Roadside Assistance
the bus.”
    She laughed. “Zander is harmless, probably the most harmless guy at Cameronville High. Trust me.”
    What does that mean? “I don’t care if he’s a priest, I’m not going to get in the car with him. I don’t even know him.” In all honesty, I knew that if I got an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach that overcame me every time I imagined speaking to him, I’d likely pass out the moment I got into his car. But I wasn’t about to admit that to Whitney. “Just tell me the bus number.”
    She threw her hands up in surrender. “Fine. It’s 176, but I don’t want to hear it if you get hit on by freshmen or pelted with spitballs.”
    “Thanks. See you later.” I jogged across the parking lot and hopped onto the bus.
    By the time the bus reached my stop, I’d been offered phone numbers from four freshmen and actually had several spitballs lodged in my curls. I walked around to the back of the house and saw that the U-Haul trailer was gone and the Suburban was backed up to the detached garage. My dad must’ve made a trip to town today. I entered the house through the back door and found Logan sitting at the table chewing an apple while leafing through Hot Rod Magazine.
    “Hey,” I said, dropping my bag onto the chair next to him. “How was school?”
    He shrugged. “Okay. We’re supposed to read for forty-five minutes every night.” He made a face accompanied by gagging noises.
    I snickered, crossing to the counter. “Reading’s not so bad. It makes you smarter.” I swiped a pear from the bowl on the counter and took a bite, savoring the sweet juice.
    “I’d rather read stuff like this article on this awesomerestored Barracuda.” With a toothy grin, he held up the magazine, displaying a deep orange 1970 model.
    Leaning back against the counter, I nodded. “Is that what you want to build someday?”
    “Yeah. Someday.” He flipped the page and then looked at me again. “Do you like Plymouths?”
    “Sure.” I shrugged. “They’re pretty cool.”
    He grinned. “You prefer Chevys, right?”
    I laughed, taking another bite of the pear. “Am I that transparent?”
    “All you and Tyler talked about when I visited you was Chevys, so yeah, you are.”
    I ignored his reference to Tyler. “It’s in the Curtis blood, I guess. My dad loved his Mustangs, but he preferred to race Chevys.”
    “I would love to race, but I probably never will,” Logan said. “Dad says I should concentrate on school and think of cars as a hobby.”
    I bit back my frown, the comment Whitney made in the car this morning echoing through my mind. “That’s a good idea. School’s important.” I nodded toward the magazine. “Is that the newest issue?”
    “It came today. Want to see it?”
    “Thanks.” I pushed off the counter. “When you’re done. I have a ton of homework.”
    Just as I grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator, Darlene emerged from the laundry. “Emily! How was your day?” Her eyes moved to my shorts and she sucked in a breath. “What on earth happened to your shorts?”
    I glanced down at the spot. “I had a run in with cream cheese this morning in the car.” I shrugged. “No biggie.”
    She studied my curls. “And what is stuck in your hair, dear?”
    I reached up and pulled a few pieces of paper from my locks. “Oh, probably spitballs from the bus.”
    She looked confused. “The bus?”
    I nodded. “Yup, the bus was my mode of transportation this afternoon.”
    “Hmm. Well, take those shorts off and I’ll treat them right away.” She flitted across the kitchen to the sink, where she added dish soap and pushed on the hot water. “I have this fabulous stain remover pen that works wonders. It got ketchup out of one of Logan’s white shirts last week.”
    “I’ll bring them down in a bit. Thanks.” I gathered up my bag and water and started for the stairs.
    “Wait,” she called, catching up to me. “You didn’t tell me how your day went.”
    “It was good.

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