Down the Shore

Down the Shore by Stan Parish

Book: Down the Shore by Stan Parish Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stan Parish
She’s busy.”
    â€œSchool’s good? You’re done, right?”
    I nodded, wondering how long it would take for him to get it out.
    â€œGood for you. That’s a pretty good school, huh?”
    â€œYeah,” I said. “I learned a lot.”
    â€œI got this nephew who’s thinking he might want to go there. Real smart kid. Not much of an athlete, but basically a genius. You liked it, right?”
    â€œYeah, sure,” I said.
    â€œI was thinking you could meet my nephew sometime, talk to him about the place. Give him some pointers, maybe look over his application.”
    Right, I thought. Of course.
    â€œSure,” I said. “Whatever I can do.”
    â€œWould it help to have you talk to people there, or is that not a good idea after what happened?”
    â€œYou heard about that?”
    â€œYeah,” Rob said. “I heard. I figured you were smarter than that, but what do I know. I hope you learned your lesson.”
    â€œI think I did.”
    â€œYou think? Don’t think.”
    â€œI did.”
    Rob nodded and smacked my shoulder.
    â€œYou boys paddle out today?”
    â€œNo, it was all blown out.”
    â€œI was out this morning,” Rob said. “Couple nice sets came through. Don’t be so picky. You’re here for what, two days? Take what you can get. Most important thing you’ll ever learn.”
    I laughed.
    â€œThey don’t teach you that at Lawrenceville?”
    â€œNo,” I said. “I guess not.”
    â€œCan’t be that good of a school, then,” Rob said.
    â€¢Â Â Â â€¢Â Â Â â€¢
    Cops were gathering in the street outside the restaurant, anticipating the crush of a summer night, the inevitable fights.
    â€œSure you brought enough guys?” Mike called to them, as we headed for the car.
    â€œCome over here and say that to my face,” one of them said, flipping his baton into the air and catching it above his head. He and Mike went way back.
    â€œTake your cousin to Disco’s,” Casey said to Melissa. “And Clare too. Me and Tom are going to Rommel’s for something to drink.”
    Clare had been sticking close to me, but Casey was a good manager because he made directions sound like prophecy.
    â€œPick up smokes for me,” Mike said.
    â€œNo,” Casey said. “This is the third time this week.”
    â€œThat’s how I know you love me.”
    â€œYou drive,” Casey said, tossing me his keys as we walked to the car. The sun was down, the traffic on the boulevard transformed into one long stripe of red and white light. I eased out of the space and threw the GTI into gear.
    â€œYou should come visit me at school,” I said. “Take some time off once I get settled.”
    â€œI should,” Casey said, arching his back and digging in his pocket for his phone.
    â€œYeah,” he said. “I called you five hours ago. Tuesday’s fine. As long as Tuesday means Tuesday. No, we’ll take my car. Four a.m. Yes, I’m serious. Hey, you got any more of those books-on-tape? OK. We’ll come by later.”
    â€œWho was that?” I asked as he hung up. It seemed like he was extra careful not to discuss business with me or around me after my arrest, although that might have been my own paranoia.
    â€œDisco. The guy with the bar in his garage.”
    â€œYou guys going someplace?”
    â€œHey,” Casey said, pointing at the road.
    The car in front of us had stopped to make a left. I slammed on the brakes and something slid out from under the seat and smashed into my heel as we skidded to a stop.
    â€œYou should find a better place for that,” I said, nudging the gun back where it had been.
    â€œYou should learn how to drive,” Casey said.
    At Rommel’s Liquor Store, Casey grabbed a bottle of Patrón and a Diet Dr. Pepper for Melissa. He pointed to a corkboard on the wall behind the counter as

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