“You are such a…girl, Jenna,” her brother teases.
“Duh, Brian!” she replies as she stands. She taps the front of his brown leather loafers with the front of her purple pumps and points her toes. She smiles at him with a crooked smile and chuckles. Her brother watches as she glides to the other side of the bar to join her friends. He looks at her friends and mutters, “She really is a girl.”
“What’s that?” his friend asks as he sits down across from him.
“Hey, Shawn,” Brian greets. “I just realized that my sister is a girl.”
“Yeah, so?” Shawn asks with a shrug.
“Well, she’s not a bad looking one either,” Brian says with awe. “In fact, she’s pretty gorgeous.”
Shawn glances across the room and looks away with a smile.
“What?” the brother asks.
“She’s not a girl anymore, Brian,” the friend contradicts.
“She’s what…twenty-one, twenty-two?” the brother asks himself.
Shawn looks at him with a furrowed brow and says, “No. She’s twenty-three. She’s finishing college next year.”
“Huh.” Brian turns his gaze back across the room with his mouth slightly agape. “Wow.”
“Yeah,” Shawn states. “I think she’ll be a good interpreter.”
Brian turns to look at his friend with a startled look. “You knew what she was studying to be?”
“Sure,” Shawn responds quietly. “I think it’s cool how she can switch between Mandarin Chinese and French and then start speaking in Arabic.”
“It wasn’t that long ago that she was climbing trees and walking around with skinned knees and bandages,” the brother reflects. “Remember those red boys high tops she used to wear?”
The friend looks over to see the little purple pumps and then allows his eyes to travels up her leg to the hem of her skirt. “She doesn’t have skinned knees now.”
Brian looks at him and watches as his friend takes a long drink of his beer and turns to gaze at the television on the opposite wall.
“You noticed?” the brother asks with his mouth agape.
The friend looks at him and smiles. “Yeah,” he looks down with embarrassment. “For a while now.” They sit in silence for a few minutes and Shawn glances at Brian’s face to see a furrowed brow. “Is…that okay?” he asks with trepidation.
Brian studies his friend and then studies his sister again. He turns back to his friend and catches him gazing at Jenna with a small smile.
“Yeah,” Brian states with a grin and turns to watch the television. “Who’s winning?” he asks.
“I don’t know man,” Shawn replies.
The brother chuckles and again says, “Huh.”
He watches his friend lift his glass and smiles broadly as he takes a drink.
Photo attributed to David Knox.