In this scene from the WIP, BETTING ON THEO, a story about a middle school. Dev tells Theo she has entered the wall crawl challenge set up by their friend, Jacob. The scene also raises the question about how close Theo and Dev are becoming. Other entries on this website. Check the archives, or follow the site
She had a most imperfect face. Her square jaw jutted in defiance more often than not, warning that if you had a thought to touch what was clearly a soft cheek, she’d grab your fingers and bend them back, making it clear how wrong you were to even think about it. And her eyes were dark and hidden a lot, protectors of the secrets that they knew or maybe the pain; and her mouth was too often a straight line, narrow and hard, Imperfect, like the pieces didn’t fit. From an angle her nose seemed too big. Then she’d turn and her eyes would soften to a tease and after she bit her lip her mouth would curl into sweet wicked smile and all the imperfections would be gone.
At least, that was how Theo imagined it, head resting on the cement wall of the school, eyes closed because the setting sun stabbed around the corner of the building. The kiss would be magic after he ran a finger over her eyebrows and down her cheek to brush her lips, and how the muscles of her face would push her lips to his and …
“Hey, T, T, wake up.” Dev pushed a fist into his left shoulder after she sat next to him. “Wake up, ya missed it, didn’t you?”
“What. No, I didn’t… missed what?”
“I climbed up the outside of the fire escape, across the top, and back down. Just hands. I’m thinking that Jacob should add that event to his betting pool.”
“You’re really doing it, the wall crawl.”
“You did. I figure it’s easier to win that prize for this stupid thing than doing farm work.”
“But, yeah, but it was an accident. If Bobby Danforth hadn’t challenged me… You really think it’s stupid?”
“But he did, and there’s no going back. If you can do it, I can do it. And yes, it’s stupid. All you little boys, trying to prove yourself.” She shook her head. “Prove yourself by working.”
“Hey, I worked. I told ya, helped my parents at the coffee shop, hauled hay and picked fruit.”
“I know. You’re different. Come on. I need to get out of your mother’s clothes.”
Dev stood and held out her hands. Theo reached up and she pulled him to his feet with little effort.
“You’re strong,” he said, trying not to sound too surprised.
“T, I’ve been picking vegetables since I was eight. My hands are already tough. Didn’t you notice when we held hands the other day?”