Fiction: Meeting Trevor (The Early Days)


Mitchell watched from the couch, half-amused, as Amy pleaded her case on the other side of the family room. So far, she wasn’t doing so hot.

“Mom, it’s just a movie!”

“Not with a boy we haven’t met yet, Amy,” their mother said placidly. Mitchell watched her more than Amy, actually, fascinated by the way that she got calmer the more Amy yelled and whined. He wanted to shut Amy up somehow; she was getting as bad as Beth. Boys, boys, boys.

He shook his head and tossed his baseball into the air, catching it so easily, he didn’t even have to think about it. There was more to life than boys.

Baseball, for example.

And, he thought, trying not to grin too bright in case Ma or Amy saw it and flew off the handle, thinking he was smiling at them, girls.

“Well, if you drive me there, you can meet him then,” Amy tried.

“How’s he getting there?”

Amy looked down at the carpet and twisted her shoulders back and forth. Mitchell’s grin grew; this was going to be good. “He just said he’d meet me there, out front, and if he wasn’t there five minutes before, it wasn’t his fault and we’d try another time.”

Mitchell sat up and leaned forward, elbows on his knees as he kept playing with the baseball. Ma was going to hate that excuse. She didn’t go in for situations that involved if, unless they were science experiments.

Sure enough, Ma was frowning. “That doesn’t sound like a dependable young man,” she said. She gave Amy one of those long looks down her nose, the kind that made all of them squirm. Amy folded her arms behind her back and kept staring at the carpet, her shoulders still twisting as she fidgeted.

“Amy, are you sure this is the sort of boy you want to be with?” The question was gentle, which surprised Mitchell. He’d thought Ma was ready for some strong action. The fact that she wasn’t was almost a let-down.

Amy crossed her arms over her chest and scowled as she nodded. Mitchell tossed his baseball again and kept quiet. Things were about to get good. Getting kicked out now would not be smart.

“Why?” Ma asked and folded her hands over her knees, like she did when she really wanted to listen.

Amy shrugged. “‘Cause he’s neat. He’s different from the other boys. He’s not a loser like Pipsqueak.” She jerked her chin at him.

“Hey!” he said, his brain already in hyperdrive, thinking of ways to get back at her for what was sure to be his imminent eviction from the room.

“Leave your brother out of this,” Ma said in that same calm voice, but Mitchell could tell, as he shot her a grateful look, that she was losing patience. “I will not drive you to the movies to meet this young man who may or may not be there,” she said and stood up. What she said next was going to be the judge’s verdict. Mitchell bit back another smile, thinking that social studies had been good for something more than a place to sit and daydream.

“If you want to go, find your own way there,” Ma said.

She left the room and Mitchell tossed the baseball again, fighting the temptation to torment Amy somehow. It’d be fun to throw the baseball at her and leave a bruise for this movie date that might not happen, but Ma would kill him for that. Not worth it. Besides, he’d feel bad every time he had to look at the bruise, and bruises took a couple of days to fade.

“Any ideas?” Amy asked him glumly.

He shrugged. “What do I know? I’m just a pipsqueak.”

She flounced out of the room and slammed her bedroom door behind her. Ma stuck her head out of the kitchen and frowned at the noise; Mitchell shrugged and sprawled on his back on the couch, still tossing the ball. It was sort of a bummer that Amy’s new dude wasn’t going to show up at the house. She’d been chasing around some pretty interesting guys lately.

That meant the sort that Dad and Ma hated.

Which meant that maybe Mitchell ought to be trying harder to get Golden Girl to that movie theater. Anything that got Amy in trouble was worth the effort, especially when he could conveniently get himself off the hook at the same time.

There wasn’t much a thirteen-year-old kid could do to help out, though, and before Mitchell could come up with even a bad plan, Beth was coming out of the girls’ bedroom and talking softly to Ma.

“I’ll be right there with her, Mom. Nothing will happen. I’ll… I’ll take Pipsqueak and we’ll sit in the back row and keep an eye on them.”

Mitchell covered his face with his baseball glove. The last thing he wanted to do was sit through some movie Amy was sure to have picked. She went for that sappy romantic shit.

“Maybe letting her get stood up by this boy isn’t such a bad idea,” Ma said thoughtfully. br /br /Mitchell tossed his baseball and wondered /br /An hour later, he and Beth were standing near the popcorn counter, watching Amy talk to her guy. Mitchell recognized him, sort of. He was in Mitchell’s grade, but that didn’t mean much. So were five hundred other kids.

This kid stood out, though, because he wore a jean jacket all the time, and had long brown hair. Like… below his shoulders long. Mitchell, who’d recently convinced Dad to let him grow out the brush cut he hated, couldn’t see letting his own get like that. He wasn’t going to start skipping classes, either.

Beth leaned over to him. “Looks like Perfect Amy’s doing some rebelling,” she said.

Mitchell shrugged.

“This could be fun,” Beth continued in a taunting voice, like she was challenging Mitchell to something. He wasn’t sure what, though, and again, he shrugged. Ma always said it was rude to not answer at all and that even a gesture was enough, so Mitchell spent a lot of time shrugging and not a lot of time actually speaking. No one seemed to mind.

“Beth, Pi– Mitchell, this is Trevor,” Amy said, leading him inside.

The other kid stared at Mitchell. “I know you.” He nodded like it all made sense. “You saved my ass that one time at lunch.”

Mitchell shrugged. So he’d seen Asshole Jerry sticking his foot out, ready to trip Trevor and send him flying. It hadn’t been hard to ruin Asshole Jerry’s plans with a quick gesture at Trevor. After all, that had to be the oldest trick in the book, the one that everyone was on to. Mitchell couldn’t respect someone who took that route.

“Thanks for that,” Trevor said, giving Mitchell a companionable chuck to the shoulder. “I’d have probably gotten expelled again if he’d dumped me.”

Mitchell looked over his shoulder, frowning. The guy had touched him.

“That didn’t hurt, you wuss,” Amy said to him. She fidgeted some more, wringing her hands. Trevor made a point of separating them and holding onto one.

“Do you guys really have to watch the movie, too?” Amy asked, biting back a smile as she stared at her hand in Trevor’s.

“Well, here’s the thing,” Trevor said, a smile playing at his lips. “If you think I’m gonna sit through some lovey shit like I said I would, you’ve got another thing coming. No, babe, we’re gonna see the thriller. See if we can throw popcorn at the bad guys.” He nodded like it was all settled.

“But…” Amy said.

“But nothing,” Trevor said with a definitive nod. “We can make that sappy shit happen ourselves. But how often do you get to take on the bad guys and save the world?”

Mitchell nodded. He liked the way this guy thought. Well, other than being romantic with Amy. That thought made his skin crawl.

Beth was grinning. “So you mean,” she drawled and tossed her long whitish-blonde hair over her shoulder, “you’re teaching our little Amy that it’s okay to fib a bit to our parents?”

Trevor looked her over for a long minute. Mitchell half-expected Beth to fidget like Amy was, but she didn’t. “Got a problem with that?” he asked, sticking his tongue into his cheek. Mitchell wondered if he was trying to challenge Beth — and if he had any idea how fast she’d put him in his place if he tried.

“Only that it took her this long to find you,” Beth said, her voice warming like she liked this guy. Mitchell knew he did; he wondered what it would take for Trevor to dump Amy and be his friend instead.

“Stick with me,” Trevor said, nodding firmly. “I’ve got lots to teach the three of you.”

Mitchell shrugged and hoped that he’d get to learn some of it.



  1. karen!

    July 26, 2006 4:33 pm

    Love it!!!!BR/BR/Trev has alot of attitude for a thirteen-year-old. :oBR/(but shouldn’t we have expected that 😀 )

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 26, 2006 5:05 pm

    Hey, if it wasn’t for attitude, Trev wouldn’t have had much.BR/BR/What about Mitchell? Verbose, isn’t he?

  3. karen!

    July 26, 2006 8:18 pm

    I also love Mrs. Voss… she is so authentic

  4. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 26, 2006 10:39 pm

    Good. She reminds me of my maternal grandparents, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry that Sonya gets preachy.BR/BR/But, hey, she’s a mom!

  5. karen!

    July 28, 2006 10:46 am

    I loved this special outtake.BR/BR/Maybe if I come up with some more ideas we can do more of these outtakes-on-demand…BR/BR/actually it would be kinda cool to get all your groupies to request outtakes and see what kind of stuff they’re interested in learning more about…

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 28, 2006 10:51 am

    I’ll do outtakes on request, absolutely! It’s fun!

  7. cheesygiraffe

    April 3, 2007 1:53 pm

    I was thinking the same thing as Karen but remembering how Trev lived before being around Mitchell and his family I’m not aurprised. I loved it. This has to be one of my favorite outtake so far. 🙂

  8. Susan Helene Gottfried

    April 3, 2007 3:11 pm

    Thanks, babe! I’m trying to catch up on all my old posts that were never labelled, so expect to see more cross your feed reader…

  9. Wylie Kinson

    June 18, 2008 8:49 pm

    How did I miss this one??BR/Young Mitchell in a brush cut *shudder*

  10. Alice Audrey

    June 21, 2008 1:36 am

    Excellent!BR/BR/Mitchell reminds me a bit of Ben, only a year or two older.

  11. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Susan’s Inside Writing: Old Friends
  12. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Thursday Thirteen #14 — Meet and Greet Trevor Wolff
  13. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Thursday Thirteen — Progress

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