Superfudge Part 31

Previous superfudge part 30.

We went inside and stopped at the candy counter to buy popcorn and cokes. Then we found seats for the kindergarten babies, got them settled, and crossed over to the other side of the theater, where we found an empty row for the six of us. Alex went in first, then Jimmy, then me, then Joanne, Sharon and Elaine. I wondered if Joanne had planned to sit next to me, the same way I had planned to sit next to her.

When the picture started, Joanne offeres me some of her popcorn, and when I reached into the carton, our fingers touched. Then I offered her some of mine, so our fingers touched again. By that time my fingers were covered with grease, but who cared? I began to relax, concentrating more on sitting next to Joanne than on the movie, but maybe that was because I’d already seen it.

Then, right when Superman was about to kiss Lois Lane, I felt something icy cold slither down my back, and I let out a yelp.

Fudge was hanging over the back of my seat, with a handful of ice cubes from his Coke. “Hi Pee-tah…”
“You little…” But there was no way I could catch him. He was already racing up the aisle.
“Here…” Joanne said, handing me a Kleenex.
“Could you do it?” I asked. “I don’t think I can reach all the way down my back.”

Joanne mopped off my neck and then my back. And when she’d finished, she put her hand close to mine, and the next thing I knew we were holding hands. Hers was soft but cold. When the movie ended, Joanne, Sharon and Elaine walked home in one direction, and we walked home in the other.

“So what’s like to be in love?” Alex asked me.
“What are you talking about?” I said.
“What are you talking about?” Alex mimicked.
And Jimmy said, “So when’s the wedding?”
“Cut it out, will you?” I said.

By the time we got home, Alex and Jimmy were talking and laughing as if they’d been best friends for about a hundred years, and I felt left out. Dad had cooked a big pot of spaghetti, and Daniel was eyeing it until Mom told him how many onions had gone into the sauce. Not only that, but Mom had fixed a bowl of peas as a side dish. And that was funny because we never have anything with spaghetti but bread and salad.

“I don’t eat anything with onions. And I don’t eat peas either,” Daniel said. “what else do you have?”
“Nothing,” Mom told him.
“Then I guess I’ll go home for supper,” Daniel said.

I thought I saw Mom smile. After supper Alex went home to get his sleeping bag, and he and Jimmy both slept on the floor in my room. I wondered why I didn’t feel better about the two of them being friends. Just because they liked each other didn’t mean they didn’t like me. But I had a hard time convincing myself.

For the week, Fudge walked aroung talking to himself. “To most people he is Fudge Hatcher, a regular boy. Only his trusty myna bird and his friend, Daniel, know the truth. “Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive…”

“Do you remember when I was born?” he asked me one morning.
“Yes.”
“Did I really grow inside of Mommy?”
“Yes.”
“Oh,” he said, sounding disappointed.
“Why?”

“Because if I did grow inside of Mommy, then I can’t be from another planet.”
“Take it from me,” I said, “You are definitely from Earth.”
Afew days later, Daniel told Fudge that he had been adopted as a baby. “So Daniel might be from another planet!” Fudge said.

Yeah, I thought. That would explain a lot.
“And he might even be able to fly.”
“Don’t count on it,” I said.
“Daniel is my best friend,” Fudge said. “If it turns out he’s from another planet, he’s going to take me there to visit.”

“Swell,” I told him. “Don’t hurry back.”
“You’re just jealous because you don’t have a friend who can fly.”
“I don’t even have a friend from another planet,” I said.
“Too bad for you, Pee-tah!” and he took off, flapping his arms, and calling, “’It’s a bird… it’s a plane…”

Next superfudge part 32.