Thou Art An Ass

As the adrenalin subsides, I realize I am still sitting on the barn floor, clutching my knees to my chest.


“Amber?”


The voice startles me, but as I turn, I see it’s Alex.


“Hey,” I slide my legs out in front of me.


Alex lowers herself to the floor, sitting next to me, “How ya doin?”


I shrug. I pick up a stay piece of straw and start to fold it like a little accordion.


She puts her arm around me and leans her head on my shoulder. My eyes sting with the threat of tears again. I wish she wouldn’t do that, asking me to be all open and vulnerable.


As we quietly sit together, her phone bings with a text message. She pulls it out of her pocket and types a quick message before hitting send.


“Who’s that?” I tense at the thought of mom hovering, and I throw my straw accordion to the ground.


“James. He wanted to know if I found you. He’s waiting at the house. I wanted to talk to you first.”


“James? What are you guys buddies now?”


“Hell no! That guy’s an ass!”


Her sudden, emphatic use of the word ass makes me smile. Alex smiles back.


“But, he has a truck,” she shrugs, “and I wanted to see you.”


I nod.


“His friend is pretty cool, though.”


“His friend? Oh, you mean Erik?”

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