“Kal and I are headed into town for a supply run. Anybody want anything?” Caleb’s hair was freshly combed and still slightly wet from a recent shower.
“Dude, are you wearing cologne?” Owen leaned toward Caleb and took a big whiff. “That shirt you’re wearing doesn’t even have a stain on it either.”
“Cut it out man, I just took a shower, that’s all.” Caleb shrugged his shoulders and as hard as he tried, he couldn’t shake the sheepish look he had on his face.
Leandra took a long sip of her iced tea. “I think you and Kal are going on a date. Your flimsy offer to get us something from town was to throw off the scent. But, if it smells like a date and walks like a date, then, it’s a date.”
“Don’t you mean if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then, it’s a duck?” Kalista appeared from the hallway in a colorful sundress and summer sandals. She was sliding a shawl over her shoulders. Her hair glistened and curtained down to her mid-back. Kalista had on a touch of mascara and pink lip gloss.
“Yea, but, a date isn’t a duck, so, I had to change it some, anyway…stop trying to change the subject. We know you two are boyfriend and girlfriend. That’s old news. But, trying to ditch us is a new thing.” Leandra turned to Owen. “So, it starts. We are not the trusty sidekicks anymore, we are the third and fourth wheels.” She stopped mid-thought and adopted a quizzical expression. “But, if you think about it, a car can’t go anywhere with just two wheels. So, you kinda need us.”
Caleb shook his keys in her direction. “Maybe I’ll buy myself a motorcycle then.” He put his hand on Kalista’s back and they scooted out the front door before anyone could argue. The screen door lightly slammed with a succinct finish to the conversation.
Owen sat down next to Leandra on the couch. “We could play dominoes or cards or something.” Owen glanced down to his watch. “It’s very early in the evening.”
“Oh, yea, and I bet Pearl is coming over or something, so, you’re just seeing how much time you have to spend with me. It’s the beginning of the end, I can see it now.”
“No way, Lea. We are buddies, so, you pick it and we will do it.”
“Are you certain Pearl isn’t coming over?” Her lip stuck out just slightly.
“Pearl has to work tonight, so it’s just you and me kid.” Owen brushed hair away from her eyes. “What are you sad about?”
Leandra grabbed a pillow and hugged it into her stomach. “I’m not sad, it’s just hard. Everything is fine when we are in a group, but, now, we are starting to pair off and I’m literally the third wheel.”
“Why don’t you have a fella of your own? You’re a beautiful girl…and smart and funny.”
Leandra looked around the room before she leaned in close to Owen and whispered. “I’ve got a confession to make. I’m really very shy.”
Owen chuckled and gently gave her a push on the shoulder. “Right…you? Shy? I ain’t buying it.”
Her eyes bubbled with tears. “I can talk to you, but, I wouldn’t have any idea what to say to a guy.”
“Oh, really? Thanks a lot, so, now I’m a… duck?”
She immediately busted into girlish laughter. “No, silly goose, you aren’t a duck. You’re Owen.”
“Owen the goose, has a nice ring to it. But, I’m still not sure you could sell it.”