Millie Watson dabbed at the cut on Lacy’s face. Lacy flinched. “You would think I’d be used to them by now.”
Millie frowned at her, stepping back to look at her, face-to-face. “No one should have to get used to them.”
“Don’t start, Millie.”
Millie mimicked her, waving her shoulders and scrunching up her face. “Don’t start, Millie.”
Lacy laughed at the ridiculous expression on Millie’s face. Millie soon joined her.
Without warning, Lacy grew serious. “Do you believe in ghosts?”
Millie stopped dabbing and considered the question. “I don’t know. I wouldn’t say I disbelieve in them. Why do you ask? Is some ghost lover visiting you in the middle of the night?”
They both laughed again, and then a horrible thought struck Millie. She narrowed her eyes at Lacy. “Lacy,” she said. “Your dad doesn’t…you know...” She winced, “…come and visit you in the middle of the night, does he?”
Lacy smacked Millie’s hand away. “Oh, God, no!” she screamed.
Millie breathed in relief.
Lacy closed her eyes as a mental image flooded her mind—her mother, pinned down on the bed, making noises Lacy was sure normal people didn’t make when making love. Loud slapping sounds and the whimpers of her mother’s cries always followed the noises. She wondered what would happen if her mother refused him. Would he come to her bed, instead? “My mom would never let that happen.”
Jenny Pearson and her gang of girls chose that moment to burst in on them. Jenny walked toward them, swinging her hips in an exaggerated style, coming to stop beside Millie, who was putting away her makeup. She stood in front of Lacy, so close Lacy could see her artificially enhanced breasts pushing up and out of her low-cut top. If she had a pin, she would reach out and pop them.
“Oh, look,” Jenny said. “What do we have here, girls. Miss punching bag and her road manager.” Jenny laughed, and the girls all joined in.
Jenny cupped Lacy’s chin, shaking her head back and forth. She spoke to her in a baby tone. “Oh, whatsa matter, wittle Lacy? Did big, bad daddy wail on you again?”
Lacy pulled her head from Jenny’s hand, reached out to slap her, but pulled her hand back at the last minute. She would not resort to violence. Of course, this made the girls laugh harder.
Jenny rolled her eyes “Looks like Daddy has succeeded in making a chicken shit out of you.”
Millie stepped between them. “Did you have a purpose for coming in here, or did you just come to wipe the bird shit off your face?”
“What!” Jenny exclaimed, running to the mirror, to check it out.
Millie grabbed Lacy’s hand, pulled her off the counter and ran out the door, pulling Lacy behind her. “In here,” she shouted as she pushed open the door to the boys’ bathroom.
They both ran into the handicapped stall, also known as Mary Jane Lane in their school. Lacy gasped for breath. “You do realize we are in the smokers’ closet—in the boys’ bathroom, don’t you?”
“Of course, I do,” Millie said. “Jenny wouldn’t dare come in here. She might catch boy cooties or something.” They both howled with laughter and clamped their hands over their mouths to stifle the laughter.
“Hey, who’s there?” a voice called.
They heard a toilet flush at the same time a nauseating odor assaulted them. They ran out of the stall and collided with Roger Thorn. Millie and he bumped heads. “Ouch,” she cried. “What are you doing? What is that awful smell?”
He looked toward the stall. “What do you think it is? Are you that stupid? Besides, I’m not the one who has some explaining to do.” He smirked at her. “I do believe the sign on the door reads BOYS.”
They heard heavy footsteps in the hallway outside the door. A muffled, yet distinguishable voice said, “They went in there.”
Anger crept into Millie’s face. “Jenny,” she spat.
Lacy began to panic, bouncing slightly. “I can’t get caught in here.” She pleaded with her eyes as mist formed in their corners. She pointed to her face. “If you think these cuts look bad, wait until you see what’ll happen if I get suspended for being in the boys’ bathroom.”
In an instant, Roger grabbed Lacy by the shoulders, shoved her back into a corner, and wedged her behind the trashcan. Then he grabbed Millie toward him, smashing her lips against his. The door exploded open, and Mrs. Bart stood there, looking at the couple engaged in a lip-lock. “What is going on in here?” she demanded.
Roger and Millie pulled apart. An amused grin played at the corners of his mouth. He whispered in her ear, “I never knew you were such a good kisser.”
She grinned back. “You should have asked.”
Mrs. Bart cocked a finger at them. “Come on, you two,” she added, “Millie Watson, I’m surprised at you. I’ve seen you do some pretty careless things before, but I never thought I’d catch you fornicating in the bathroom.”
As the door was closing, Lacy heard Millie gasp and exclaim, “I was not fornicating!”
The door opened again, and Lacy heard Jenny protesting. “They were both in there, Mrs. Bart.”
“Jennifer Pearson, you get to class right now and let me worry about this.”
The door closed again, and Lacy heard, “But, Mrs. Bart….” Then silence fell as the group wandered away.
Lacy waited for what seemed like ages for the door to open again—but it didn’t. She eased out from behind the trashcan, stole over to the door and opened it slightly. She stuck out her head, looking for signs of loiterers.
“That was fun.”
She jumped, clutched her chest, and gasped. She looked beside her and straight into the eyes of Jake. “What are you doing here, Jake?”
He smiled and said, “The game looked like fun, so I thought I’d join you. The coast is clear, by the way.”
He gestured toward the hallway. “You can leave now. Everyone is tucked away in their classrooms learning their ABCs. Well…except for Millie and Roger. I don’t think they’re going to be around much for a while. That teacher sure looked angry. Are we going back under the bleachers?”
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