what she meant. My dad would leave for work early, come home late, and even work on weekends.
Tossing off the covers, I swung my legs to the floor. "But I'm making so much money," I told Mom.
A breathy, surprised laugh escaped Mom's lips. "That's exactly what your father says." "Maybe we are alike," I said. Mom and I had always agreed that Dad's being a working maniac was a giant pain for us. But I had never understood how it felt from his point of view. Now I did. When you have an opportunity to make money you take it. And making money can be exciting. All of a sudden, you can think about having and doing all sorts of things that once seemed out of reach. (My red convertible sports car, for example.) Mom suddenly looked sad. I realized she hadn't expected me to admit I might be like Dad. "I might be like him but I'm not a workaholic," I said, hoping to make her feel better. "I'm not working this weekend." "Good," Mom said with a genuine smile.
Of course, I could very well have been working that weekend if a job had come up at a BSC meeting. Luckily, though, the others were interested in the weekend jobs so they didn't need me to take any of them.
"I know," Mom said brightly. "Since I've barely seen you these last few weeks, why don't we do something together this afternoon? We could go see a really, really sad movie. I'm in the mood to sit and cry into a large popcorn." "You are?" I said, concerned.
Mom grinned sheepishly. "I am," she admitted. "Nothing's wrong, just a mood. There's nothing like a good movie-generated cry once in awhile." "Sorry," I said. "I have an English paper due on Monday and I have to finish up my research today because the library's closed tomorrow." "What about going tonight?" she suggested.
I grimaced. "I made plans to go out with Robert tonight. I haven't seen much of him lately, either." I could see the disappointment in Mom's eyes. "All right," she said.
"Want to go tomorrow?" I asked.
"I don't know. I could really use that cry today. Maybe I'll go to the movies by myself." As she left the room I knew I'd seen that look on her face before. The last time I'd seen it was when Mom and Dad were still married and he told us we'd have to take our vacation on Martha's Vineyard without him because he suddenly had to give a huge presentation to the board members of his company.
What else could I do, though? The paper had to get done. I was sure Mom wouldn't want me to let my schoolwork slide just to go to the movies with her. I'd thought I could get it done during the week, but by the time I finished my homework each night I was too tired to start researching the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was the topic of my paper.
I decided Mom would feel better after she had her good cry.
And I'd feel better after that paper was out of the way. I dressed in jeans and a thick red sweater, tied my hair back in a red scrunchy, and headed downstairs. After a quick breakfast I grabbed my backpack and my jacket and hurried to the Stoneybrook library.
Mrs. Kishi, Claudia's mother, is the head librarian. "Hi, Stacey," she greeted me as I flipped through the F section of the card catalogue.
"Hi, Mrs. Kishi," I replied. "What's Claudia up to today?" Mrs. Kishi shifted the armful of books she was carrying onto the top of a low cabinet. "Nothing much. I think she's working on an outfit to wear tomorrow." "What's happening tomorrow?" I asked.
"Aren't you two going to the Valentine's Day Craft Fair at the community center?" My hand flew to my mouth. Claudia and I had made plans weeks ago to go to the fair. "That's right! I forgot about it completely," I admitted.
Mrs. Kishi replaced the stack of books one by one onto the shelf. "I think Claudia's working on an outfit and making up business cards to give out to people at the fair who might be interested in having
Paul Brannigan, Ian Winwood
Muhammad Ali With Hana Yasmeen Ali