Click to read Chapter Eight Part One
Chapter 8 Part 2
Josh popped the last of his peanut butter sandwich into his mouth and shook his head. "Why can't she just listen to me? I don't have time to get a job. When football season is over next year, I'll be happy to, but not now."
"We'll find something that'll work around football, dude. Weekends will be shot, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?"
"What do you mean we?"
Zach punched him lightly in the arm. "Like I'm going to let you go get all the money. When Kendra sees how you're spoiling Whisper, she's going to insist I get a job, too."
Josh choked on his soda, and had to spit some out. People around them laughed and asked him if he had a drinking problem. He ignored them and said, "What do you mean by spoiling Whisper? Did she say something to you and Kendra?"
"No wonder you don't have a girlfriend. Dude, she was practically asking you out yesterday. You didn't pick up on any of that?"
Josh frowned. "I guess. I don't know. We talked pretty easily in the car. Usually I get all flustered with pretty girls."
"See? Perfect girlfriend. Believe it or not, when you go out with a girl, you need stuff in common so you can talk. You can't just make out all the time." He paused, a wistful look on his face. "Though that'd be pretty cool."
"Yeah, but what do you and Kendra talk about? You guys don't have anything in common."
"That's not true."
Josh raised his eyebrows. "What do you talk about?"
"Uh, we talk about stuff we did with you. And we both like talking about Kendra."
"Yeah, Kendra can talk about herself all day if you let her." Josh barked out a laugh.
"So see? You don't need much in common with your girlfriend, but you need something."
"And why are you saying I'll spoil Whisper if I have a job? Seems to me I'll hardly be able to see her, at least during football season."
"Yeah, but if you have a job, you have money. I doubt your mom is going to take any. She's just tired of having to fork over cash when you need it for fun stuff. And if you're working and playing football, what use are you going to have of it other than buying Whisper gifts and dinners and stuff? You're going to make her a happy girlfriend. And Kendra's going to be all jealous and want me to get her things, too. So if you get a job, I need one, too."
Josh laughed. "Yeah, I imagine she'll be pretty high-maintenance when she sees she can. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. I'm not sure Whisper wasn't just being friendly since she's the new girl at school."
Zach shook his head and said, "Clueless," under his breath. Josh let it go.
"Anyway," Zach said. "Since we're just sixteen, places can't make us work too many hours. You'll have plenty of time for your new lady."
"Knock it off, will you? I don't want any rumors started about something that hasn't happened."
"Rumors about what? I love rumors."
Josh jumped as Kendra came up behind them, followed by Whisper. Kendra walked over to Zach, gave him a peck on the cheek, and sat between the two boys. Whisper settled in next to Josh, and his heart jumped up into his throat. She smiled and mouthed, "Hi," and he did the same. How did girls manage to sit so close without actually touching? He wanted her to melt into him like yesterday at the farm, but he wasn't about to push it.
"What rumor are you guys talking about?" Kendra said, practically bouncing on the lip of the concrete planter. "I love gossip. Tell me, tell me, tell me."
Zach shook his head, while Josh tried to head her off. "It's nothing, Kend. It didn't happen anyway."
"It doesn't matter if it's true or not, I still want to know." She turned to Zach. "Come on, baby. I'll totally make out with you this weekend if you tell me."
"You'll make out with me anyway," Zach said, fighting to keep a straight face.
She leaned past Josh, winked at Whisper, who was doing her absolute best not to crack up, and looked back at Zach. "Not if I'm mad at you."
Zach said something in a low voice to her. He had no doubt she knew he liked Whisper, but that didn't mean he wanted her blabbing that with her sitting right next to him. He turned to Whisper and said, "She does this all the time. You get used to it."
"It's hilarious," Whisper said. "Is this rumor or whatever even worth her getting this worked up?"
"It hardly ever is."
Whisper chuckled and looked over at them. "Did you ask Zach about yesterday after we left? They seem fine, so I'm guessing nothing happened."
"No, it hasn't come up yet." He turned to Zach and Kendra, who were still arguing in lowered voices. "Hey, did you guys see anything yesterday after we left?"
They both stiffened, and he could have sworn Kendra turned pale. After a second or two, they both put on fake smiles.
"No, nothing," Zach said.
"We left just a couple of minutes after you guys," Kendra added.
Josh frowned and turned back to Whisper, who looked as confused as he felt.
"Are you guys sure? You don't look very happy about it."
Zach forced a laugh. "No, we didn't see anything so we left."
Kendra rolled her eyes, stood, and said, "Seriously, Josh, why do you have to always push the questions too far? I swear." She grabbed Zach's hand and stomped off. Zach didn't look back.
"That was weird," Whisper said.
Josh nodded. "Yeah. She doesn't usually act like that."
Whisper gave a half-smile. "I'd agree with the nervousness part, but she seems the type to stomp off in a huff."
"No, she's a get in your face type. So's Zach. That's one reason they get along so well. Plus I never push her too far. I mean, I do when I'm picking on her, but never seriously."
Before Josh's brain realized he was alone with Whisper for the second time in two days, the lunch bell rang, signaling the start of the passing period to fifth period. Whisper stood, and picked up her backpack.
"Do you think they'll show to Mr. Baxter's class?"
"Yeah. Zach wouldn't miss it, and besides, she's pissed at me, not you, so she can make a show of ignoring me."
Whisper laughed. "You guys seem to have quite the relationship. Sometime you need to tell me about it."
A lump jammed into his throat. Was she trying to get him to ask her out? Should he? Instead, he chickened out and said, "Yeah, totally. I will."
"Sounds good. I have to get to class, so I'll see you after school."
"Okay, I'm looking forward to it."
She gave him a knowing smile and walked off. He watched her go, and then turned to head to his own class. Damn. Why did reading girls have to be so hard? Did she want him to ask her out, or did she just want to be friends? He wished Zach were here right now to bounce the question off of him. But he'd already said Whisper liked him. He shook his head and tried to push it from his mind so he didn't drive himself crazy.
Click to read Chapter Nine Part One
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