In this story, we’re amateur detectives. We solve a crime that has baffled the entire police department. We’re heroes, shaking hands with the mayor and getting an honorary key to the city. The key to the city is large enough that we can hold it together, both of our hands clasped round it.
In this story, someone says And I’d have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.
In this story, there’s an unmasking and a criminal with gnashing teeth.
How did you figure it out? the reporters ask. They all wear hats with the word press tucked into the brim, and the lady reporter who believed in us all along will smile knowingly.
In this story, you and I wear matching neckties and our shoes are spit-polished. Your parents aren’t divorced, and mine don’t mind my low grades in algebra.
He’s a genius detective, they say. Who cares about algebra?
In this story, you and I can hold hands all we want, and none of the older kids call us faggots or flush your socks down the toilet.
In this story, your mother doesn’t take you away because she caught us kissing, just once, to see.
In this story, we’re best friends for always. We’re the boy detectives. We’re the heroes. The town holds a ticker tape parade in our honor, and you and I ride on a float, and wave, and wave.
When Cathy S. Ulrich was a little girl, she wanted to be a detective like Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew. Or a race car driver.