Jane's Attention


The two best friends sat angled toward each other on the green turf under the ripe apricot trees. They were smiling and laughing with each other, the boy looking admirably at the girl as she sat grinning at the small flowers and grasses beneath her. The sky was untouched by lonely white clouds, and a gentle breeze danced through the leaves and met the kids' faces. Jane was eight years old, and Lucas had just turned nine: something that he would not let her live down. Jane's father owned the apricot orchard, and the two of them were scarping down the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that Jane's mother had prepared for them. Two silver canteens full of milk also sat in the midst of the children, as well as a small Styrofoam cup for the apricot pits that Jane and Lucas were sure to eat around.

Currently, Lucas was telling Jane a semi-true story about how he totally owned Jacob in a basketball game during a recess one time. It was semi-true because Lucas had not beat Jacob singlehandedly, but had the help of a big fifth grader who helped him on his math homework. Though Lucas did not want to seem like a wuss in front of Jane, so he found no difficulty in going on and on about taunting Jacob and making that last winning shot that had finished the game. Lucas didn't know why he wanted to impress her. He just knew that he didn't want her to look down on him like some of the other girls did at the less popular boys in their second grade class. Sure she was his best friend, but sometimes he'd brag to his friends that she was his "girlfriend".

Truthfully? Lucas didn't even know what a girlfriend was. He had heard the word many times on TV and from his older brother, who was constantly begging their parents to let him go on a "date". Whatever that was. Sometimes, when it was really dark outside and Lucas' mom had already tucked him in, he would wait for his brother to drive up in the suburban after a "date". He seemed to glide in through the door and up the stairs. Then he'd disappear into his room and softly close the door, the whole time with a big cheesy grin on his face. Whenever Lucas would ask him about it he'd say, "Don't worry about it. You'll understand someday."

Lucas watched Jane laugh and eat her sandwich, not looking at him but inspecting the ground as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. What could possibly be more interesting than him? He was way cooler than whatever bug was on the ground, so wouldn't she want to be looking at him, not some stupid insect? Lucas waited for her to look up, but he got impatient after three seconds and threw a piece of bread in her hair. Naturally, she freaked out, giving him the attention he wanted. Then she did something he didn't expect: she spit on him, got up, dusted off her dress, and walked away.

This caught Lucas off guard. He was stunned for about two seconds until he sprang up and chanced after the speed-walking girl.

"Jane! Hey! Hellooooo? JANE!" Lucas hollered, trying to get her to respond to him. He finally caught up to her (she was a very fast walker) and he tried to grab her arm but she maneuvered it out of the way. "Why are you leaving?"

"I just don't think it's very nice to throw food at people," Jane responded, not even glancing in his direction. She held her chin up and continued to walk down the row of apricot trees.

"Well you weren't paying attention to me so I thought it would make you look!" Lucas exclaimed, not understanding why she didn't get his logic. She made a 'humph' sound, crossed her arms, and kept walking. She still hadn't looked at him, and Lucas noticed. "See?! You're not looking at me again!"

"Why would you want me to look at you, huh? Why don't you just ask Daphne to, huh? She'd stare at you all day, no problem!"

Daphne was a girl who sat one row and three seats away from Lucas, and was constantly turning around and looking at him. Whenever he'd catch her, she would never look away like most girls. No, she would just keep on intently staring at him until he'd get so uncomfortable he would look away. She was a little strange, with high blonde pony-tails that she always wore on the sides of her head, and she looked like an alien when she braided them. She had gold round glasses and scattered freckles, paired with huge honey colored eyes that were always glued to him. She had nice white teeth though, and most people said that they were her best feature. They were as white as a piece of paper, perfectly straight, and she never had any food on them. However, she was a little extreme when it came to her mouth: she ran off to the bathroom every time she put something in there and scrubbed those pearly whites for five minutes. She was absolutely obsessed with brushing her teeth.

Lucas was so shocked that Jane would even mention Daphne that he stopped in his tracks. Jane kept walking but at a slower pace, and when she was about 10 feet away she stopped all of a sudden and sat down criss-cross applesauce. The two stayed like that for a while, until she spun around on her backside to face him, giving him the most frustrated look that a little girl can. Her dress got a little twisted in the process though, and it took her a little while to get it fixed. But once it was, she resumed her angry expression, with her pink bottom lip slightly puckered.

If there was one thing that Lucas couldn't stand, it was Jane being mad at him. Or giving him that expression that was currently on her face right now. The two continued their staring contest for about a minute longer, until a stiff breeze came and lifted one of Jane's long wheat colored pig tails. It hovered for about half a second until it suddenly smacked her in the face. This caught her off guard so much that she made sputtering noises with her mouth and tried her best to move it out of the way. However the breeze wasn't dying down, and it kept whipping her in the face. Every time it would, she'd make the same spitting sound.

This was just too much for Lucas to handle. He burst out laughing, doubling over and clutching his stomach trying to breath. Then he lost his balance and fell over. Jane, angrier than ever, ran over, rolled him onto his stomach, and sat on him sideways. She tried to put all her weight in her butt (all 85 pounds of her) in an attempt to make him shut up. But Lucas didn't really care. He had gotten what he wanted: Jane's attention.

However the weight on his back started to hurt him, and while laughing begged Jane to get off of him.

"Jane-hahaha-please get-haha-off me-hahaha!" He shouted, having trouble focusing and talking at the same time.

"Why should I?" she said indignantly, crossing her arms and bending over to peer into his face. "Give me one good reason!"

"Hahaha-because I'm your-haha-best friend!"

This didn't satisfy Jane, because she slid off of him and laid on his back on her tummy and began tickling him. Lucas was ticklish everywhere, and Jane knew it.

"Say you're sorry!" She demanded, being relentless with her tickles.

"For what?!" Lucas asked, sort of confused.

"For throwing food in my hair! Duh!" Jane replied, making a stupid face at him with her tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth. That was what this whole thing was about anyway!

"Oh-hahaha-fine! Sorry!" He said, trying to breathe since he was laughing so hard and had her lying on top of him.

"Now mean it!"

Lucas found the strength in him to finally grab her hands and throw her off of him. She tumbled onto her back beside him, and he rolled onto her and held her hands next to her face.

"No!" Lucas said, smiling. He had her pinned, now. He was going to win this…whatever this was.

Jane squealed, trying to wiggle out from underneath him.

"Get off of meeeeeeee," Jane whined, making a pouty face and enlarging her big blue eyes. One look at that puppy-dog face and Lucas broke, sighing dramatically and getting off of her. He sat on his haunches at her feet, and waited for her to sit up.

"Truce?" He asked when she was finally up, holding out his pinky.

Jane hesitated for about six seconds, then held out her pinky and locked it with his. "Truce." She tried to unlock her pinky but Lucas wouldn't release it. "Let go!" she exclaimed.

"No! You gotta kiss it!"

"Kiss it? Why would I have to do that?"

"So I know you mean it, and you're not going to not look at me again," Lucas said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Then, with a sheepish grin he said, "I don't like it when you don't look at me…"

Jane was having a hard time processing the last thing he said, so she ignored it and said, "Fine. I'll kiss it. Come on now, my pinky hurts."

She leaned forward and kissed hole her thumb and pointer finger made, and he did the same thing. Finally, he unlocked her pinky and said, "Now if you break the truce you have to kiss me."

"Ewwwwwwww," Jane made a face. "No!" And just to prove her point, she turned around so her back was to him. "You're not the boss of me!"

Lucas huffed indignantly, running his fingers through his dark brown hair. Why did she have to make everything so difficult?! He finally decided he would never understand girls. They were such weirdoes. Like Daphne. She was a definite weirdo.

"That's no fair," Lucas whined. "You pinky promised!"

"….So…." Jane replied, a little unsure of herself. She had pinky promised him, and a pinky promise was something you never, ever broke. That was just unheard of; especially to a second grader. "…I didn't use my promise pinky." She finally resolved. That was the best excuse that she could come up with.

"Your promise pinky? You have a promise pinky?! No fair! You never said that before!" Lucas exclaimed, feeling totally jipped. He had never heard of having a specific pinky only for promising. "Don't you want to kiss me anyway?"

"What?! No!" Jane said with an appalled look on her face. "Why would I ever do that?!"

"Well…why wouldn't you?" Lucas asked, not giving up so easily.

"Because you're a boy. And boys have cooties. I don't want cooties!" Jane jerked her head to the side and back again to emphasize her point. Everybody knew that boys had cooties. The only girl who had ever kissed a boy in their class was Tonya, and she had turned all weird after it. She didn't want to hang out with any of the girls anymore, only Jeremy, the boy she'd kissed. She said that he was her boyfriend and that they were going to get married and have three kids. She said that he even told her he loved her and that he had given her a flower, and that the flower would never die because he had given it to her. She wasn't the same. Jane didn't want to turn out like that.

"I don't have cooties!" Lucas said, defending himself. "You're the one with the cooties!"

"Well if I have cooties then you shouldn't want to kiss me, either." Jane said, trying to understand why he was so stupid. Then she decided she would never understand boys. Boys were weirdoes. And they totally had cooties that would make you act funny and never stop giggling. At least, that's what happened to Tonya. No girl in their right mind would ever want to be a Tonya.

Lucas was getting so frustrated with her. He didn't know what to think now. But he was determined to get Jane to kiss him. "Why don't we share cooties? It's like if you have the chicken pocks and I have the chicken pocks, why don't we have a play date since we're both are sick? It's not like we're going to get more sick if we're both sick."

Jane thought for a moment. He did have a point…if they both had cooties, she wouldn't get weird since he had the same cooties. "Well…" she said, trying to make up her mind. Lucas made a puppy dog face with his dark brown eyes. "…I guess it'd be okay…" she finally resolved. Lucas smiled, triumphant. "But you have to promise not to tell ANYONE. Promise?"

Lucas joined his pinky with her. "Pinky."

She smiled, and exclaimed with a big smile, "Kiss it!"

He smiled back, but instead of kissing his hand, he went right past it and he kissed her cheek. Jane was shocked for a minute, but then smiled. She wouldn't get cooties. But she still thought that boys were total weirdoes.

Author's Note:

Just a little somethin-somethin I wrote for my Drama class for my final project. I really like it. Originally it was called The Apricot Orchard, but I like Jane's Attention better. Review please. :)