Girl in Red

On the way home from school we pass two cheerleaders, a Latina, and four girls in yellow jogging shorts. It takes Tripp all of zero-point-five seconds to downshift into first gear for a better look. He cranes his neck out the window, his hair blowing in the wind. He swivels a one-eighty.

“Woo-wee!” he says. “What do you say about all that ass, Reilley?” and gives me one of his size-me-up grins. His smile is such that if we were suddenly transported into an animated world, he’d be the Cheshire Cat and I’d be Alice and he’d be staring down at me from a twisted dogwood tree. That’s how it goes with your mother’s live-in boyfriend.

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