She paused and sized up Jane. “Do you have a boyfriend?” she asked.
“Naw,” said Jane.
“How about Andrew? Is he your boyfriend?”
“He’s just a friend,” said Jane. “We kind of had a falling out anyhow.”
“Oh, then,” said Dez, “why are we bringing pies to your boyfriend’s house?” She handed one of her two pies to Jane so that she only carried one and Jane had two.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Jane protested.
“Your booooyfriend!” the older girl said, and she turned towards the Fergus house. “I’m going to knock on their door and ask if Calamity’s boyfriend is home!” She laughed and ran ahead.
“Stop—he’s not. My. Boyfriend!” Jane panted, as she struggled to run after the older girl, awkward as she was with a pie in each hand. But Dez was at the Fergus’ door, pounding furiously and laughing as hard as she could. Jane arrived at the door and butt-checked Dez, laughing hard herself.
The door swung open, and a dour-faced Mr. Fergus appeared. The girls tried to stop laughing, but trying to be serious only made them laugh harder.
“Can I help you girls?” asked Mr. Fergus.
“We brought Mrs. Fergus a pie,” said Dez through her giggles. “Here. Can Andrew come with us?”
Mr. Fergus took the pie and stepped back to reveal Andrew, holding a slate, sitting on a three-legged stool as his Mom stood over him with a book. “Aren’t you a little old to be playing with my boy?” Mrs. Fergus asked Dez.
“Well, Jane wants to have a word with her boy-friend.” There was a hiccup between “boy” and “friend” as that word passed Dez’ lips, induced by a sharp poke of Jane’s elbow to her tormenter’s ribcage. “And I’m here to chaperone.” She stomped on Jane’s foot. Jane screwed up her face in pain and stifled a high-pitched cry.
“I’m not too worried about these two needing a chaperone, leastwise in this weather,” Mrs. Fergus said with veiled condescension.
Andrew rose from the stool, eager for any chance to escape his lesson. “Where we goin’?” he asked.
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