The Paperback Edition…
So…let me properly introduce my best friend Abby…last name Jones…who has been my best friend since kindergarten.
Abby decided (and there would be absolutely no argument) that it was not a good idea for me to be living alone in this big house.
So…she told her mom and dad that it was time for her to leave the family nest. And she did.
She moved three doors down the block to my second bedroom…the one that overlooks the front yard…and an amazing crab apple tree.
Abby Jones. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like Abby…
One day in fourth grade…during recess…two really mean girls pushed me down into a pile of dirty snow. My brand-new, beautiful, red winter coat was ruined; stained with salt and wet sludge from the street.
Now when you’re in 3rd grade, you just don’t go crying to the teacher if someone pushes you down. Right? Right. So I told my mom (who most certainly would have gone to see the teacher) that I had slipped on some ice and fallen.
But Abby Jones was my very best friend and she wasn’t just mad at those bullies. She was fuming.
A couple of days later, she somehow managed to get those two girls alone in the bathroom before school began. I was the “look-out”…standing just inside the door so I wouldn’t attract attention.
I’m not exactly sure what she said…I couldn’t hear everything…she was talking very quietly.
But I heard the words “mob”, “not really Jones”, “call in a favor”, “not very pretty” and “you’ll be sorry”.
I looked back over my shoulder and the two girls were standing there with their mouths hanging open. Abby was a pretty awesome storyteller…she watched a lot of TV.
Then she did the classic “I’ll be watching you” bit and put two fingers to her eyes and then pointed them back at the girls…who were frozen in place.
Then…to my horror…I looked closer and saw that Abby had her father’s antique “Wild West” six shooter pistol strapped to her waist under her jacket. I had seen it hanging on the wall in their den for years…next to an autographed photo of John Wayne.
She pulled the gun out of its holster and did the classic gunslinger twirl…and a real bullet fell out and bounced on the floor. After one second…both girls threw up. Hell…I almost threw up.
Abby calmly bent down, picked up the errant bullet, turned on her little Mary Jane patent leather shoes, grabbed my arm and we walked out into the hall just as the bell rang for classes to begin.
“I thought it was empty!” she whispered in my ear…while grinning from ear to ear.
Introduction of best friend Abby Jones…complete.