Quotes for When Lightning Strikes, first book in the 1-800-Where-R-You series by Meg Cabot
It all started that afternoon in the burger line in the cafeteria, when Jeff Day told Ruth that she was so fat, they were going to have to bury her in a piano case, just like Elvis.
Which is totally stupid, since—to the best of my knowledge—Elvis was not buried in a piano case. I don't care how fat he was when he died. I'm sure Priscilla Presley could have afforded a better casket for the King than a piano case.
And secondly, where does Jeff Day get off, saying this kind of thing to somebody, especially to my best friend?
So I did what any best friend would do under the same circumstances. I hauled off and slugged him.
"She hurt his neck," Coach Albright said.
Mr. Goodhart blinked at Coach Albright. He said, carefully, as if Coach Albright were a bomb that needed defusing, "I'm sure his neck must hurt very much. I'm quite certain that a five-foot-two young woman could do a lot of damage to a six-foot-three, two-hundred-pound tackle."
"Yeah," Coach Albright said. Coach Albright is immune to sarcasm. "He's gonna hafta ice it."
"I'm certain it was very traumatic for him," Mr. Goodhart said. "And please don't worry about Jessica. She will be adequately chastened."
"Jeff said Ruth was so fat, they were going to have to bury her in a piano case, like Elvis."
Mr. Goodhart swallowed. "That's ridiculous. Elvis wasn't buried in a piano case."
I watched him go, trying not to notice how nicely his jeans hugged his perfectly contoured butt.
His butt wasn't the only thing that was perfectly contoured, either.
Oh, calm down. I'm talking about his face, okay
"You better lie down," Ruth said. "You better put your head between your knees."
"Why?" I asked her. "So I can kiss my butt good-bye?"
"Jessica, I'm telling you, you're not all right. I saw … I saw lightning come out of you."
"Really?" I grinned at her. "Neat."
"Hey," I said. "Too bad lightning wasn't shooting out of me in the cafeteria today, huh? Jeff Day would've really been sorry, huh?"
Ruth didn't think this was funny. She just kept walking, huffing a little because she was going so fast. But fast for Ruth is normal for me, so I didn't have any trouble keeping up.
"Hey," I said. "Wouldn't it have been cool if I'd been able to shoot lightning at assembly this afternoon? You know, when Mrs. Bushey got up there and dared us to keep off drugs? I bet that would've shortened that speech of hers."
A bunch of ambulances and fire engines went by, and when we finally got to the Kroger on the corner of High School Road and First Street, where we turned off for our houses, the KRO had been knocked out, so the sign just said, GER.
"Hey, Ruth, look," I said. "Ger is open, but Kro is closed."
Even Ruth had to laugh at that.
My dad's been kind of weird about my boobs, ever since I got some. I think he's afraid they'll get in the way of my swing when I haul off a right hook at somebody.
"They're slut jeans," my mother said. "She's dressing in slut jeans. It's because she reads that slut magazine." That's what my mom calls Cosmo. It sort of is a slut magazine, but still.
"She doesn't look like a slut," my dad said. "She just looks like what she is." We all looked at him questioningly, wondering what I was. Then he went, "Well, you know. A tomboy."
"Nice jeans," she said sarcastically, as I climbed into the passenger seat.
"Just drive," I said.
"Really," she said, shifting. "You don't look like Jennifer Reals, or anything. Hey, are you a welder by day and a stripper by night, by any chance?"
"Yes," I said. "But I'm saving all my money to pay for ballet school."
"Yes, Rob Wilkins again. I can't help it, Ruth. He's got that really big—"
"I don't want to hear it," Ruth said, holding up her hand.
"—Indian," I finished. "What did you think I was going to say?"
"I don't know." Ruth pushed a button, and the roof started going up. "Some of those Grits wear pretty tight jeans."
"Gross," I said, as if this had never occurred to me. "Really, Ruth."
She undid her seatbelt primly. "Well, it's not like I'm blind or anything."
Rob's friends seemed strangely astonished to see me—although they were very nice—which led me to believe that either:
a) Rob had never brought a girl to Chick's before (unlikely), or
b) the girls he'd brought there had looked more like the girls who were hanging around the Hell's Angels—i.e., tall, blond, excessively made-up, named Teri or Charleen, and who probably never wore gingham in their lives (more likely).
Which might be why, every time I opened my mouth, the guys would all look at one another, until finally one of them said to Rob, "Where'd you get her?" to which I replied, because it was such a stupid question, "The girlfriend store."
going to pound me
?" in this very amused voice. Which just made me madder.
"Don't, man," Hank warned him. "She hits really hard, for a girl."
"Yeah," I said. "So you better watch it."
I can tell what you're thinking.
You're thinking that, in spite of the whole jailbait thing, Rob and I went on to have this totally hot and steamy relationship, and that I'm going to go into all the lurid details right here in my statement
, and that you're going to get to read all about it.
Well, sorry to disappoint you, but that is so not going to happen. In the first place, my love life is my own business, and the only reason I mention it here is that it becomes pertinent later on.
And in the second place, Rob didn't lay a finger on me.
Much to my chagrin.
"I don't know any senior named Rob Wilkins."
"Color me surprised," I said. "You don't know anyone whose name isn't followed by an A in a little circle and the words AOL dot com
This was the FBI. It wasn't our Podunk town cops, who are so fat they couldn't chase a cow, let alone a sixteen-year-old girl who'd won the two-hundred-yard dash in P.E. every year since she was ten.
No offense, guys.
Mr. Goodhart was eating a cheese Danish. He looked at me over it and said, "Why, Jess, what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here so bright and early?"
I was panting a little. I said, "Two FBI guys just tried to pull me into their car for questioning, but I punched one of them in the face and came here instead."
Mr. Goodhart picked up a coffee mug that had Snoopy on it and took a sip from it. Then he said, "Okay, Jess, let's try that again. I say, 'What brings you here so bright and early,' and you say something like, 'Oh, I don't know, Mr. Goodhart. I just thought I'd drop in to talk about the fact that I'm doing poorly in English again, and I was wondering if you could help convince Miss Kovax to give me some extra credit.'"
So much for unrequited love. What is wrong
with guys, anyway?
I said, "Well, maybe if I just talked to them …"
Which was how, just before the start of first period, I found myself standing on the school steps, fielding questions from these news reporters I'd been watching on TV my whole life.
"No," I said, in reply to one question, "it didn't hurt, really. It just felt sort of tingly."
"Yes," I said to someone else, "I do think the government should be doing more to find these children."
"No," I replied to another question, "I don't know where Elvis is."
Oh, yeah. I'd been touched by the finger of God, all right.
The question was, which finger?