Being For The Benefit Of Paramount Kites
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 37
Can't Buy Me Love

    A sea of cars zipped past the street as Andy and his friends waited to cross the street. Lauren had dropped them off in Downtown Cincinnati to go browsing around. She had told them to meet up with her around six and no later. Andy swatted away several flies from him. He was getting annoyed at the constant buzzing he was hearing. The sound of a bug buzzing always drove him crazy.
When the street sign lit up, they walked across the street. Savannah, in her teal baseball jersey and long shorts, hair braided tied loosely into a French braid, heedlessly jogged across the street. He liked that she was a gorgeous girl who actually didn't have an ego shoved up her sweet ass.
"Why'd you do that?" he asked her as they made it to the crosswalk.
"I didn't want to get hit." she said, catching her breath.
Andy laughed. Things like cars, airplanes, roller coasters, and rats freaked her out.
  Reese, dressed in a low-cut white tank top that cut off just above her navel, low-rider jeans, and a pair of heels, tossed her Sonic cup into a nearby trashcan. She flipped her dark-blond hair and looked inside a window that had a mannequin modeling a pair of white jeans.
"Three hundred dollars!?" she embellished. "Not worth it."
She paced ahead of the group, receiving stares from a bunch of geeky looking guys who were standing outside a video game store. In Savannah's opinion, she thought Reese was overexposed, especially with the big, silver hoop earrings. She was pretty, but the weather was a little chilly for her to be dressed like that. Andy didn't seem to mind Reese's choice in outfit at all.
     Savannah took a sip of her slushy before turning to Holly, who was texting someone on her cell phone.
"I think my feet are bleeding." she whined.
Holly giggled. "We've only been walking for an hour."
"Exactly." she huffed.
Savannah wasn't used to walking this long. In the sixth grade she tried out for track and it turned out to be a disaster. People told her she ran like a duck and she ended up quitting two weeks afterward. Everyone wouldn't let her live it down. Her sixth grade social studies teacher seemed to be upset about Savannah quitting because she gave her stern looks for the next couple of weeks. And when Savannah told her she was going to try out for seventh grade cheerleading, the teacher said, "Too bad. You'll probably quit that team, too, because it's too much hardwork."
  Savannah looked over her shoulders and saw that Carter was watching her. Ever since the night before, she had been weary of him ever since he criticized her about going to a party she and the girls had been invited to. They weren't talking so far. She immediately turned around and kept on walking straight ahead. Andy caught up with her. He thought he should get to know her a little better. Maybe finding out about what kind of stuff she was into.
"What's your favorite video game?" he asked her.
"Sega games, Mario, and there was this Nintendo 64 game called Glover I used to play at my daycare." she confirmed. "I only have computer games, though. I've never had any gaming systems."
   Andy looked at her as if she were crazy. He couldn't imagine never having a gaming system. Every person should have one. He was fifteen years old and knew every game that came out.
Suddenly an idea popped into his head. He looked at Savannah who was staring questionably at him.
"What?" she asked bemusedly.
  Ten minutes later, he was walking out of Game Stop carrying a large bag.
"I can't believe you spent your money for her." Elisha remarked. "You can't buy her love, after all."
"Yeah, but I can buy her fun." he said, winking at Savannah.
She just stood there dumbfounded. She had protested to Andy to not buy her an Xbox, but he wouldn't listen. Before she knew it, he was spending two hundred dollars on her.
"I just want to make up for your childhood loss." Andy smiled.
It wasn't out of the ordinary for him to do something nice for his friends. He once gave Holly a hundred dollars for her thirteenth birthday. He even bought Carter an expensive baseball card. The kind that was in a glass.
  Savannah shook her head. She didn't like being a burden on people. But she realized this was real. Andy was actually buying her something. This wouldn't be the first time that day he would spend money on her. When they went to Friday's, he paid for her dinner, against Savannah's protest of course. He even bought her ten video games to go with her Xbox. Andy had told her he had a thousand dollars in his pocket. She had no idea why his parents gave him that much money for him to spend. He told her it was because his parents knew he would need the money for pleasure. Money was no object for his parents.
  She had learned a lot about Andy. Like the fact that his parents were civil rights activists, his grandparents had toured with The Beatles, showed up at Martin Luther King's speech, was there when President Kennedy was shot, and his grandma even survived at a concentration camp. What was more unique was that his parents weren't snobs. They often enjoyed sharing money with charities and even gave a profit of over a million dollars to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Andy had often gone on mission trips to help children in African. He even showed her a picture of it. His hair looked funny with his seventies hair. Savannah thought he reminded her of Bobby Brady.
  It was still daylight when six-o'clock fell. They were all worn out. Maris and Lucas sat on the bench, Maris laying her head on Lucas's lap. Andy looked at the couple. They were for sure going out by then. Lucas looked up and beckoned Andy to sit next to them.
"Have you talked to Palma lately?" interrogated Lucas.
Andy was annoyed by Lucas's question. Of course he had texted Palma. It was just that Palma was busy with schoolwork. It was still Friday after all. They were on vacation, not her. Andy felt for Palma. He was still attracted to her, but the relationship got old after awhile. He realized they were better off as friends. It would have been the polite thing to do to break up with her after Homecoming and instead of just throwing her away just when it was coming up.
  "Do you have a date to homecoming, yet?" Holly asked Savannah, who was sitting stiffly next to Carter. He turned around to look at her.
"No," said Savannah. "I think I'm not going."
Holly gasped. "What the shit! You are being gay!"
Elisha piped in. "Yeah, you don't have to go, you know."
"You can just go with friends." resumed Holly. "Like us!"
Savannah shrugged. "I guess."
  "You can ask Marcus." chaffed Maris.
Andy reviled. He knew Savannah wouldn't do that. They weren't even from the same state. Savannah would be completely foolish if she were to do a thing like that.
"I might," considered Savannah.
Mark slapped his hand on his face. "Don't be an idiot. You don't know that guy."
"Yes, I do!" she protested. "We talked on Facebook and I've been texting him. He's really a nice guy. Holly can back me up on this one!"
Holly considered the thought for a moment. They really didn't know the guys. Andy and Mark could have been on to something.
"Knowing a guy for one day doesn't mean you know him." explained Mark.
"I'll get to know him when I go to the party tonight." Savannah responded.
"Savannah, you're not going." Carter said to her for the first time that day.
  Savannah looked at him like he had spoken another language. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. All this time she had thought he was cool, but now he was turning into a jerk. She couldn't believe he ever liked him. She was glad he didn't have a crush on her, that meant they would never have to deal with his assholery.
She glared at him. "Who are you?"
"Savannah, we're only worried for your safety." Holly said softly. "I don't even think I'm going to the party. We could go to the movies tonight instead."
"I don't believe this!" Savannah yelled. "You said it yourself you thought the boys were cute. Now you're backing out on me!"
"Calm down, Vanny." Andy said, putting an arm on her shoulder, but she shrugged him off.
"Look, Savannah---" Carter started to say, but was cut off by Savannah.
"Don't talk to me!" she snarled.
  She then turned to Reese, Maris, Elisha, and Danielle. "Well, at least I have you four on my side."
They each turned their heads away. Savannah looked at them in disbelief. Everyone was treating her the way her parents did. Who were they to say she couldn't go? They were just the same age as her. They couldn't tell her what to do.
"You can't do this!" she sniveled. "I won't let you! I'm going whether you like it or not! Even if I have to go by myself."
"Who gonna take you?" Carter demanded. "Certainly not Lauren because she wouldn't allow it. As a matter of fact, I'm telling her what you're thinking about doing."
"Screw you!" she screamed, stomping her feet on the ground.
She didn't care if she was acting immature. They were being unfair. 
"Savannah, come here." Andy said, pulling her to the side.
Savannah sighed in relief. Andy was nice. He was the only one who wasn't saying anything that ticked her off.
He put his arms over her shoulder and pulled her in closer so she was the only one who could hear what he was about to say. Savannah smiled. She knew she could count on Andy to make things better.
"You're not going," he declared.

 

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