Love stinks. Yeah yeah.
The lyrics to the song played over and over in my head. I’d tried passing a note to Suzanne in third period. Naturally the note was intercepted by JD. He and I had been rivals for nearly everything since we’d been in Kindergarten. Now that he knew I had feelings for Suzanne he’d probably try and put his hat in the ring. I slumped against the tree just outside the lunch room and cradled my head in my hands.
It took me a second to register that I was the dude in question. I looked up and JD stood there with a dumb look on his face. “What?”
He held the note up between two fingers. “This.”
He shook his head. The desire to jump straight out and catch him at the knees was strong. “You don’t want to put this in her hands. She’ll post it in the girls’ bathroom and you’ll be the laughing stock of the school.”
I had heard that most of the girls declared him persona non grata. I didn’t want to believe that she who held my heart could be so cruel. “I’m s’posed to believe this why?”
He sailed the note to me. “Believe me, this is one I had to learn the hard way. I passed her a note a few weeks ago. It happened to me. Granted my poetry was a little less Hallmark and a little more ee cummings.”
The note fluttered to a stop near my Vans. “Now you’re in the business of doing me favors?”
He waved his hands. “Not at all. This isn’t a favor, though. This is how people are supposed to be.”
I chewed that one over for a second. We were both sixteen. Had he grown up before me? I stuck out my hand.
He grabbed it and pulled me up. “Course, you could be different. She could be ‘hot for you’ too.”
I scowled at the now obviously horrible line he brought up. I’d have to give this some more thought. “Look, we’ve known each other for eleven years?”
“Since Mrs. Thunderbottom’s class.” We shared a smile.
“Why is it that we don’t get along?” I looked at the way he was dressed and thought about his last book report. We had a lot more in common than a lust for Suzanne.
He shrugged. “Wait, you aren’t hot for me, too?”
I smacked his arm. “No, I just need someone to hang with.”
“Come on. We’ll go drink away our troubles.”
“Coke’s on me.” We walked into the building, the first of a thousand drinks we’d share after being scorned, losing a bet, or just a hard day at work.