries, and the old women on the lawn near the library doing tie chee.
I love watching them do it, because they’re graceful for ten minutes and then they start talking about who did what and oh no did you see who she went to church with, and my word, he’s much too young for her, but she likes them that way, and they all laugh like they’ve got a big secret.
I laugh to myself, because I used to have a secret, and then I gave it away.
By the time I get back to the house, Tre is there on the porch, waiting for me.
You have fun? He asks.
I say, Yeah. Ready to get your ass kicked? We’re both smiling, and then he lunges at me.
Roundhouse, punch, punch, palm strike, I dodge it and hit back, kick kick, spinning backhand, side kick, He goes for a sweep, I jump, and we start laughing.
Almost got you that time, he says and grins.
Adam’s watching on the porch. I don’t know why the hell you guys keep doing that. It’s freaking ridiculous.
It’s freaking fun is what it is, Tre says back as he protests with a smile.
Hey man, all I’m saying is, you’re the ones supposed to be all low-key and shit, and here you are, pulling some Hollywood karate shit on the front lawn.
Tre looks right at him, and takes a breath, his pulse is still racing. I appreciate what you’re sayin’, man, but it’s cool. Nobody’s watching, and even if they were, you think they’d give a shit? We’re not hurting anybody.
Adam’s being funny, but he’s concerned. I just don’t want to wake up to a bunch of guys in black shoving guns in my face, alright?
Yeah, I gotcha. Hey Sev, what’d you learn today?
Something about those words hits something else. I sit down on the ground and space out as memories come back in dusty fragments, things that won’t make sense until I clean them off and look a little closer.
I’m back in my head. Tre is right next to me, he looks worried. I feel more worried, but all I have is a name.