There she was, Amy Gerstein, over by the pool, kissing my father. My heart sank, even though I knew our shapely neighbor had subversive intentions, and it really wasn’t my dad’s fault as she had pinned him down with her bikini-clad bottom. But, my suspicions were well founded; nobody can smell like lilacs every day of the year and be totally on the up and up.
I hid behind Dad’s new stainless steel grill, the one with the special tongs and flipper attachment, and clenched my fists. Old barbecue sauce stuck to my nose as I tilted my head to get a better view.
Dad appeared nervous.
Amy moved and sat down next to him; her long legs stretched out, gleaming orangey-brown in the afternoon sun.
I could hear Mom singing to herself in the kitchen behind me.
Amy’s a bitch, and I’m going to find out what she’s up to- no matter what it takes.
Amy laughed, and my father looked her way. His eyes grew wide, when he peered past the vixen and saw me hiding behind his prized possession.
Margaret had a habit of spitting. It began to get on my nerves. But, the moment she entered the backyard all that changed.
Margaret is my best friend; she has been for six years, ever since we entered the first grade. She’s a strange duck, no doubt about it. But, her peculiarity intrigues me.
I had no idea what was about to happen until she walked right up to Gerstein and placed her hands on her hips.
Oh, no! I thought.
I’ve witnessed my friend taking this posture on the playground.
Oh, no! I thought again. But this time it was followed by a serious giggle.
It happened right in front of my eyes. My best friend hawked up the nastiest snot-ball on the face of the planet, and she deposited it right on Amy Gerstein’s forehead, a little bit even sprayed across Amy’s stupidly large sunglasses.
I’m sure Gerstein’s bloodcurdling scream was heard for blocks.
My father jumped to his feet in an effort to do something, God knows what, because Gerstein had already sprinted for her house.
Margaret walked over to me, and I timidly left my hiding spot.
Dad raced past us without a word. He was greeted at the backdoor by my mother who wanted to know what all the commotion was about. He blubbered out something unintelligible as his ears turned red as a turnip; he pushed Mom through the door and slammed it behind them.
I turned to Margaret; she was now chewing on a toothpick.
Why did you do that? I asked.
“Because of the time he invited his mother to dinner.”
“He who?” I asked.
“He, my so called stepfather, Gerald.”
“You spit on Gerstein because Gerald invited his mother to dinner?”
“You didn’t let me finish. You know, you got a bad habit of interrupting. It’s getting on my nerves.”
“Sorry.” My shoulders drooped. After a second, I looked back up at her. “So?”
“So! I saw her kissing your pop. Gerald’s mom caught Gerstein kissing him in OUR garage last month. I was riding up on my bike just as it happened. His mom walked right up to the bitch and spit a big old nasty black gob on her face-
You know she chews?
Anyway, she was about to pass me on her way back to the house, she stopped, leaned over, and looked me straight in the eye.
You know what she said?”
She said, “‘And that’s how you get things done Little Lady.’”
It took a moment for that to register.
I put out my hand, Margaret put out hers, and we shook.
We wasted no time getting the heck out of our yard.