I knew that the Miller's had several dogs, and that Kenzie's personal dog was rather large, but I was still unprepared for just how intimidating it would be when they all came running up to greet us, well to greet Kenz. She laughed at my facial expression but didn't say anything as she dished out the food. When she finished she sat down in one of the chairs on the porch and motioned for me to take the one next to her. I sat down but neither of us said anything. The silence wasn't particularly awkward, but I felt that if I tried to speak, it would become awkward. And so I kept silent.
Kenzie sighed, "Why are you so damn likeable? My life would be so much simpler if I could just hate you and move on with my life."
I shrugged, "Sorry." Right about then the big dog finished eating and came over to where we were sitting. He stopped in front of me and looked up at me with large brown eyes. I cautiously patted him on the head and he wagged his tail a bit before jumping up and licking my face. Kenz snapped her fingers and the dog went straight to her, laying his humongous head in her lap.
"Why do you have to like him too?" She asked the dog, scratching behind his ears, "Couldn't you bark or growl or something?" The dog just wagged his tail and gave a little yip; the 'little yip' made me jump. Kenz sighed and shook her head, "Trent, this is Tucker, my baby. Don't let him scare you; he's just a big teddy bear. And he seems to like you anyway."
I smiled, "I'm flattered."
She sighed again, "Well, let's go get started on that English of yours. Inside's probably better for that." We both stood up and I followed her inside to the kitchen table. An hour and a half later I left, feeling a bit more confident in both my English grade and my friendship with Kenzie.
The next day at lunch Kenzie brought the new kid, Joshua, to eat with us. I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't a little bit jealous, seeing them together, but Kenzie looked happy, and I really was glad about that. He seemed nice enough though; probably not the betting type.
Over the next few weeks Joshua seemed to be attached to Kenz like a lovesick puppy-dog. Pretty much everyone assumed that they were either already dating or soon would be. From what I could see Ty didn't seem to be too thrilled about Joshua, but I figured that it was probably just that Kenz had never really had a guy in her life other than him and he just wasn't used to it yet. Everybody else seemed to be fine with it though, even if the Marshall twins were slightly depressed about the fact that Kenz stopped letting them kiss her. That was actually the one upside I could find in the whole thing; I didn't have to watch the Marshall's kiss her anymore.
One day the four of us, Kenzie, Ty, Joshua, and me, were eating lunch down on the couch by the football field. After we had finished eating, Joshua pulled out a soccer ball and he and Kenz went out into the field to kick it around. Ty and I sat next to each other on the couch and watched them. He looked almost as dejected as I felt.
I sighed, "Look, I know you don't like me, but, I mean, really? Soccer? Kenz doesn't even like soccer. At least I play a real sport."
Ty shook his head, "Yeah, you know I don't like you, but, I mean come on. Soccer? This is just ridiculous. I don't like you, but I really, really don't like him. I don't know why. You should definitely be higher up on my list than he is, but you're not. I just wish I knew why."
"Yeah," I answered, "that's a problem a lot of people seem to have with me."
We were silent for a few minutes before Ty spoke again, "You know what Trent?"
"What?" I asked, glancing over at him.
There was another long pause before he answered me, "I'd rather it be you than him."
"Wow," I said after a long, speechless moment, "you must really dislike him a lot."
He nodded, "Yep, and I don't have a good reason to." Shortly after that the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch and we all went to class. I couldn't get my conversation with Ty out of my head. It didn't make any sense, and it probably didn't even matter in the long run, but I'd take what I could get.