The drawing taped to my locker was done in black ink on a sheet of notebook paper. The fringe on the spine stood at sharp angles to the paper’s edge. Chunks of fallen-off fringe lay scattered on the hallway carpet below my locker.
In the drawing a UFO was abducting a cow. The cow was levitating off the ground towards the UFO. The cow had udders. The cow said, “Moo.”
The UFO was the standard UFO disc shape, its command center encased by a transparent bulb.
The UFO controls were under the direction of a man and woman. They wore unitards. Each unitard featured an uppercase ‘L’ on the chest.
The man said, “Ok. But remember this time I get to do the anal probe.”
The man grinned a semblance of Jack Ford’s worldwide famous grin. The woman didn’t really resemble my sister, but who else would be flying a UFO with Jack other than Maddy McCall?
Both of them had antennae. Behind them stood an alien with a potato-shaped head and antennae. The alien held a copy of Forward, the guidebook for practicing Lucentologists like Jack and Maddy.
I crumpled the drawing up. The hallway was full of between-class activity.
Every day for a week straight someone had put drawings up. Someones. Too prolific to be one person. The art styles seemed too different for it to be one artist, too.
I glanced around, but no one looked at me and then looked away, blushing, indicating guilt.
Whoever was doing this was just going to keep doing it until all the hubbub died down.
Sherman Blackwell looked at the balled up paper in my hand.
“Only be a couple more days, Lucy, and then it’ll stop. Probably.”
I glared at him. He shrugged.
“I’m not saying it doesn’t suck.” He pushed his glasses up his nose. Held out his hand. “Let me see.”
I handed it to him. He uncrinkled it and laughed and quickly put up a hand to still my anger.
“Now, not Jack or Maddy. I’m laughing at the cow. See?” He pointed. “The one still on the ground. It’s looking up at the one going to the spaceship and it’s got its head tilted like-“ he tilted his head to the side, “'Duhr?'”
He waited for me to smile. It used to come automatically almost. But then earlier this year Sherman had made out with SharDi Leasey at a party. He hadn’t even meant to go, but his pal Neal had talked him into going. Sherman had downed a beer out of boredom. Just wanted the party to end so he could go home and it wouldn’t end so he had another beer and then another beer and the next thing he knew…
He was sorry. He didn’t know what he’d been thinking. All that happened was some kissing and some light groping. He tried to convince me that the fact that he came to me with the admission before someone else told me counted in his favor.
We hadn’t kissed or hugged since. He’d written a song called ‘The Makeup Song’ and put it up on his Facebook and YouTube. It was kind of good, in a bad-American-Idol-audition-kind-of-way.
“You know when you get pissed you look almost like your dad.”
“That’s what I’ve heard. That’s what my mom used to say.”
That shut him up. Sherman tiptoed ultra-carefully around the subject of Mom. Especially since he’d pledged to take care of me before she died. He pledges to her and the next thing you know he’s got his hand up SharDi Leasey’s tank top.
Sherman’s face went white. Even before I turned to follow his look I could guess SharDi Leasey was walking down the hall. I’d developed an ability to tell which Eaton High beauty was in the vicinity just based on Sherman’s bulging eyeballs and gaping mouth.
There hadn’t been drama between SharDi and I. I barely knew her. She hadn’t tried to steal my guy. My guy had just been kind of dumb and drunk and she had a weakness for nerdy looking guys.
Walking past, she smiled at me and nodded at Sherman. Then went right on along with her business - being pretty and built and enjoying all the benefits therein.
Sherman stared at the floor. He looked hopeful some sort of exit would appear. Maybe a slide all the way to China.
Blushing he said, “I looked. I tried not to.”
“It’s okay. I’m used to it,” I said. “You’re really weak and her shirt was really tight.”
At the start of 4th period, I got to tear another cartoon off my locker.