Storky by D. L. Garfinkle

Book: Storky by D. L. Garfinkle Read Free Book Online
Authors: D. L. Garfinkle
catch a movie with Mom and Verm. That’s about the one good thing you can do on Christmas—go to the movie theater and see everyone from temple. Either that or watch all the dads on the block help their kids ride their new bikes and scooters and stuff.
    Verm vetoed Mom’s movie choice. He won’t see anything with Meryl Streep, especially if she’s doing an accent. Me and Verm picked this war film. I didn’t understand it, but the battle stuff was cool. I fell asleep near the end. Woke up to Mom and Verm holding hands. Ugh.
    We went to Denny’s afterward. It was the only thing open. All these families sat in the booths, dressed up in fancy red-and-green outfits, eating sliced turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. It just seems so depressing. Your big holiday dinner spent at Denny’s.
    I wonder what Duke’s doing for Christmas.

Sunday, December 26
    I’m so sick of Dad being late. It’s like I’m the lowest priority in his life. After I waited 38 minutes for him, I pulled an Amanda. I ditched the house and biked over to Nate’s. I told him Dad canceled. I didn’t feel like going all into it.
    We watched SportsCenter and the Real World marathon. We’re going to drive to L.A. and try out for Real World when we’re 18. They should take me. They need a dweeb on the show. I’m sick of those cool guys they always have, sitting in their Jacuzzis and whining about how hard it is to handle all their girlfriends.
    I hope Dad calls the house all night long, and Mom and Amanda don’t get home until late, and Dad wonders if he’ll ever see me again. Knowing Dad, he probably just shrugged or something and went to dinner without me.
    If I ever get married and have kids, I’ll be a great dad. I’ll never be late for anything. I’ll be one of those guys who coaches Little League and goes to the park with his family every weekend. I won’t go out of town on business trips all the time, especially so that my kid, thinking back, wonders if they really were business trips after all.

Monday, December 27
    This vacation bites. I almost miss school. I was so bored today, I played Scrabble alone. Even challenged myself on the word zim . Gina might have been up for a game, but no way am I calling her. I’m still too pissed off. I wonder how her Christmas was.
    Glad I decided to ditch Dad yesterday. Leaving the house before he got there wasn’t exactly standing up to him though. At least I did something. At least I took The Road Not Taken. Maybe he’ll respect me now. Maybe he’ll say how mature I am and offer to buy me a car.
    Yeah, right. I’m just a wuss who snuck out of the house before he showed up. Like I ran out on Duke before he could tell me anything about Dad.

Tuesday, December 28
    Decided to take another Road Not Taken. Decided to apologize to Duke. Decided even if Duke tells me off for being a jerk, I’m man enough to go see him. Tagged along with Mom.
    The old people were so excited to see us, it was sad. Mom did the ladies’ nails and showed off the pictures of me in my Snowball suit and Amanda in her slinky dress. Some of the old men really got a kick out of the Amanda pictures.
    Duke ignored us. Kept his eyes on the newspaper. Must be weird to read about the world from a nursing home.
    He didn’t look up until I said, “I’m sorry, Duke.” He folded the newspaper and set it on his lap. Then he bobbed his head at me and goes, “That’s all right, I was once a teenager myself.”
    I tried to calculate how many years ago that was—70, 75? I thought, Maybe it’s okay my life is so messed up now. If I’m lucky, I have another 75 years or so to overcome it.
    We played Scrabble for 3 straight hours. Long after Mom left. She had to come back and get me later. He beat me every game.
    That’s okay. It wasn’t just Scrabble tips. Never was, I guess. He asked how the dance went, and I unloaded on him. How I like Gina so much, but she’s rebounding. He mostly just listened.
    Except about half a game after I

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