Brick had seen Link and Izzy together. At least they didn't see him. It was best to stay in the shadows. Or did she even care? He wasn't sure why this bothered him, but every time he got in a fix like this he darted off in the opposite direction. He did his best never to walk by the bakery. He avoided Lily at all cost. So no farmer's market for him this year. After all, there were prices to lower at the grocery store and of course, building those displays really took a lot of effort too.
Of course, he didn't tell Harley any of this during their late-night talks that seemed to go on forever. But she was always currant about something, even if she babysat most days since school was out. It was a pretty sweet gig, she said. It paid well and she wasn't having to stay home.
"But, I thought you liked everything at home," he said as if he'd hit the refresh button of his brain. Sometimes, he'd restate everything she said just to keep awake or to let her know he was really listening.
"It's fine." Harley was her usual Kawaii sweet self.
"Are you sure?" Brick reminded her how he didn't live at home. He still lived with his grandmother and her husband. "It's not like I hate my step-dad. I mean, he's great. I like him a lot, but it's my mom. It's hard for us to be nice to each other. Sometimes, I think it's because she hates my dad so much, that she still has to take it out on me. I mean, he's messed up. He's in jail. I'm beginning to think he likes it there." He knew he'd said too much. Seriously, he hadn't thought of his dad in a long while. He'd stayed away from his mom and her new family too. They very rarely had Sunday night dinners. It was true. Life was busy. And he heard she got a promotion so he guessed she was more stressed than ever.
"You never talk this much about your family," Harley said.
"Sorry," Brick said as sweat stuck the phone to his ear. He'd hate for Harley to see him this sweaty. He sat back up from his bed. Honestly, his neck was starting to hurt.
"I think you're brave," she told him.
"I really wish we could go to the river fest dance," she then said. "But I've never gone to a dance."
"You're kidding me?" He kind of teased, yet he didn't believe that was possible. Not Harley. He thought she danced all the time.
"I'm afraid people would think I was funny."
"Oh, you want to be funny with me don't you," Brick smiled. "Fun is good." He thought they should go. "But do you know the two-step?"
"It'll be country music," he told her his Gran Betty was a pro. "She taught me." He told her there was plenty of time to learn the two-step. After all, practice made perfect.