“Who cares? We need to go, Brett. They’ll escort us out, and we’ll have to sneak back in. Let’s tail it now.”
Principal Green stood above me now. He was watching them, but he glanced down. He gave me one reassuring look before he murmured quietly to me, “I won’t tell, Sam. They won’t know.”
The relief was overwhelming. Again. Tears burst forth, but I couldn’t wipe them away. They had strapped me to the stretcher so I wouldn’t shift any bones or my insides. I was in so much pain.
“David,” Principal Green said as my stretcher was lifted into the ambulance. The paramedics got me into place. “You can go with her. Malinda already took your car. She’s going to meet you there.”
When he climbed inside the ambulance, he sat as close to me as possible. The doors were shut, and it wasn’t long until the engine was started. As it turned onto the street, David reached out and took my hand. I’d never seen him this sad. He brushed at a tear, but tried to smile for me. “Don’t worry, honey. You’ll get looked at and everything will be fine.”
No, Dad. Everything wouldn’t be fine.
That was the truth. I was just realizing that I still hadn’t let him in on it.
When I left the locker room, only a few were still in the gymnasium. Most were heading to Manny’s and then to Fischer’s for a big damn party. I knew Logan was riled about it, had been during the whole game and after. When I saw him jumping up and down near the bleachers, and our mom watching him, I rolled my eyes. Logan was ready to tear into someone.
“Honey.” Helen stood up from her seat and gave me a gracious smile. If Sam were there, I knew she would’ve been self-conscious. My mother dressed to impress. I never cared what clothes she wore, but it mattered to her what others thought. She pressed a kiss to my cheek and she patted me on the shoulder before moving to press her hair back in place. “You were fabulous. It was a close game, wasn’t it?”
Logan snorted, but kept jumping up and down. He was rubbing his hands together before jabbing them into the air.
“We won by four points. It was close, Mom.”
“See. I know a little about basketball.”
I didn’t care. “Did you see Sam here?”
She stiffened before shaking her head. “No, honey. Was I supposed to look for her? I’m sure she sat with some of her friends.”
Logan snorted again, still jumping. “She doesn’t have friends at this school.”
“What? She doesn’t. It’s your fault, not hers.”
Helen skirted between us. “Are you suggesting Samantha has no friends because of her boyfriend?”
“Yeah, Mom, I am.” He stopped jumping and gave her a dead look. “Your son’s the cream in a pu**y’s food dish. The claws come out. Bitches and pussies fight over that shit. You should be proud.”
When Helen didn’t respond, I chuckled. “Don’t worry, Mom. You can be proud Logan’s the cat’s meow.”
Horror flashed first as she twisted around. “Logan? She’s with you now?”
Logan glanced at me. We shared a look before he rolled his shoulders back, squared his chin away and threw out his cocksure attitude. “Is this news to you? I’m hurt that you’re even surprised by this.”
“I … I …” she sputtered, drawing to her tallest height. “I’m not. Of course not, I’m just taken aback by the camaraderie between you two. There’s no hard feelings?”
“Why would there be?” Logan asked, throwing an arm around my shoulders. He lifted up on his tiptoes so we were the same height and then he patted me on the arm twice. “She dips in both of our cream dishes.”
“Logan!” We waited as she swayed on her feet, a hand to her chest. Then she sputtered again, “This is disgusting. I implore both of you to break up with this girl. If she’s doing what you’re insinuating, this will go down a bad road. Trust me. You both need to stop seeing her.” She paused and an old flare came over her. “Her mother alone is a good enough reason to try for someone better. Horrible breeding. You both need to preserve where your se**n goes. Once you’ve reproduced, there’s no going back. That child is in the world for the rest of your life—”
I’d had enough. “Mom.” I shrugged Logan’s arm off me. “We’re joking with you. Sam’s still my girlfriend, and it’s not her fault she doesn’t have friends here. Some of the other girls are jealous.”
We waited. One second.
“You two are horrible children. To joke like that? Why would you even think about something like that in the first place?”
“Relax, Mom.” Logan threw his arm around her shoulders. When she tried to smooth out her shirt’s collar, he said to me, “I already asked around. No one’s seen her.”
Heather was working. Sam knew her old classmates would be there. It made sense if she opted out. “She’s probably watching a movie at home or something.”
“Or she’s already at the party and getting drunk.”
Sometimes my brother really pissed me off.
“What?” He flashed me a grin. “It’d be awesome if she were. My sis needs to get drunk more. Last time she did, she and Tate got into it. That was hilarious.” His smile turned wistful. “I’d pay money to see something like that again.”