Last Summer
activities, such as eating
meals together. I haven’t been to Bernie’s since our summer
vacation last year.
    Logan gently rests his hand on my thigh, the
heat of his palm sending goosebumps up my leg. “What’s wrong?”
    I shake off the thought
of before . Before
my family was a wreck. Before I met Logan. I also shake off the
sensation he gives me as his fingers firmly squeeze. “Nothing. I
just haven’t been there in a while. But it’s cool; Bernie’s is fine
with me.” I smile so he won’t be confused by my abnormal
    “Okay. Bernie’s it is.” He grins, and we
have an unspoken moment, where our eyes hold each other’s glance
longer than normal. “Chloe . . .”
    “Yes?” I peep.
    He breaks the connection by looking away and
removing his hand from my thigh; there’s an instant chill once it’s
gone, despite the mild room temperature. “Um, I just wanted to say
thank you for helping me. Nobody in this world has the patience or
time to help. Not one on one, at least. So, uh,” he says, clearing
his throat, “thanks.”
    “Yeah, well, it was either help you or watch
Lifetime movies and reality TV shows with my mom all summer.” I
lift my hands in the air, weighing the options like an ancient
scale, and settle on Logan having the upper hand. “Mmm. You
    “You mean, you missed all kinds of awesome
TV for me? Aww, how sweet.”
    I snort. “I’m not entirely sure about the
awesome part, but yes, I missed it all for you. Plus, my mom likes
to hit the bottle while lounging. Well, who am I kidding? She hits
the bottle all the time, and, with her on anti-depressants, it’s
not fun. Although, she’s slacked off on the drinking lately. Maybe
she’s finally coming to her senses.” I shrug. “Who knows?”
    “Damn,” says Logan. “So, you basically have
to babysit her?”
    “Sometimes. But only if
she’s had a really bad day. I blame my dad, though. She wasn’t like
this until he started staying late at work and wouldn’t return her
phone calls. I think she knew then that he was sleeping with
someone else.” The overheard telephone conversation at the
beginning of this summer brushes against my mind, but I quickly
push it away. Mom hasn’t mentioned where Dad went, but I wonder if
he’s staying with her . Oksana. I doubt Mom knows the new girl’s name.
    “My parents went through a rough time like
that once,” Logan says openly.
    “What happened?”
    “Dad began flirting with this girl at work.
I didn’t know about it until I stopped by his office and noticed
they made a lot of eye contact with each other. I shrugged it off,
thinking they were just being friendly, but a few weeks later,
Dad’s phone dinged while he was in the shower. Mom happened to be
in the bedroom at the time, cleaning, and she checked his phone
without thinking anything about it. Turns out, it was a text from
that girl; she wanted to know if they were still on for drinks
later. Mom confronted Dad about it, but he lied and said it was a
company get-together, that everybody was going out for drinks, so
it was no biggie. I heard the convo when I passed by their bedroom.
Later, after Dad left, I told Mom about stopping by his office a
few weeks before, how he and that girl exchanged a lot of smirks
and glances.” Logan rolls his eyes. “Mom told me to watch Lucas,
and she grabbed her car keys and practically flew out the front
door. I don’t know what happened after that, but, as far as I know,
Dad and that girl were alone. It wasn’t a company thing like he
    “Oh, my God. That’s awful.”
    “Yeah, they went to marriage counseling for
months, and were finally able to work out their problems. Dad
complained Mom didn’t love him like she used to, and Mom said he
wouldn’t pay attention to her, or listen when she wanted to talk. I
guess it’s all about communication.”
    Too bad my parents can’t
attend marriage counseling and work out their problems. That’d be a
fiasco. I picture Dad

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