He was actually talking to her. Like she wasn’t just Josh’s kid sister. Almost like he knew she existed. Which he hadn’t for, like, eight years. And he said she looked good. She was suddenly self-conscious of her little sundress, the skinny straps that kept slipping off her shoulders, the thin fabric you could almost see through in the sun. She pulled her legs up under her, trying to relax, and said, “Oh, you know. Pretty good. Graduation was yesterday, so done with that, thank God. Now I just wanna chill out before, you know, college and stuff…”
“Yeah? Where you going?”
His eyes widened. “Really? Damn. You must be a brain. I had no idea.”
“No — it’s not — I’m not — ” God, why had she said that? Now he was going to think she was stuck-up or something. She tried again. “I mean, I know Berkeley’s all, it seems like, but it’s really not –”
“Hey, it’s okay,” he laughed. “It’s cool to be a brain. You’ll probably make a million dollars.” He took another gulp of her soda. “So, God, it’s been a million years since I saw you. A year and a half, or what? You must be, like, two feet taller. You were such a little shrimp back then.”
“Yeah, yeah. Late bloomer. Whatever.” She hated thinking about that. Last in her class to get her period, last to get breasts, last to get everything. “I’m sick of hearing about it, if you want to know.”
“I bet you are. Hey, Squirt, come here a sec”… and he reached out to the sofa, grabbed her hand, and pulled her into his lap.
She froze. He was acting all casual, like having his friend’s kid sister sit on his lap was something they did all the time. But it was completely weird. She’d known him almost ten years, and she hadn’t sat in his lap once. She’d have remembered. She sat perfectly still, her brain focused on the place where her back was touching his chest, and where the backs of her bare thighs were pressing against his legs.