TITLE: Squeaky Clean
GENRE: Young Adult
I want to make something clear from the beginning--I am not a burnout, druggie, or smoker. Despite what you may have heard about my family, I have never stolen a car or discharged a firearm, and I pay all the required taxes on the tips I get bussing tables after school at Clarke's. In short, just because I'm sitting on the hard wooden bench outside the principal's office,
next to Laguna High's all-time detention record holder (also known as my twin brother Dima), doesn't mean I did anything wrong.
Dima kicks his black motorcycle boots onto the principal's secretary's desk. He leans back like he's about to watch the Lakers kick the Celtics' a** on the flat-panel TV in our screening room.
"Get your feet down," I hiss. All we need is for Ms. Shirley to come back from the bathroom and catch Dima defiling the attendance records.
Dima drops his feet to the ground, but from the faint smile playing at his lips, I can tell he's just humoring me. Does he not realize he could be in serious trouble?
My heart is pounding at the near-heart-attack speed that has become routine since The Gregori Incident. "And take off your jacket."
"What's wrong with my jacket?"
The battered leather bomber jacket looks like something a mercenary might throw on just after assassinating a South American dictator. "Just take it off, okay?"