The next Friday night something was off. Neither of us would admit it, but there was just something in the air, something foreboding. But when youâ€™re an addict, the carrot is too bright and shiny to pay attention to portent. After all, we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it. We had a vision.
All went fine at the Sev. Mathematics worked out. No banana. All was well. It was time to race home.
We normally walked on the Park Lane Mall side of the street, but on this night we were on the Shopperâ€™s Square side. I noticed a black Trans Am replete with a large eagle decal on the hood up ahead. These cars, along with El Caminoâ€™s, were pretty common in Reno, (and still are in Sparks), but the passenger side door was open. And there was a man inside.
Walk fast. Look down. Stay focused on candy.
The eagle decal grew larger and larger and we got closer and closer. Then, there it was. Up close full-on eagle.
â€œHi girls,â€ a calm male voice said, who I will now refer to as GP, (Grody Pedophile).
Thank God I was now a porn-cinefile, so I immediately recognized male masturbation.
Debbie immediately jaywalked across all six lanes of the street to the other side. She didnâ€™t even look.
â€œYou want to help me out?â€ GP actually said. Grody.
I booked it. Fast. Unfortunately, so did GP. He hopped in his bitchinâ€™ not-a-Camero-but-so-very-close-to-one, revved up all eight of his horses, and proceeded to CHASE US.
Debbie decided to runÂ down a dark backstreet, for what reason I will never know. Places with people are safe. Places with light are safe. Dark backstreets where no one would hear our prepubescent screams were most definitely not safe.
But Debbie had the candy. And she was going down that dark street. 1 + 1 = I was not going to let my candy go that easily.
We were about halfway down the block, still a block-and-a-half from Debbieâ€™s house, when the street was illuminated by the lights of GPâ€™s grody car. He was heading straight for us.
I had to think fast. It came to me. Tacos. So obvious.
There was a Taco Hut one block away. I was so scared Iâ€™d never run so fast in my life. Debbie wasnâ€™t as fast, but her leg-span was about three of mine, so we were running at about the same child-running-from-grody-pedophile clip.
â€œTaco! Hut!â€ I yelled, interspersed with panting.
â€œNo! Home is closer!â€ She argued.
â€œThere are people at Taco Hut! HE CANâ€™T RAPE US WITH PEOPLE WATCHING!â€ I screamed with all my might.
â€œYouâ€™re wrong!â€ She lamely disagreed.
I made the executive decision right then and there. It was better to let Debbie get raped and the candy get stolen than for both of us to succumb to the same horrible fate.
â€œIâ€™M GOING TO THE TACO HUT!â€ I hollered as I ran toward the neon taco shining like freedom.
I ran into the Taco Hut full of patrons, panting and generally freaking the fuck out, and now looking like a complete weirdo. Which I am, but I donâ€™t like other people thinking so without my approval. I pictured Jolly Ranchers, naked Debbie, Tootsie Rolls, and GP bodily fluid all over some dark scary lawn. I had no idea where she was and what was happening to her, or our candy.
I had not a cent to my name as it had all been spent on sugar crack, so my awkward moment became even more awkward when the guy at the counter asked me for my order. How long could I hide out here until they kicked me out? Where was GP? Was he lurking somewhere in the enchilada sauce?
Come on byÂ on ThursdayÂ to get answers to all these questions and more when the conclusion to White Lines is unveiled.Â