Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays by Steven R. Schirripa

Book: Home for the Holidays by Steven R. Schirripa Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steven R. Schirripa
have a couple of gift certificates here for you boys. I hope you'll come by and pick something out for yourselves.”
    Walter's father presented Nicky and Tommy with matching envelopes that said
The Bookworm
on the outside.
    “Thank you both, again,” the man said. “Thank you for watching out for my boy. Walter, don't you have something to say?”
    “Yeah, thanks,” Walter said, staring at the floor. “I mean, you know, like—thanks.”
    “Fugheddaboudit,”
Tommy said.
    Walter looked up from the floor and said, “Huh?”
    “He means, ‘no problem,’” Nicky said.
    When the Wagers had gone, Nicky's father said, “I'm not sure that makes things any different. Fighting is fighting, even if the other guys start it. I don't ever want to have this conversation again—understand?”
    Both boys nodded.
    “All right,” he said. “Now let's see if we can get down to the party before those animals have devoured all the food.”
    Nicky and his parents, with Grandma Tutti and Tommy, got to the Newton bed-and-breakfast well before seven. The food wasn't gone yet. In fact, the guys from Brooklyn had laid on a feast. There were a ham and a roast beef. There were prosciutto and mozzarella. There were regular lasagna and spinach lasagna. There were baskets of bread and jugs of wine. Everyone seemed to be eating and drinking—a lot.
    Nicky had never seen anything like it. He'd never seen grown-ups have this kind of fun. Parties in Carrington were always very polite. These grown-ups appeared to be really enjoying themselves.
    Charlie Cement had taken a lampshade off a lamp and was pretending that it was a sombrero. He was singing the “Mexican Hat Dance” and skipping around the room. Jimmy the Iceman was trying to slow dance with his girlfriend, Janice, but she was trying to finish a conversation with Sallie the Butcher's wife—Donna's mother. When Bobby Car Service noticed that there was a piano in the parlor, he started playing it. Everyone gathered around and listened tearfully while he sang “'O Sole Mio” in Italian, and then they laughed while he sang “That's Amore” just like Dean Martin.
    Nicky, sitting with Donna and Tommy, said, “How often do they get like this?”
    “Just for special occasions,” Donna said.
    “New Year's Day, Columbus Day, Friday …,” Tommy said. “Unless it's my mom, in which case it's every day.”
    After the food was all gone, Oscar the Undertaker made a speech. Charlie Cement proposed a toast. Uncle Frankie told Nicky's father he loved him. Grandma Tutti cried. Nicky's father said, “I think this is the start of a wonderful new year. I wish each and every one of you all the health and happiness in the world. My only resolution is to see more of you all, more often. To the happy new year!”
    “Happy new year!” everyone shouted, and raised their glasses.
    It was late when the party broke up. Nicky and Tommy fell asleep in the car going home. When they arrived, they stumbled out of the car and up the stairs to Nicky's bedroom.
    But then Nicky had trouble falling asleep. Too much had happened. Too much was going on. He felt like he had a lot to worry about. He heard Tommy shifting around in bed, too.
    “You can't sleep, either, huh?” Nicky said. “Does your head hurt?”
    “A little,” Tommy said. “One of those guys really smacked me.”
    “It looked like it,” Nicky said. “I hate to think what would've happened if those security guys hadn't come.”
    “Are you kidding? I woulda
killed
them guys. What I wouldn't give to see 'em again.”
    “You might get another chance, at the Snow Ball,” Nicky said. “Maybe we should think about not going.”
    Tommy rose up on one elbow and looked at Nicky. “Why not?”
    “Well, you know Dirk is going to be there, with his friends. Now that we know who his dad really is, maybe we should stay out of his way.”
    “Wow,” Tommy said. “I completely forgot about that. He could have us whacked.”
    The boys thought about

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