“Well, that went better than expected…” Ginny clambered into the cab of the big white truck and plopped into the driver’s seat with a sigh.
Beside her, Rebecca said, “Oh my god, Ginny, I flirted with him at the café! A couple of days before you came in. I’m not even sure he noticed.”
Ginny fished the keys from the pocket of her green army surplus coat; the sleeves had been removed so it was now, more properly speaking, an army surplus vest. She looked over her shoulder, through the small rear window and over the packed bed of the truck to the patio, where Darby stood with his hands in his pockets, regarding them. He had, quite unexpectedly, spent the better part of an hour helping them load the truck. More surprising than the physical labor Darby had volunteered was the uncharacteristic, at least in Ginny’s experience, good cheer with which he worked. She nodded and waved at him through the window, “Who?” she asked Rebecca. “Darby?”
From the porch, Darby returned Ginny’s wave. She inserted the key in the ignition and twisted. The engine turned and started.
“No!” Rebecca protested. “Gordon!”
Ginny had been dismayed to find Gordon not only home when she arrived at 11:00, as promised, to pick up her stuff, but opening the door to her gentle knock. Seeing her and Rebecca standing there, he had put it together at once. She watched him figure out, despite never being told the name or gender of the person he had been dumped for, that this golden cutie beside her was the one. She’d dreaded bringing Rebecca, and had only done so because she had nobody else to help her with the move. After brief and awkward introductions, Gordon slunk away and they didn’t see him again.
Turning the truck around in the street now, she felt certain he was watching, probably from the upstairs bathroom window. She stole a glance in that direction and, sure enough, there was the shape of a dark head bobbing just below the window. This meant, of course, that he was spying on them from the shower. Thinking of Gordon naked, she recalled why she’d first been attracted to him. “Yeah, well…” she said, smiling at Rebecca. “He’s a cutie in his way, isn’t he?”
“I suppose so,” said Rebecca, “though he’s not exactly my type.”
Ginny laughed. “Then why were you flirting with him?”
“Well,” Rebecca grinned, “it wasn’t exactly serious flirting.”
Hitting the gas, Ginny laughed again. “God, I love you,” she said.
Rebecca giggled as they left the house at 61 Euclid behind. “Speaking of old boyfriends, maybe I can get James to help us unload this stuff.” She nodded in the general direction of the truck bed.
Ginny frowned. “I don’t know,” she said. “It seems like it was hard enough on him lending us the truck.”
Now Rebecca frowned. “You think it would be too exploitive to ask him?”
“He’s awful sprung on you,” Ginny observed.
“Which is why he’ll do pretty much anything I ask,” mused Rebecca, twirling a lock of golden hair between her fingers.
Ginny frowned again and cast a glance at the girl beside her. “Which is why,” she began…
And Rebecca jumped in to complete the thought, “It’s wrong of me,” she said, “to take advantage of him the way I do.”
Ginny shrugged, turning the truck down Barbados Street. “Yeah,” she agreed. “Something like that.”
Rebecca leaned over and kissed Ginny on the cheek. “You’re making me a better person already,” she said. “And I love you for it.”
Ginny looked at Rebecca, a golden radiance beside her, removing her eyes from the road longer than safety dictated, perhaps. When she returned her attention to driving, she found that she had passed Donner Street, where she had intended to turn. Rebecca’s kiss tingling on her cheek, she braked and executed a masterful u-turn, unhindered by traffic as the streets were unusually quiet.
“Who needs men, anyway?” Rebecca continued. “As long as we’ve got each other.”
Ginny considered for a moment the way such a “you and me against the world” kind of sentiment might have seemed sappy and trite to her before Rebecca. Now, she didn’t even have to consider it for more than a moment. She knew it was true. Whether that made her a better person, or just a sappier one, she didn’t know. And, as she drove the two of them home, she didn’t care.