Ki$$ & $ell: Chapter Nine

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Chapter Nine

“It was just like, ‘Wham’ and the jerk went down,” McCartney exclaimed, toppling backward onto the floor of her room. She had the radio turned on to her fave alterna-rock station and we were all lounging around. “God, Arielle, it was like, all of a sudden you were this crazy-strong, totally Buffy’d out girl. I think everyone in the cafeteria thought you were gonna kick his sorry butt all over that room!”

            “Yeah, right,” I said sarcastically, but smiling at the memory. After standing up for myself that afternoon, I’d felt a surge of power go through me. Like I was part superhero—or at the very least, that I was taking my cues from the superheroes I’d seen in movies and on TV. It was strangely exhilarating, and I was surprised—but happy—to notice that the feeling hadn’t faded yet.

            “All this excitement has made me hungry!” McCartney said, hopping up from her place on the floor, and walking over to the speaker that was built into her wall. “What do you guys feel like?”
            “Taquitos,” Phin said, laying on his stomach on McCartney’s bed.

            “Chips and salsa,” I answered with my usual choice.

            “And sodas,” Phin added.

            McCartney nodded as she pushed the button on the bottom right of the speaker.

            “Yes, Miss McCartney?” a sweet voice filled the room.

            “Hi, Teddy! How are things going today?” McCartney asked the voice in the box. “You hear anything from that Latin boy of yours yet?”

            Theodora had been working as the Janning family maid since the three of us had started middle school. Before then, McCartney’d had another maid—a little, old, crotchety woman, who got a little too old to chase after McCartney anymore.

            After having lived with the Janning’s for the past three years, Teddy (this was our nickname for her) had become more of a friend to us than hired help. I smiled as I pictured Teddy’s cheeks flushing pink at the mention of her latest crush.

            “Nothing yet, my little gossip monkeys,” Teddy answered jokingly. “I’m playing the situation ‘cool’ as you kids say.”

            “Please, Teddy, unless he’s blind, the guy’s gotta be jonesing for you by now. Really, you’re like, a hottie.” Phin said. Teddy was exotic-looking. Wore her dark hair in waves around her face and actually was a total babe. Plus, she was only in her late twenties, so she totally had youth on her side.

            “If he doesn’t make a move soon, Teddy, you may just have to take matters into your own hands,” I piped up.

            “This, coming from Miss Kissy Face herself,” Teddy said, challengingly.

            “Okay, okay, we give up!” McCartney said, finally. “Actually, we’re just so hungry that we can’t argue with you anymore.”

            “What can I get you kids?” she asked. I could hear her rumaging around as she took out a scrap of paper and found a pen.

            McCartney rattled off a list of snacks and then thanked her, before turning her attention back to us.

            Running back over to McCartney’s bed, I did a forward somersault onto the mattress. I narrowly missed kicking Phin in the face as I settled into place and stared up at the ceiling.

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