She said suddenly, "Hey, how old are you?"His smiled faded. She could see then that he wasn't a kid. "That's a crazy thing to ask. Can'tcha see I'm your own age?" "Like hell you are." "Or maybe a couple years older. I'm eighteen."
He grinned to reassure her and lines appeared at the corners of his mouth. His teeth were big and white. He grinned so broadly his eyes became slits and she saw how thick the lashes were, thick and black as if painted with a black tarlike material.
He seemed to become embarrassed and looked over his shoulder at Ellie. "Him, he's crazy," he said. "Ain't he a riot? He's a nut, a real character." "He's kinda strange," Connie said. "Hey, she says you're kinda strange! Kinda strange!" Arnold Friend cried. Ellie turned for the first time and Connie saw with shock that he wasn't a kid either.
Connie felt a wave of dizziness rise in her at this sight and she stared at him as if waiting for something to change. "We come out here to take you for a ride. No matter who you were with last night, today you're with Arnold Friend and don't you forget it!." "No. I got things to do." "We ain't leaving until you come with us." "Like hell I am—"
"Connie, don't fool around with me. I mean—I mean, don't fool around," he said, shaking his head. He laughed incredulously. He placed his sunglasses on top of his head, carefully, as if he were indeed wearing a wig. "If my father comes and sees you—" "He ain't coming. He's at a barbecue." "How do you know that?"
"Aunt Tillie's. Right now they're uh—they're drinking. Sitting around," he said vaguely, squinting as if he were staring all the way to town and over to Aunt Tillie's back yard. Then the vision seemed to get clear and he nodded energetically. "Yeah. Sitting around. There's your sister in a blue dress, huh? And high heels, the poor sad bitch—nothing like you, sweetheart!