Mom was suspicious. She knew I liked my friends but to be willing to go to school right after dealing with so many crazy questions roused her into wondering what was going on. It was NOT a good wondering.
I had a feeling she would drop a tracer on my booster to keep track of me. She sometimes did that. To date, I had left them alone. I knew how to hack the booster to lie about where I was, but I knew I could only get away with it once and I also knew once I had done so, I would broken trust with Mom. She would be angry and hurt, but she was putting it on there because she thought I was up to something. I'd never done anything she could use the tracer to figure out what it was.
I was a Merry Prankster after all.
And she was my Mom.
And I didn't want to disappoint her.
Yet I also knew someday I probably would. Oh, not because I was a bad kid or would do something wrong, but really 'cause I would do it my own way and that way would be different from her and get an outcome she would not have liked.
My father said I was my own person. I was neither really like him or like Mom. And he seemed to revel in that thought. He said I would choose my own path and he would try to support me when I did. I don't think he meant at age 12, but…hey, kids grow up fast these days!
Mom made me blueberry pancakes! You have NO idea how hard it is to come by blueberries on Jefferson! They were delicious! I enjoyed every last bite and ate probably more than I should. They did help bury what blues I had though and my brother grumbling it wasn't fair he didn't get as much didn't even bother me.
As I zipped up and double checked my brother's leathers as well, Mom came and did a dirty trick on me. She promised me pea soup for dinner if I would come back from school as quickly as possible. I LOOOOOOOVE pea soup. Instantly, my brother freaked out. He HATES it. With a raw, raging, retching passion. Mom appeased him by offering him some french fries and fried ham. He stewed over it and seemed to accept he was not the center of attention today.
As we walked to school, we stopped at the coffee shop. I only did so to make my brother stop making dumb jokes and puns. I like puns. I love puns. He keeps using the same ones over and over though. He really needs to bone up if he's going to ham it up that way.
The taxitos were less than normal. There are never very many in town: there are little lasers that identify them and shoot them down really quickly. However, there are always some. No system is perfect. The smell of burnt cinnamon buns overlaid the every day smell of the doughnut shop Jefferson normally had this morning.
I got him to his class and he took off chasing his friends and in turn chased by a little ruby haired girl who you would swear was a human sized taxito based on my brother's faux scream and dash in the opposite direction.
I shook my head and walked around the corner to the middle school hall way. This IS a small, small town after all! And there they were. The Merry Pranksters. Arrayed as though ready for battle. Tom and Jackie behind. Veena to the left. Rosa to the right. They looked so serious. They were looking right at me. I boldly walked over with a smirk on my face, my favorite expression, and said:
"I hear there's an adventure afoot!"
Veena groaned. Rosa looked pained. Jackie gave a slight sigh, rolled her eyes and almost imperceptibly shook her head. However, Tom, I knew I could count on Tom replied…
"I toed you she'd be up for it."
Then everyone hit him.
Other than me.
My smirk was gone. My ear to ear grin was here. I loved puns and Tom loved puns. We delighted in them. We wallowed in them. Everyone else just thought they were punishment.