Locked In

We always stop for food and drinks on the road. Once we all had our large drinks and burgers arranged, Jeremy spoke up from the back seat. "Amanda, do you have time to listen to me now?”

I could almost feel Amanda rolling her eyes, but then I saw her smile. She said, “Sure Jeremy. What’s up?”

“I know it’s, like, a big bother, but I really have to go back to the show grounds.”

“Now would be a good time to explain why. What’s so important?”

“I have to get my lock.”

“Your lock? A padlock?”


“Jeremy, your lock costs, what? Maybe ten bucks? Just leave it.”

“It’s not how much the lock cost. It’s, like, where I left it.”

Amanda was beginning to sound impatient. "So where did you leave it?”

“Now, don’t get mad. I left it on a Porta Potty.”

The realization of what that meant hit all of us."You locked someone in?” I managed between chuckles.

“Yeah, so I, like, have to go back and let her out!”

Amanda just stared out the windshield for a minute shaking her head. I could see she was trying for control, or maybe she was just trying not to laugh. Finally, she said, “Oh good grief! Okay, let’s go back. But you realize, don’t you, Jeremy, you will be hearing about the ‘lock incident’ for the next five years!” I thought she was finished, but then she added, “And if you ever ever do anything like this again, you will be mucking all of my stalls for the rest of your time at Sherridan!” Then she covered her mouth and started to laugh as she looked for an exit to turn the truck around.

Amanda parked the truck next to the barn. Jeremy and I jumped out and jogged toward the Porta Potties. They were all standing open. No one around seemed to be doing anything special. No vigilante group was carrying pitchforks looking for the mysterious lock wielder. I said, “I don’t see anyone in need of rescuing.”

“OK. We can go now.” He looked disappointed as he turned around and began walking back to the truck.

I caught up to him and said, “I know I’m going to be sorry I asked, but who did you lock in?”

He stopped walking but didn’t look at me."Olivia.”

“Oh good grief! What were you thinking? I thought you liked her!”

“I do like her. My idea was, like, she would be, like, stuck. I would come along and get her unstuck. I thought it would, like, be, like, a way to get her to like me more. It would have too if Amanda hadn’t made me get in the truck!!”

“Come on,” I said, and we started walking again."Does Olivia know you were the one who locked her in?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Well,” I said trying not to laugh, “That’s something. Maybe she won’t try to kill you the next time she sees you.”

As Jeremy and I climbed into the truck, Amanda asked, “So, Jeremy, did you get the lock?”

“Nope. It was gone.”

“All right then.” Amanda didn’t ask anything more, and neither Jeremy nor I volunteered anything. We slammed our doors, and the truck roared to life.