Rule One: Don't Act Stupid

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RULE # 1: Don’t Act Stupid

THURSDAY

“Arthur Marvin Heart! Get your ass out of my Lexus, or God help me, you won’t be able to get head again!” Matt had a coiled hose in one hand and a big red canister of Raid in the other. He looked like some kind of bug killing supervillain. When he set them on a garage shelf, the intimidation factor spiked. I knew I shouldn’t have taken a test drive, but the Grand Theft Auto in me refused to be squashed on coercion alone.

Liz , definitely not helping, held a hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles and then leaned over the cup holders to whisper in my ear, “but don’t worry Art, you’ll still be able to give it.”

This was all her fault—basically a harlot in men's clothing. 

I opened my mouth to wittily retort, but I never got that far.

The driver’s side was yanked open and I was forcibly ejected from the vehicle. “I told you not to touch my Baby.” Matthew darkly took the keys out of the ignition and towered over my crumpled form. His eyebrows were too blonde to actually see, but I knew they were slanted downwards by the welting wrinkles above his eyes.

“I didn’t just touch her, I was inside her.” I choked out amidst an insane fit of laughter. My shirt had ridden up so that my stomach was on the bare cement and when I let air out it jerked inward from the cold.

“Ooh, you’re in for it now,” Liz taunted in a singsong voice. I could picture her in the passenger seat, eccentric blue-green eyes glittering malevolently between strands of wild unkempt red.  It was her fault to begin with; she knew I’d take the bait if she goaded me with Matt’s keys. I was simply acting on male ego driven instinct.

Matt growled, starting to walk over to the passenger side. “You’re not innocent either Liz.” 

The car door squeaked and Matt's footsteps stopped abruptly. 

“Aww, Matty-poo gonna beat his sister? Matt,” peals of laughter and then squeals, “Matt, don’t you dare. Matt. Matt! Matt!!” The screams grew fainter, as he carried her off. I heard a loud splash and Matt returned dusting his hands off like she had somehow tried to impart girl cooties to him with skin to skin contact. 

“You just threw her in the pool didn’t you?”

“I’m not going to confirm or deny that.”

I was still on the floor, but I’d propped myself up on my elbows. “Gonna throw me in too? Cause that seems a little gay man.”

“Don’t drive her again.”

“ It’s a nice car…”

“Don’t, Art.” Matt was hardly ever serious, but when he was, he meant it. Being his best friend I could get away with many things, but driving his precious “Baby” was not one of them.

I got up off the concrete and examined my raw knees. There was a big patch of red that I knew would blossom into quite a bold bruise later, but nothing life threatening. My head pounded like a banshee was having a party in my cerebellum. This hadn’t been a good way to wake up in the morning. “I surrender,” I said to Matt thickly. He was running a hand over the dashboard as if the twenty seconds I’d spent close to it had somehow caused it to morph and grow feelers.  I checked my watch and swore under my breath, “We should take this show on the road. The bell rang five minutes ago.”

I bent down towards the side mirror and scrutinized my reflection, quickly taking stock; nose straight, teeth intact (brace free since last summer), eyes still blue, brown hair? Completely unruly. Was that a fly in my gums? No, just part of a raisin from breakfast.

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