“Hey, Ashlyn. I see you found our table.” She slapped the spot across from her and told me to drop my tray down. With one swift movement, Hailey reached for my plate, picked up my chicken patty, and threw it to the ground. “Not real meat.”
My eyes darted to my now dirty chicken patty and I frowned. I was okay with not-real meat when I was this hungry. My stomach rumbled and I reached for one of the fries on my plate, shoving it into my mouth.
“So how’s your first day going?”
“It’s okay. I’m fine.” I really wanted to tell her that I felt like crawling into a ball because high school could be tough at times, I had bullies already, and my teacher was my current crush… But I didn’t want to scare her off.
“I know, it sucks, right? This whole town kind of sucks, but you get used to it.”
“That’s scary. Getting used to sucking.”
“Well, it’s not the sucking that’s scary. It’s the swallowing that’s the real bitch,” Ryan grinned as he walked up to our conversation. “What’s going on, hookers?” He pulled up a chair to our table and took some of my fries.
I turned to see Daniel sitting at the table in the middle of the lunchroom. Of course he would be on lunch duty. I rolled my eyes as my shoulders slumped, and I shoved more fries into my mouth.
“Whoa, slow down, Chicago. Or else you’ll pick up the Wisconsin fifteen,” Ryan said, sliding my tray away from me. He then proceeded to eat more of my fries.
Ryan and Hailey were definitely siblings—their brown wavy hair and blue eyes were a dead giveaway—but they were pretty much the complete opposite of one another. Hailey was quiet and reserved. Ryan was a freaking monkey, in the best possible ways.
“I broke up with Tony.” He pouted for a second, looking truly pained, before turning to the lunch lady a few feet away from us. “Are all the nachos gone?! Rwanda baby! I told you to save me nachos! Geez! It’s so hard to live in a world like this.” His head dramatically slammed against the table, which he followed up with sounds of his fake cries.
“You broke up with Tony? I thought you liked Tony!” Hailey exclaimed, confused by her brother’s sudden change of heart.
I was trying to deal with the sudden fact that Ryan liked boys. Unless Tony was actually Toni—which could be short for Antonia, Catriona, Antonina, Antonietta...
“Oh, I did. I liked him fine. But then the ass**le had to go and f**k that up by saying he loved me. I mean, can you believe that? Loved me. How over the top and dramatic can one person get? I mean, hell. Lust at seventeen, sure. Sex buddies at eighteen, shit yeah. But love? Love doesn’t enter anyone’s life until you turn forty-two, add fifty pounds to your body, and start complaining about the younger generations. Once someone can put up with your forty-two-year-old annoying ass and nasty farts, you know that’s real love.” He paused. “Hot pockets, Rwanda baby? Anything?” Ryan shouted, and Rwanda looked terrified for letting him down. Ryan’s shoulders sank and he threw a balled-up napkin at the poor worker behind the counter. “Oh, plus, I slept with Tony and for some reason Tony got all weird about that.”
Wait—so there were two Tonys? It was hard to keep up with Ryan’s mind.
Hailey shook her head toward her brother, but I didn’t think she was shocked at all. “Keep it in your pants, Ryan.”
His hand flew to his chest and his eyes narrowed in fright. “Why the hell would I do that when others are so kindly inviting me into theirs? Plus, the idea of collecting spider webs down there like my sissy isn’t very pleasing.”
I giggled at that. I liked how Ryan was so dirty in all the right ways. Hailey’s cheeks turned pink, and she shoved me, “What are you laughing at? I doubt your va-jay-jay is getting any more action than mine.”
I opened my mouth to object, but I shut it quickly. Well, she wasn’t wrong.
Ryan groaned. “Hails, don’t say va-jay-jay. It’s a vagina. It’s also where some guys like to put their penis—which, for the life of me, I cannot understand, but whatever. We aren’t twelve anymore.”
She blushed even more. “I know that…”
“Prove it. Penis-vagina game, happening right now.” He challenged her, slamming his fist against the table, and she rolled her eyes. I didn’t know why, but I got the idea that this was a normal interaction between the siblings, and I sat back, watching it take place.
Hailey saw her brother pushing her, and she accepted, even though she would probably lose. Ryan explained to me that the penis-vagina game had been played by the pair in many settings. It started at a whisper—Ryan saying penis, Hailey muttering vagina—and it built up until ultimately someone screamed the word or until someone chickened out.
“Penis,” Ryan whispered, his brown eyes stuck on his sister.
“Vagina,” Hailey sang sweetly, showing that she could in fact say the word.
“Penis,” he hissed, growing louder.
I watched Hailey’s body tighten up as she glanced around the room, eyeing how many people were here.
“Vagina,” she said a hair louder than the last.
This continued until the next stage was the screaming.
“PENIS PENIS PENIS!” Ryan stood up and screamed, flailing his arms above his hands victoriously, because the shade of Hailey’s face told him that there was no way she was going to challenge that.
“Ryan!” Daniel shot him a stern look.
Ryan winked in return. He fell back into his chair, pleased by the attention he grabbed. I leaned back in my chair, nervous that Daniel was looking our way.