Daily Distractions
Part 17
by Ophelia

“So, no movie.” Jack, George, and I have been sitting in Grams’ kitchen for a few minutes now deciding what to do with the rest of our afternoon.

“No movie,” Jack agrees. George smiles and rests his chin in his hands. Jack stares up at the ceiling for a minute. I click my tongue against my teeth restlessly. We catch each others’ eyes in unison and laugh.

“Any suggestions?” Jack stares at me blankly. I return with my most empty gaze. “Staring contest?” Jack smiles affably and stares at me intently. I stare back, yawning a little. He crosses his eyes jokingly and I blink, giggling. George and Jack exchange high fives and then the three of us are back to exchanging bored stares.

“Well,” George starts, clearing his throat. “We could always go to the mall....and meet my sister. She always knows somewhere fun to spend an evening.”

“Your sister?” I raise an eyebrow. Jack didn’t tell me he had a sister. Jack shrugs my direction, indicating he didn’t know.

“She’s a few years older than me,” George explains. “Lives in her own apartment.”

“Does she have a name?” I live to be nosy these days. God. I need a man.

“Sarah ‘Geo’ Keefe.” George smiles in that way little brothers always smile when they’re about to annoy the hell out of their elder sibling. Pacey smiles that way around Gretchen and Dougie. It’s a wonder they haven’t killed him yet.

“Geo?” Jack says, mildly confused. He raises a hand in a “do tell” mannerism.

“Sarah’s middle initials are J and E. When I was six, I wrote about her for my first grade teacher. It was an assignment. Write about your family and then read it out loud for your parents. When I read it I read her initial like a word and sort of ran it together with the ‘O’ in O’Keefe.” George chuckles and blushes a bit. I can tell he’s been reminded of this story a lot. Like when I was a kid and I told my parents and my parents’ friends a joke. It was about a tractor. It wasn’t very funny, being that I made it up and I was only four or five at the time. So, one of my parents’ friends called me on it. Said my joke wasn’t very funny. I commented “that there aren’t many funny jokes about tractors” rather indignantly. Which would still come up at family get togethers....if my family ever got together. Damn. I need a man very badly.

Jack kicks me under the table and I turn my attention back to George with an only slightly concealed sigh. “So...I read ‘My sister is older than me. Her name is Sarah Geo Keefe.” Jack laughs and I giggle. The O’Keefe family seems to have a lot of fun with names. “My sister hates me for it, too. I started the entire family calling her ‘Geo.’ My dad calls her his ‘little used car.’” Ouch. I’d throw something at anyone calling me that. Something hard....like an apple, maybe.

Jack softly wonders aloud, “What’s the ‘J’ and the ‘E’ stand for?”

George answers, “’J’ is for Janet and ‘E’ is for Eponine....I sound like I’m on Sesame Street.” He rolls his eyes twice and expands, “Dad had a cousin named Janet he adored. Mom just really likes Les Miz. They refused to compromise on the middle name and just ended up putting down both names on the birth certificate.” He sets his head down on the kitchen table and yawns. His voice comes back muffled from the table, “So, do we want to head to the mall and meet my sister or what?”

Jack smiles, ruffles George’s hair and looks at me expectantly. “Yeah, why not....George, does Geo know any eligible men?” George and Jack look at me and laugh. Oh boy. Back to the mall we go. I hope Geo and I can become friends. Us “used cars” need to stick together....and maybe make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on apples we can watch rot.

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