usual, Andin got married during first recess, and then continued
with the honeymoon over lunch. There was a long tunnel of tractor
tires on the playground, the perfect place for a couple of
eight-year-olds to hide out and kiss.
bride on this particular day (determined by rotation) was a girl
named Emily. She wasn't the prettiest girl in his school, but
there was just something about her Kool-Aid stained lips that
Andin found irresistible. Perhaps that was why he decided to risk
moving beyond a kiss. Then again, it could have been due to the
fact that his babysitter, Stacy, had shown him a few things the
night before; a few things that he hadn't been able to get out of
his mind all morning.
there wasn't an official divorce by the end of the day, Andin was
pretty sure that he'd seen the last of Emily's fruit punch lips.
He could still feel the burn on his cheek as he pedaled for home.
always, Ralph was biking alongside him. "You're such an
idiot," he said. "No one's ever gonna kiss you
now." He veered off to hop up onto the sidewalk and over
someone's lawn. Ralph was always doing things like that. They
seemed to get yelled at every time they biked home together. Andin
wondered sometimes why he was even friends with him. He was
nothing but trouble.
think she'll tell her dad?" Andin asked.
laughed. "She probably already did. I wouldn't doubt if she
called home from school. She did leave early, after all."
screeched to a halt, gravel flying from his tires.
"What?" Despite the fact that they were the same age,
Emily was one grade below him, so he never saw her in class. He
felt a sinking sensation in his stomach.
turned around and slid to a stop just beside him. "You didn't
shook his head, and then looked down the block, half expecting to
find a strange vehicle parked in front of his house. Thankfully,
he recognized every car on the street. Still, it wasn't a big
town; someone could very well have walked to his house. He
swallowed hard, and then cursed his roaming fingers. Would it
matter that he'd only tried to feel her up? He'd done the same to
Stacy the night before and that hadn't seemed to bother her any.
Then again, she'd told him to.
shrugged. "Don't sweat it, man, she was probably just sick.
You know Emily, she gets sick all the time."
took a deep breath. "Yeah, maybe," he said.
two of them parted ways at the end of Andin's drive, after which
Ralph continued down the block making motorcycle sounds. As usual,
he stopped at Mrs. Jenkins' house to knock over the gnomes on her
front lawn. He looked back over his shoulder afterwards, a huge
grin on his face. "See you tomorrow!" he yelled.
waved him off, and then proceeded to put away his bike. His hands
weren't shaking quite so badly anymore. Ralph was probably right;
she was probably just sick.
first thing Andin heard upon entering his house was an unfamiliar
voice, a woman's voice. He froze, his heartbeat doing double time.
For a second he was tempted to just turn around and flee, but
before he even got the chance his mother was at the top of the
stairs leading to the kitchen. She had a strange look on her face.
here for a minute," she said. "We need to talk."
felt all color drain from his face as he followed her into the
kitchen. There was an older woman sitting at the table. She looked
haggard, and more than a little upset about something. Not mad,
exactly. More like disturbed.
is Mrs. Farlow," Andin's mother said.
nodded a meek greeting. Was that Emily's last name? Farlow? It had
to be, he supposed.
Farlow is Jonathon's mom," Andin's mother continued.
"You know Jonathon, don't you?"
For a moment Andin just stood there, unable to speak. He finally
managed a nod. Jonathon was in his class, although the two of them
had never really been friends. What the heck was going on?
didn't have to wait long to find out.
is Jonathon's babysitter, too," said his mother.
KURT KIRCHMEIER was born and raised in the Land of Living Skies, better known as the province of Saskatchewan, and he comes from a large family of two brothers and five sisters. He currently resides in Saskatoon with his wonderful
fiancée and a bothersome cat by the name of Prophet. Kurt's fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in several online venues, including:
Quantum Muse, Reflection's Edge, T-Zero: The Writers' E-Zine, and Raven