Goody One Shoe

Goody One Shoe by Julie Frayn Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Goody One Shoe by Julie Frayn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Julie Frayn
of books and extra-credit work out from under her arm. Texts and paper
landed in the dirt and strew across the grass. He grabbed the small ivory
leather-bound book she kept with her at all times. “What’s this?” He flipped it
over. At the sight of the cross on the cover, his eyes lit up. “Oh man, what
are you, one of those Gee-hova’s witnesses or something?”
    Billie tried to snatch her bible back but he pulled it away.
    “No wonder you dress like that.” Another boy yanked on her
plaid, pleated skirt. It was long and grey, with forest green stripes, not the
red tartan mini that her former friend sported. Billie wore her hair long and
drawn into a low ponytail. She had no bangs to curl over her forehead and glue
into place with hairspray like Justine, and all the little clones who followed
her around, did. Billie was all buttoned up in her thrift-store hand-me-downs,
knee-socked, and penny-loafered. Cheap comfort and common sense. Justine was
show, flash, colour. And money. Their friendship hadn’t survived the summer
break before grade four started in the fall.
    Ronald held the bible above his head. “My dad says all you
bible thumpers are a pain in the ass. You should keep your religion at church
where it belongs.”
    She jumped for her bible, came down on a tree root and
twisted her ankle. She landed on her knees in the dirt. Pain shot up her legs.
With her hands on the ground, she stared at his red high-top Converse All
Stars. “I do keep my religion at church.” She looked up, past his skinny jeans
and neon, lime green T-shirt — all the new fashions her parents couldn’t afford
to buy her. And she would never ask for anyway. “And I see you there every
    His face turned crimson. “I’m no bible thumper.” He brought
the book down and hit her on the head with it.
    Justine grabbed his hand. “Stop it, Ronald. Teasing her is
one thing. But no hitting.” She held out the bible. “Sorry, Billie.”
    Maybe some of the old Justine was still in there somewhere.
Billie smiled up at her and reached for the book.
    Justine snatched it away. “Psych!” She held it above her
head and laughed.
    The end-of-recess bell rang. Its sharp tone echoed off the
surrounding homes and bounced back into Billie’s ears. Ronald grabbed the bible
from Justine and ran toward the school. He tossed it into the air.
    Billie watched the sunlight catch the silver cross stamped
on the cover. The book landed in a mangled heap in a puddle. She glared up at
    Justine bent down as if to help Billie get up, but instead
waved her hand in Billie’s face and smirked. “Bye-bye, goody two shoes.”
Justine turned and raced back to the school.
    Billie pushed herself up and sat with her back against the
tree trunk. She wiped tears from her dusty cheeks and slapped dirt from her
scraped knees. When she was certain all the kids had returned to class, she
retrieved her books and papers. She plucked the bible from the puddle and wiped
it on her skirt, tried to flatten the wet and stained pages. Tears dripped onto
them, thwarting her efforts. She ran three blocks to home. She eased the door
open and sneaked inside so she wouldn’t wake her father, who was on a night
shift rotation.
    At four in the morning, she would hear the click of the door
against the jamb, the clank of bullets emptying from his service revolver into
the box of ammo, the scratch of his key in the lock of his gun safe. She never
slept until he was home safe, tucked into his own bed.
    She peered into her parent’s bedroom. He was snoring under
the covers. His badge and empty holster sat on the dresser next to the little
wooden bowl he emptied his pockets into. She loved the sound of change and keys
jangling with every step he took. The sound of the handcuffs tinkling against
each other at his lower back where they were clipped, ready to snap on the
wrists of evil people who dared commit crimes in his precinct.
    She closed her eyes and imagined cuffing

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