Kolby was sitting on the porch doing his homework when Lester came by to see him. He knocked on the door and didn’t even notice Kolby on the porch.
“Looking for me?” Kolby said.
Lester was a bit startled at the sound of Kolby’s voice but was glad to find him so quickly. “Did you see it? Please tell me you saw it!”
Kolby saw it. He and Lester had a strange friendship. Although Lester was a bit older than him, they liked a lot of the same things and bonded over them.
“You saw it, didn’t you?” Lester asked.
Kolby smiled because he had a secret. He was going to tell Lester eventually, but for the moment he kept quiet…and Lester kept pestering him.
“Dude! Did you see it or not??”
Kolby smiled and looked up from his homework, finally. “Of course I saw it! And…I asked my daddy and he said he’ll get me one soon.”
“AHHHH! My dad won’t get me one! He says it’s a child’s play thing and I shouldn’t be bothered with it. He doesn’t understand!”
“Well…when we get ours, you can come over and play with us.”
“Us? Who’s us?”
“My little brother, silly!”
“Oh yeah yeah. Right. Anyway, I just KNEW they were gonna do something with those cards! Why else would they make them so fancy? I can’t wait to see what the battle station looks like. I already have like 900 cards!”
Kolby laughed. “There’s only 20 cards, Les!”
“Yeah, and all mine are the same! How many do you have anyway?”
“Five? Really? That’s the number you’re going with? What have you been doing with your life?”
“It’s tough being a musician, but somebody’s gotta do it,” Kolby quipped, “unlike someone on this porch who quit playing guitar!”
Lester swatted his hand at Kolby. “Meh. Guitar is stupid, and the piano is even stupider!”
Kolby gasped. “No wonder you have girl troubles. Girls love guys who play instruments…at least that’s what my mom says.”
As the boys were fighting, Mary Jones snuck up on them looking for Asia.
“Good afternoon, boys,” she said. “I’m Mrs. Jones from next door. You must be Kolby.”
“Hello, Mrs. Jones.”
“It’s nice to finally meet you,” she said. “Tell me…is your mother about?”
“She trying to put Kaiden to sleep.”
“OH! She had the baby! What is it? Twins?”
“Nope! Just a little brother!”
“Oh I bet you’re very happy, Kolby.” She took a seat next to Lester. “Will your father be home soon?”
“Yep. He’ll be home in 10 minutes.”
“Excellent! If you boys don’t mind, I’ll just sit here and wait for him.” She kept rubbing her neck as they talked.
“Mrs. Jones,” Lester said, “are you going to get your son the Voidcritter Battle Station?” He was clearly bothered by what his father said.
“My dear boy, I have no idea what that is, but if my little Timmy wants it, of course I’ll get it for him!”
Jared arrived at exactly the time Kolby said he would. Mary had no idea he was an astronaut and was very surprised at his arrival.
“Oh my stars! You scared the cow plant essence out of me! You’re an astronaut! Remarkable! I don’t think I’ve ever known an astronaut before!”
“You know one now! Hello, Mary. I’m sure you didn’t come here to speak with my son and his friend.” Jared chuckled. “What can I do for you?”
“Well,” she began, “I came by to ask your wife a question, but I’m sure you can answer. Are there any spas near here?”
“Oh sure! There’s one about 10 minutes away. If you like those big fancy ones, there are quite a few in Newcrest if you don’t mind the distance.”
She shuddered at the mention of that town. Newcrest was not a place she could show her face in…at least for the next few years or maybe even forever. She hoped Jared missed her initial reaction so she wouldn’t have to explain—not that she would admit anything anyway.
“The one around the corner is just fine thank you!”