Instead, I found a text message from Jack.
So. You haven’t texted me.
You’re very observant. I responded.
My plan was to try to be indifferent. I didn’t appreciate the idea that I had probably fallen victim to some kind of spell or hormonal manipulation.
Does that mean you don’t want to be friends?
He actually typed that, like a note I’d get in the first grade. Something about that completely endeared him to me, and since I couldn’t smell or see him, I decided that must mean that I actually liked him.
No. I do. Definitely.
“Who is that?” Milo asked with an edge to his voice. He was sitting at the other end of the couch from me, and he leaned over so he could look at my phone, but I turned it away from him. “It’s that Jack guy, right?”
“You do realize it’s perfectly legal for me to text members of the opposite sex.” I gave Milo a hard look and he just shook his head.
“Whatever,” Milo said and turned his attention back to the movie. My phone rang again, and Milo made a humph sound.
Excellent. Wanna do something? Jack messaged.
What did you have in mind?
Anything. Everything. The city is our oyster! Jack texted back.
That sounds pretty ambitious. I replied, but it did sound exciting.
It is. So can you be ready in like fifteen minutes? Jack asked.
Sure. Meet you outside.
In a flash, I touched up my makeup and slid on shoes. Before rushing out the door, I promised Milo that I wouldn’t be home too late and that I had my phone if he needed me. He grunted at me, and then I dashed out to meet Jack.
He was already waiting outside, this time in a bright red sports car that looked like it cost more than a house. He grinned wildly when I opened the car door and jumped inside.
“So, this is nice,” I said, referring to his overly flashy car.
“It’s more than nice. It’s a Lamborghini Gallardo,” Jack explained with that foolish grin plastered on his face. “There are only six thousand of these in existence.”
“Is it new?”
“Nah, it’s my brother’s,” Jack said.
Before I could say anything more, he put the car in gear and it thrust itself into the street. I had thought we had gone fast in the Jetta, but it had nothing on this.
“Your brother must be loaded.” The car gracefully slid around a corner and weaved in between cars. Quickly, he turned it onto I-35, presumably so we could get the full effect of it going top speed on the open road.
“He kind of is,” Jack shrugged. “I don’t really worry about money, I guess.” It was the casual way someone talked when they never had to struggle for anything, and I wondered if Jack was wealthy and where he came from.
“It must be nice,” I muttered.
We were pretty poor, but not quite so poor that I felt like I had to get a job and bring in my own money. Just enough where I felt it.
“There are plenty of other things to worry about,” Jack replied seriously. “Believe me.”
“Like what?” I looked over at him, instead of the blur of the scenery flying past us. He smirked at me and shook his head. So that was another thing he wouldn’t talk to me about. “So you have a brother?”
“Two, actually,” Jack said. “And a sister. Well, she’s actually my sister-in-law, but she feels like a sister.”
“So is she married to your brother, or are you married?” I asked tentatively.
“No, I’m not married,” Jack laughed. “She’s my brother’s wife.”
“What are their names?” With the endless amount of things I wanted to know about him, I was stuck asking safe questions.
“Peter, and then Ezra is married to Mae. Ezra is the oldest.”
“What about your parents?” I turned towards him and rested my head against the seat. The rush of the world around us had made me a little dizzy.
“Dead.” His voice was emotionless, but his eyes got hard, which didn’t look right at all.
“Sorry,” I offered lamely.
“Nah, it was like fifteen years ago.” He shook his head, trying to brush me off, and then he turned to me, his face brightening again. “What about you? You have family?”
“My mom, and a younger brother,” I answered. “But he’s more like an older brother sometimes.” Jack laughed loudly at that, his wonderful laughter echoing throughout the car and sending waves of warmth over me.
“Yeah, I can completely relate,” he grinned.
“Really?” I had always thought of Milo as an oddity, but it was nice to know that there was someone out there like him.
“Yeah, but Peter’s something else,” Jack said. “Really. I doubt you’ll ever meet anyone like him.”
“Well, I’d have to meet him first,” I pointed out.
“Maybe someday.” He sounded weirdly far off, almost apprehensive.
“You’re not married, but does that mean you’re single?” I asked.
“Uh, yeah.” Then, before I could ask him more about that, he turned the tables on me. “What about you? Are you seeing anyone?”
“Hardly,” I snorted. Other than a few drunken make out sessions at a couple parties, I had nothing to show for a love life.
“Why not?” Jack pressed.
“You saw my friend Jane,” I said dully. “She has this way of completely stealing all the light in the room.”
“Oh, she does not.”
“Why don’t you have a girlfriend? The ladies obviously like you.” I changed the subject back to him.
“That’s actually part of the reason why. Everyone likes me without ever knowing me. It makes it hard to have a real relationship with somebody.”
“So… what’s the other part?” I asked, and he didn’t answer. “You’re not going to tell me.”
“I think there’s a midnight show of Rocky Horror Picture Show in Lakeville,” Jack announced randomly. “Are you up for it?”
“Sure.” I glanced out the window, watching the car glide through traffic. “So, why didn’t you drive your car tonight?”
“That’s not really my car, either.” He didn’t really answer my question, but I was starting to get used to that. “It’s my sister Mae’s.”
I noticed that he called her his sister, not his sister-in-law, and I wondered if that was simply an oversight. His insistence on being so mysterious was making me overanalyze everything.