I can’t remember why she got into trouble, but my best friend in the world, Kristal, sure was in deep water. We were at a softball game. Don’t ask me why. I can’t remember ever liking baseball or softball except for that one time I dated that guy on the baseball team who had the same name as my dad. It didn’t last.
I couldn’t let Freud win that round.
But anyway, huddled by the concession stand, Kris told me she was in trouble. Her dad was mad. The kind of “mad” with two syllables. Mah-ad. I glanced over at him sitting on the stands. His round face, which extended all the way to the middle of the top of his head on account of his receding hairline, was pink. He had the kind of complexion that you read like a thermometer.
Pink = bugged.
Coral = miffed.
Red = MAD.
Fire Engine Red = Furious, and borderline crazy.
“He’s threatening to not let me go on the temple trip,” Kris said.
“What?!” I said feeling the infinite superiority of fourteen year old wisdom blossoming in my chest. “That’s just not fair.” I bit off some courage and chewed slowly. Kristal rocked from one foot to another.
“I’m gonna go talk to him.”
“No, Rena!” But I was already marching his direction.
“Brother Z,” I said, sucking the juice out of the wad of courage still safely in my mouth. “You can’t punish Kris by taking away spiritual stuff,” I said, my litany taking shape.
The words aren’t what I remember after that. I’m sure I laid out my case with proper evidence and reasons, but all that stands out is the change in the color of his head. It changed from pink to the Fires of Mordor red in less time than it took me to finish my argument. The thermometer boiled. He started to look like a Ute fan on game day.
I tapered off the last few words and stepped off the bleachers, backing away like the prey of a feral beast. He said something to me, but the words melted into the heat emanating from his fury. I dodged out, before he erupted on the spot.Kris did get to go on that temple trip, but I am 100% sure that it had nothing to do with me.
Sorry, Bro. Z.
There's no excuse for my ostentatious-ness.