Teen-Age Spider-Girl Part 2

Part 2 of the Teen-Age Spider-Girl book!
" 'Is that real?'
It sounds like a silly question, but at the same time, the most logical. Maybe I'm dreaming, perhaps hallucinating. Anything makes more sense than the possibility that whatever it is that's standing before me can even exist.
And the person standing next to me can be alive."

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2. Girl's Night

Two days later, I'm sitting on my bed in my fluffy slippers and pj's.  Friday night sleepover with Sammi, Trish, and Colleen.  My long white hair is braided loosely on the side and I'm sitting against the wall with my chin resting on my knees, absentmindedly brushing my right hand over my slippers.  Inevitably, the topic of boys came up and I silenced as the rest of them talked about Brett, Dylan, and even Tyler.  Finally, Sammi asks, "So... how'd it go on Wednesday?  With Pete?"

The only word I hear is "Pete", which makes me look up, being pulled out of my trance.  They're all looking at me expectantly, so I say, "What're we talking about?"

"What happened on Wednesday?"

"Oh, um... nothing.  He-he said he'd tell me everything he knows."

But when I don't show the enthusiasm that should come with that sentence, Sammi says, "Well, isn't that good?"

I take a deep breath, trying to force myself to tell them what's on my mind.  "Yeah, but not when it comes with a price."  They only look at me with confusion on their faces, so I explain, "Pete wants me to break him out first."

"You can't do that," Sammi says, stating the obvious.

"I'm not going to," I tell her, but she doesn't seem to hear me.

"It's illegal."

"I know."

"Not to mention immoral.  He needs to pay for what he did--serve his time like everybody else.  He can't just expect you to consider him above the law.  Especially not when you don't even consider yourself above the law.  What does he think you're gonna do, just forget about all he did to you--all the lies he told?"

"Sammi!" Trish yells.

"What?"

"You don't need to convince her.  She's not gonna do it."

Sammi looks at me, then after a couple of seconds says, "Oh, right.  Sorry, Jo.  I got a little carried away."

"Ya think?" Colleen says with a cock of her head.

"It's okay," I say.  "I know you haven't exactly been a fan of his since Homecoming."

At this, Sammi scoffs, "If I ever see his sorry face again--" but then Trish cuts her a look and she stops.  "No, I haven't," she resolves.

A year ago--a month ago--I would've liked nothing more than to talk about Pete with my girl-friends, but now things are different.  I'm different.  And I want nothing more than to stop talking about him.  So, I try to turn the conversation smoothly.

"Well, while we're on the topic of dances, Masquerade's coming up.  Who're you all planning on asking?"

Slowly, Sammi starts to take the bait.  "Well..." she begins.  "I was kinda thinking of asking Kyle."  Then she stops.  "If that's okay with you?" she asks, holding her hand out, gesturing towards me.

"What?  Me?" I say, surprised.  "Why wouldn't I be okay with that?"

"Well...  Don't you like, like him?"

What?  Me, Kyle?  "No," I start.  "Well--yeah, as a friend, but, he's all of our friend, Sammi."

"Okay..." she says cautiously.  "I just thought since Homecoming..."

"He took me as a friend because my date"--I don't want to say Pete's name again--"backed out last-minute."  I look at her and casually say, "There's nothing going on between Kyle and me."

Colleen whispers under her breath something like, "Famous last words" as Sammi continues, "Okay.  Just so we're clear."

"Yeah, we're clear," I say, just before something even more surprising comes out of one of my friend's mouth.

"I think I'm gonna ask Tyler."  None of us would ever have expected that from Colleen.  She's always making fun of him and getting annoyed at him.  And Tyler... well... he's kind of a dork.  The two fight like siblings.

"Are you serious?" Trish asks.

"Yeah," Colleen replies.

Then, Sammi says, "Wait.  Serious like the Joker, or serious like the Riddler?"

Colleen turns to her and says, "Sammi, you've been watching too much Batman.  And neither of those guys are very serious."

"I know."  Sammi's point is clear.  We're all thinking it.  She says it anyway.  "What I'm saying is, you can't be serious!?"

Colleen sighs.  I expect her to say, "gotcha!", or "just kidding", or "yeah, serious like the Joker".  I expect almost anything but the sound of her voice saying, "Well, I am."

It's October.  The weather's getting colder, the leaves are changing color.  Turns out, those aren't the only changes coming.  Colleen is interested in Tyler?  It's just weird.  And, as far as I know, when it comes to changes...

That's just the beginning.

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