Warning Signs 7

“Dorrie called me the other day.” Dan hadn’t planned to tell Doube-J about the call from the teen’s mother.

“Yeah?” Double-J leaned forward and snatched his down jacket from the floor, pulling it to him like the leash on a disobedient dog. “What’s she want?”

She had actually pocket-dialed his number, their conversation when he returned his call filled with apologies and reassurances, void of content yet meaningfully polite. “All she wants, is for you to be healthy and happy.”

“And graduate on time?”

Dan blinked. “She didn’t say that, but it’s funny you — ”

Christ!” Double-J thrust his snarling face forward, the thin wires of his black hair and moustache seeming to come alive. “This is fucking pathetic. I told you, told her,  I already got enough credits, all I’m doing now is killing time until spring.” With a disgusted roar, HRRRRRUR!, Double-J tossed his jacket across the cafeteria, the smooth cloth of its surface skimming across the tiled floor.

Jimmy stepped in between Double-J and Dan. “Ain’t no call — ”

“YOU WANT ME ON THIS GODDAMN TEAM, YOU GET OFF MY CASE!” The teen’s voice was echoing violently in the large room, as his right index finger jabbed past Jimmy’s shoulder, in a direct line to Dan’s face. “DON’T YOU SAY NOTHING ‘BOUT ME, TO MY PARENTS, OR LEFTY, OR ANYONE ELSE! YOU UNDERSTAND?”

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