The rain began to fall harder, thick drops pounding metallically on the roof of Double-J’s car, the road’s pavement erupting in splatters, shallow pools of brown water forming in the dirt and crumbled asphalt of the road’s soft shoulder.
Butch cleared his throat, and smiled with confidence as he looked down at Double-J. “I don’t want any fools on the fencing team either.”
“And I know how foolish it might seem to turn down an offer for a ride, and continue walking in this rain.”
“You look cold.”
“I am cold. But I also know that some people would also consider it foolish to accept a ride from a stranger.”
Double-J looked up at Butch, and blinked.
Butch sneezed, rubbed his nose, continued. “Foolish to accept a ride from someone without knowing if he’s trustworthy. Without knowing if he’s really doing you a favor, or has some hidden agenda.”
Double-J was smiling as he responded. “Parry-riposte. Touch right.”
“Like I said, I know some people would consider me foolish if I accepted a ride under those conditions. And like you just told me — you don’t want any fools on your fencing team.”
Double-J nodded, approvingly. “Your name’s Butch, right?” Butch nodded. “Butch — you’re cold and wet. If you get sick, you’ll miss fencing practice, and with you starting out, you can’t afford to miss any practices. Given that, I’m no longer asking — I’m telling you, ordering you, to walk over to the passenger side of this car, open the door, and get in.”
Butch nodded. “Thank you,” he said, walking around the front of Double-J’s car, his feet squishing into the wet dirt of the soft shoulder.