sneak peek - one

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I DISCOVERED HIM pacing in the street before dawn, waking the entire neighborhood with his shouted profanities. I tried to go back to sleep, but my bedroom happened to face the street where the commotion continued. Annoyed, I lifted my blinds and managed to focus my groggy eyes on a naked boy unleashing hell on Ms. Lennol's car. Maybe naked was an exaggeration; the kid did have on a pair of boxers and one shoe. The rest of his attire missed the invitation to the event.

Nobody had come to confront the man of the hour, but his raging had encouraged a few ballsy dogs to start their early morning howls. It was pure chaos and I had a front seat. Part of me felt bad for watching this go down, but Hollywood producers invest millions of dollars into capturing things like this every day. It only felt right to enjoy what others could not.

Midway through his line of creative language, Ms. Lennol threw open her front door, spilling light onto her otherwise dark front yard. In her arms, she carried a pile of crumpled garments and tossed them into her exquisite rose bush. What a woman she was. Stood proudly on her front porch of who knows how many years in her comfiest robe, negligee, slippers, and rollers to keep it classy. It was clear she took shit from no one.

The completely nosy, drama thirsty side of my brain played with the idea that this fiasco could be a one night stand gone wrong. Maybe Ms. Lennol was looking for a casual hookup while this fellow thought she'd be the one to complete him.

Perhaps it was the other way around.

The logical part of my brain chalked it up to the boring scenario that this was just a mother and son having an early morning argument. I didn't remember my new neighbor having any children, though.

The boy finished a line of urination on Ms. Lennol's car before storming over to the thorny bush that demanded he search for his clothing.

I watched the whole argument from the comfort of my bedside window. Once the unknown boy retrieved his clothes, he spewed insult after insult at my neighbor without room to breathe between his words. I could feel the tension; it was so thick I could mistake it for Jello.

Not the nasty, thin, off-brand hospital Jello.

No, the real deal.

Ms. Lennol, the daredevil she was, approached the boy with an air of confidence only a woman who knew something about the world could possess. Step by step, his verbal vomit grew softer until they stood toe to toe. He hadn't even put on his shirt yet. Her hand reached out, caressed his cheek, and they shared the softest kiss I'd ever seen. Ms. Lennol, that wondrous woman, ascended her porch stairs and closed the door behind her without another word.

Suspicions confirmed.

He sighed and ran his hand through and pulled on his pants. I could see his appeal then. Broad shoulders, strong back, dark hair and-

His eyes connected with mine. Dark irises struck against my own like a father scolding their young for intruding on adult affairs.

I held my breath and froze in the window as if that would make me disappear from his confronting gaze.

He chuckled and shook his head, leaving me embarrassed pressed against the glass of my window as he got into his car and drove away. My phone alarm went off and I groaned. It was time to get ready for school.


Body odor and perfume assaulted my nose upon arriving at the school. I grimaced passing a group of freshman boys who'd just discovered the power of body spray.

Though the stench was enough to almost knock me over, I took pity on the kids. They were going through puberty, fresh out of middle school. Their voices were dropping and barely anyone took them seriously since their speaking tone sounded like confused yodels. Their hair was growing everywhere but where they wanted it to, and their armpits were soaked from the simple act of existing. It wasn't their fault that they smelled like the underside of a baboon. It was simply mother nature giving them their fair share of misfortune.

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