11 - Where Girl Pushes Away

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11

         I snorted at that. “Yay, story time with Jacoby Harold,” I said dryly.

         “Yes, what a pleasure it is to be here today,” he replied. This was him in his element. I couldn’t out-sarcasm him. “Once upon a time,” he said in a babying voice, “there was a boy named Jacoby, and—”

         “No, seriously, just tell me what happened and what’s going on right now.”

         He huffed. “Wow, we’ve got a picky audience here today.”

         “Jacoby.

         “All right, all right.” He settled down, got comfortable. He was silent for a long time before he looked at me sheepishly. “Okay, so I lied, it’s not a long story. I actually…don’t know much about it. All I know is that we”—he pointed between us—“are Others. Capital ‘O’. And there are Others that have different names and different powers. Only Others can see my flowers, including you. That’s all I know.”

         I stared at him for a really long time after that.

         “That’s…all? That’s all?” I snapped. “You said a really, really long story!” I pointed an accusatory finger at him as I spoke.

         “Well, there are some other things.”

         “And?”

         “I can’t…I can’t really tell you right now.”

         “Jacoby Harold, I am going to kill you.”

         He made a face and pansies laughed at his feet. “Why do you call me Jacoby?” he asked in a tone of voice that didn’t match to his expression.

         “Isn’t that your name?” I replied.

         “Yeah, but everyone calls me Jake,” he said with a shrug.

         “I know. But you don’t look like a Jake. You look like a Jacoby,” I replied with my own shrug. “When I hear the name Jake, I think of someone…” My voice trailed off. His ego would surely develop a bruise if I finished my sentence, which went something like, “The name Jake suits a really toned, well-built athlete.”

         “Someone what? Think of someone like what?” he prompted, brushing his own hand absent-mindedly along the forget-me- nots that had sprouted through the ground on a small mound of dirt. They made noises that sounded like “Hmm?” when Jacoby touched them.

         “What are the forget-me-nots for?” I asked, seizing the chance to change the topic by pointing at them. “You always have different flowers with you.”

         A smile appeared on his face, and right when it disappeared, pansies popped up.

         “Want to guess? I used to play this game with myself, when I wasn’t sure what the hell was wrong with me. I’d look at my flowers, then test how I felt, and then I would know what the flowers were for.” He squeezed his eyes shut and seemed to be thinking hard. The flowers sprang a foot taller and waved for me to see. “Come on, then, guess.”

         I squinted at the flowers and thought.

         The last thing he’d asked before the forget-me-nots appeared had been “someone like what?” So maybe it was curiosity? Or annoyance, because I wouldn’t tell him?

         I voiced my musings.

         Jacoby shook his head. “Good guess, though. This is when I’m curious.” He thought hard again, and forced a flower from the ground. I laughed at the expression on his face.

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