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KITTY AND I ARE ON the front steps. She’s drinking her Korean yogurt drink and I’m working on that scarf for Margot while I wait for Peter. Kitty’s waiting for Daddy to come out. He’s dropping her off at school today.
Ms. Rothschild hasn’t come outside yet. Maybe she’s sick today or maybe she’s running even later than usual.
We’ve got our eyes locked on her front door when a minivan drives down our street and slows in front of our house. I squint my eyes. It’s Peter Kavinsky. Driving a tan minivan. He ducks his head out the window. “Are you coming or not?”
“Why are you driving that?” Kitty calls out.
“Never mind that, Katherine,” Peter calls back. “Just get in.”
Kitty and I look at each other. “Me too?” Kitty asks me.
I shrug. Then I lean back and open the front door and yell out, “Kitty’s getting a ride with me, Daddy!”
“Okay!” he yells back.
We stand up, but just then Ms. Rothschild comes dashing out of the house in her navy blue suit, briefcase in one hand, coffee in the other. Kitty and I look at each other gleefully. “Five, four, three—”
Giggling, we hurl ourselves toward Peter’s minivan. I hop into the passenger seat and Kitty climbs into the back. “What were you guys laughing about?” he asks.
I’m about to tell him when Josh walks out of his house. He stops and stares at us for a second before he waves. I wave back and Kitty hangs her head out the window and yells, “Hi, Josh!”
“What up,” Peter calls out, leaning over me.
“Hey,” Josh says back. Then he gets in his car.
Peter pokes me in the side and grins and puts the car in reverse. “Tell me why you guys were laughing.”
Clicking into my seat belt, I say, “At least once a week, Ms. Rothschild runs out to her car and spills hot coffee all over herself.”
Kitty pipes up, “It’s the funniest thing in the world.”
Peter snorts. “You guys are sadistic.”
“What’s sadistic?” Kitty wants to know. She puts her head between us.
I push her back and say, “Put your seat belt on.”
Peter puts the car in reverse. “It means seeing other people in pain makes you happy.”
“Oh.” She repeats it to herself softly. “Sadistic.”
“Don’t teach her weird stuff,” I say.
“I like weird stuff,” Kitty protests.
Peter says, “See? The kid likes weird stuff.” Without turning around, he lifts his hand up for a high five and Kitty leans forward and slaps it heartily. “Hey, gimme a sip of whatever it is you’re drinking back there.”
“It’s almost gone, so you can have the rest,” she says.
Kitty hands it over, and Peter tips back the plastic container in his mouth. “This is good,” he says.
“It’s from the Korean grocery store,” Kitty tells him. “They come in a pack and you can put them in the freezer and if you pack it for lunch, it’ll be icy and cold when you drink it.”
“Sounds good to me. Lara Jean, bring me one of these tomorrow morning, will you? For services rendered.”
I shoot him a dirty look and Peter says, “I mean the rides! Geez.”
“I’ll bring you one, Peter,” Kitty says.
“That’s my girl.”
“As long as you give me a ride to school tomorrow, too,” Kitty finishes, and Peter hoots.