The stories on this page include gay couples as well as loving domestic discipline. All characters are original creations. Any similarity to other stories/characters or people living or deceased is coincidental. No money is made from this blog.
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Copyright 2010 - 2018.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Sunday morning, Milo
slipped out of church before the service was over and ran toward the hospital.
He knew that when his parents found out he'd be in for it but it was
worth it to be able to talk to Amadeo for a little while before everyone in the
state stopped by to see him. He just bet that every person with a phone
was on it last night, spreading the word, and those without phones were
most likely told in person. He pictured the neighbors scurrying around
the neighborhood from house to house like field mice, spreading the word.
He knew for sure his mother had been on the 'gossip gadget', as his
father referred to it, from the time she got home until dad made her hang up
around eleven that night.
the nurse chided, "visiting hours do not start until eleven o' clock.
It is only nine forty-five now. You'll just have to wait. You
may sit in the lounge." She then watched him until he plastered a
hang dog expression on his face, and turned toward the indicated 'lounge'.
Lounge! Milo thought sarcastically.
Fancy name for a
featureless room filled with uncomfortable furniture.
He casually glanced
backward toward the nurse who had turned her back to work on whatever it was
she'd been doing before he'd walked in, then quickly swerved and darted into
Amadeo's room, pulling the privacy screen around them so that he wouldn't be
'Deo smiled broadly when
he saw his best friend. "Thank God you're here, Mi. Thought I
was gonna go insane with boredom! How'd you get past the dragon?"
"Wore my elven
cloak, how else?" Milo replied, nonchalantly. "Hey, love the
lid," he said, gesturing to the knitted cap on his friend's head.
"Oh, um, when's she supposed to come back in? Any idea?" he
"Beats me!" 'Deo
replied. "I had breakfast about a half hour ago and they already
came to pick up the tray, so I think you're all right till the doctor comes
whispered, glancing furtively around. "I don't suppose you have any
snacks on you?"
"Uh, no man, sorry.
Just got outta church. What're you looking for?"
asked amused, "they won't give you junk food in the hospital?"
They won't let me have anything solid! It's all juice, tea, broth.
The most solid thing I've been allowed to eat is ice cream! And that
gelatin? Nasty stuff! I don't know what they make it out of but it
ain't food! I'm dyin' here!"
"Solid, eh?" Milo
put a thumb to his lips as he often did while thinking, then smiled and clicked
his fingers. "I know just the thing, Dae! Ice cream soda.
It's liquid, right? And you said they gave you ice cream, so that's
in there too, right? And you get ginger ale, right?"
'Deo nodded, catching
onto what his friend was saying.
they both said at the same time.
"Have no fear
Kemosabe. I'll get the word out and I know the kids'll be happy as clams
to smuggle stuff in for you, just for the fun of getting it past Smaug*."
"Ah, you are a true
friend, Mi." Amadeo said, relaxing against the pillows and smiling
"OK, so look, Dae!
I've been wanting to tell you what's been going on forever! Wait'll
"Hey, before you
start, I'm just curious...where the heck were you that morning? What day
was it? Anyway, I'm getting distracted...where were you?"
"Well, on the day
forever after to be known as The Day of the Amadeo's Arthurian
"Oh my God.
That's horrible!" Amadeo said disbelievingly.
"How about 'Deo's
"How about 'Deo's
Disaster?" he argued.
"Are you kidding,
man? You're a hero! They're calling you 'Deo the Defender!"
"How about 'Deo the
" 'Deo the
" 'Deo the
"Whoa! No way
Jose! I draw the line at sainthood!"
"Ok then, how about
'Deo the Diabolic?"
"Well, now let's
not go crazy here."
Assailant! Amadeo the Audacious! I got more good ones than you have bad
ones, so shut up."
"Idjit, hate to
tell you but they're all bad."
"Jerk, now let me
finish...the date of the Big Adventure was April 13th." Milo said,
capitalizing the words with emphasis. "And I'm real sorry I wasn't
there. I, uhhh..." he blushed. "Well, first I overslept,
and then I kinda mouthed off to mom a few times and dad gave me about twenty
good reasons with his belt that convinced me that wasn't the best thing I
coulda done. That's why I was late, or I swear, 'Deo, I'd have helped you.
You know that, don't you?" he asked anxiously.
"Yeah, man. I
know," replied Amadeo, reaching out to his friend to take his hand.
"I couldn't help but wonder if you'd been there helping if other
people would have grown a pair and jumped in too.'
"No sense worrying
about it now, Dae," Milo said sensibly.
So tell me, what's this exciting news you just had to tell me that it
couldn't wait till regular visiting hours?"
"Well, if you're
gonna be like that I'll leave and come back at eleven when everyone in the
United States is crammed in here..."
Amadeo laughed. "No,
now don't be like that, mio fratello del cuore. Spill."
"One of these days
you're gonna tell me what that means if I gotta get you wasted to get it outta
"Ugh, don't even
joke." replied Amadeo, who disapproved heartily of drugs. "So tell me
before I bust. What's happening?"
"Wow, now that I'm
here I don't know where to start!"
"Wanna try going
alphabetically?" 'Deo joked.
"Won't work, you
know I always have to recite the alphabet in my head to know what comes
Amadeo twisted his lips
and cocked his eyebrows which made Milo laugh.
"OK, Well, for one
thing, Fishlock is gone."
Amadeo perked right up.
"Gone? What happened?!"
approached privately, one by one, and asked about their experiences in
Fishlock's classes. Once they were told that someone had brought charges
up against him and they were assured that their identities would be kept
secret, from Fishlock anyway, since the school board might need to talk to
them, a bunch of them spilled the beans. Once word got out, Barnes and
Cobrane couldn't keep up with the stream of kids who came in and called to tell
their stories. People who already graduated came in and told their
stories! And get this, Barnes asked Fishface for his keys. At first
ol' Fishie refused but Cobrane... man he's my new hero, I'm tellin' ya... just
looked at him... just looked at him, and Fishlock handed the keys over,
and one of 'em fit the door."
Amadeo looked confused.
the teachers are supposed to have keys to the room where the grades are kept,
Dae! The only ones who are supposed to have keys are Miz Jennings, Mr.
Barnes and Mr. Cobrane! The members of the school board don't have keys
either! They have to ask Barnes, Cobrane or Miz Jennings to get the
required records if they want any, and it has to be documented who wanted
the records and when."
"No one knows when
or how Fishlock got his copy but he wasn't supposed to have one! I didn't
know this before but even the room where the schedules and student records are
off limits to the teachers. If teachers want information on a student
they have to request it through Mrs. Jennings, Mr. Cobrane or Mr.
Sharon?" 'Deo asked suddenly.
"From what I heard
she has to get permission to go in too. If one of them opens the door for
her she can get in and get whatever file they asked her for, but she doesn't
have a key either. Why?"
Amadeo frowned at that
information. If Sharon didn't have a key, how had she gotten into
Angelo's file to get his schedule? "No, no reason, really. Just
Fishlock was brought up in front of a board of inquiry, the list of charges and
the testimonials were read out loud, and you had to hear Fishlock, yelling that
everyone was lying, everyone was against him, it was a plot to discredit him,
he wasn't going to stand for it."
"They let the
students in to listen?" 'Deo asked, surprised.
"Not precisely. A bunch of us stood outside the door, and some
others sat on the ground under the windows and listened in. He wasn't
exactly hard to hear, so it wasn't really eavesdropping."
"Where were all the
teachers? When did this all happen?"
"It was after
school hours, and the teachers were... well jeez, I dunno but they sure weren't
anywhere around where we could see them."
Amadeo grinned. "So
he's really gone?"
"He's really gone.
'Grades have been adjusted accordingly,'" he said, trying to imitate
Barnes which was a little harder, "He lost his tenure... whatever that is,
and he was told that 'you will not be receiving recommendations from this
school if you attempt to apply for a teaching position elsewhere.'"
‘Deo had no idea who
Milo was trying to imitate that time but they were welcome words, and he didn't
care if Milo sounded like Donald Duck while he spoke them.
"So what else
happened? You said you had lots to tell me," Amadeo prompted.
"Oh, ok! The
cafeteria... remember how bad the food is?"
"Course I do,"
Amadeo said, sounding insulted. "As a matter of fact, from what I
can tell, the fine cafeteria workers moonlight here on the weekends!"
"Well, everyone boycotted the cafeteria. Everyone brown bagged
it, and they brought extras for the kids who didn't have anything at home to
make a lunch out of. At first there was a little problem some of the kids
saying they wouldn't take charity, but the other kids? They said ‘It’s
not charity, it's one friend sharing his lunch with another friend.'
"When Barnes asked
what was going on, that guy Darren got up and told him how the food was.
Then he invited Barnes to sit down at the table and try that day's menu.
Well, everyone there just bust out laughing when they saw the look on his
face. D'ja ever ever offer one of your friends a 'crabapple' and it was
really a green persimmon?"
Amadeo laughed and
nodded. He had in fact done that to Con the year before. It had been
particularly funny since Con had fallen for the same prank the year before.
"It was priceless,
Dae! I wish I'd had a camera! So anyway, the menu at the school got
a lot better since then. They replaced the people who'd been cooking, had
someone called a die-titan write up a whole new menu. Someone's in charge
of checking out the produce before it's delivered to the school, so we don't
get wrinkled fruit anymore. You can actually recognize what's on
your tray now. There's different kinds of soup offered three days a week,
there's more choices for sandwiches other than bologna and peanut butter, and
if you want a salad it's really crisp. Remember what we used to call the
cherry tomatoes?" he grinned.
great!" Amadeo couldn't have been more pleased if he'd accomplished that
"The only drawback
is that there's suddenly a lot fewer cats and rats than there used to be." Milo said with a wink.
'Deo pulled a sick face.
"That's just nasty, Mi."
"Oh, I got better
for you! Everyone has banded together against the bullies."
in packs, even the geeks. Some of them carry whistles and'll blow em if
the school bullies come anywhere near them. Anyone who hears the whistle
runs to help."
'Deo said happily.
"Wanna hear something
"A bunch of girls
beat up Oren Ogelvy," he laughed.
Oren is like seven feet tall and must weigh three hundred pounds!"
Oren had been held back twice in senior year and was the only guy in
school that the other bullies had been afraid of. If Oren had had his way
he'd have left school after flunking out the first time without the added
hindrance of a diploma. His goal in life was to drive a big rig and he
was sure he didn't need a high school diploma to do that, but his parents
disagreed and forced him to continue his schooling. This was Oren's last
chance to graduate and he was even more hostile than usual as a result.
"Yeah, according to
Molly Denton, Oren started up with her, Gretchen Pierce and Sue Peterson,
shoving them around and pulling their hair. So they just hauled off and
started kicking and punching him, pulling his hair... 'Deo, no lie, the
guy was half bald by the time they got done with him. He even had bite
marks on his arms and hands! He ran like the devil was after him!
"No kiddin'!" 'Deo
replied, pleasantly surprised. "Good for them!"
"Yep, after what
Angelo went through the students decided to put their foot down... feet?
Anyway, the students all look out for each other now, and some of the
guys from the wrestling and football teams monitor that area behind the school
before and after school to make sure no one else gets blind-sided. The
stoners weren't too happy with that though, because now they have to find
a new place to hide and sneak their smokes." Milo said with a smile.
Amadeo became serious.
"How's Angelo? Is he included in the new protection
Milo looked slightly
embarrassed. "He hasn't been back to school since it happened.
What I heard is that his parents arranged for a tutor to go to their
house. I found out where he lives, though!" Milo said
encouragingly, "But his parents or one of his brothers always answer the
door and all they say is that Angelo isn't available. Then they smile politely
and close the door. Same thing when we call his house. Well, I
mean, they don't close the door when we call cuz that'd just be silly, well, I
dunno if they close the door when we call or not since I don't know if anyone
might have been at the door at the time, but they hang the phone up nicely when
I call," he added, "I don't even see him in town anymore."
'Deo looked closely at
his friend to see if he'd been serious about Angelo's family not closing the
door when people called on the phone and then shook it off.
"Where does he
"Know that dirt
road just down a ways from the Ketterly's?"
"Between them and
"Yeah, that's the
'Deo raised his
eyebrows. Who on earth could live there, it was just about next to
nowhere. Phone service? Must have cost a fortune to hook one up
down there, he thought.
Curly Baker was suspended!"
"Well, word is that
Felix Garruson ran for help and a bunch of the teachers came out, including
Cobrane and Barnes. Curly's the one that didn't come forward when Barnes and
Cobrane gave everyone they saw the chance to fess up."
happened? Gave everyone the chance to fess up to what?" Amadeo
"After you and
Angelo were rushed to the hospital, Barnes and Cobrane started making calls to
everyone's families, to tell them what happened. Miz Jennings went into a
few classrooms, looked around and then left, no one knew what that was about.
'Bout an hour and a half later Mr. Cobrane came on the PA and called an
assembly. Barnes got up to the podium and told everyone that some of the
people who'd been standing around watching had been identified and the teachers
knew who they all were.
"Barnes said that
he was going to give the kids the chance to come forward on their own, but
anyone who didn't, they'd be suspended."
"One of the
students raised his hand and asked what was going to happen to the kids who did
tell, and Barnes said it depended on how truthful and helpful they were.
The ones who admitted to staying and not doing anything could face
detentions and or a visit to Cobrane's office. The one's who didn't would
be suspended and possibly expelled... uh, what's the word?... pending...
pending a hearing with the school board, for breaking the code of conduct and
allowing another student to be injured and not getting help from someone in
Amadeo nearly laughed.
"Confess and get detention and paddled, or stay quiet and get suspended
and maybe expelled. Great choices there. Why didn't they just threaten to
feed 'em peas and brussels sprouts, they'd've gotten the same results."
Milo wrinkled his nose
at the thought.
"So, who came
forward, do you know?"
"At first no one
would talk about it. Some of the bigger kids started talking trash about anyone who told, callin' em finks and stuff, but Cobrane got wind of it and
called another assembly. He told everyone what happened. Man, 'Deo, I
didn't know, you know?" Milo said looking distraught.
Amadeo wasn't sure but
it looked for a moment as though his best friend were about to cry.
"Didn't know what?
Come on, man, waiting for you to spit out the story is worse than trying
to choke down another bowl of chicken broth."
Milo gave a watery laugh
and rubbed his eyes as though he were tired. "I'm not sure what I'm
supposed to tell you."
"Why don't we find
out how much Mr. Rossi remembers today, then we can go from there?" came a
voice from the doorway.
Milo and Amadeo jumped
guiltily and turned to see Dr. Mendoza standing in the doorway with a wry grin
on his face.
"Good morning, Mr.
Jablonski. I'm just curious, do you happen to have the correct time?
It seems that all of the hospital's clocks are running slow today."
"Gee, Doc, I musta
forgot my watch at home today. I'm not early, am I?" Milo asked
Amadeo tried but failed
to keep the grin from his face, so he raised a hand to partially cover his
mouth in a thoughtful gesture.
"Just a little,"
What are you doing in here!? I specifically told you..." scolded
The Dragon, otherwise known as Ms. Greer.
"It's all right, Ms
Greer. I don't believe that Mr. Jablonski has done any harm. You're
exactly on time however, I was just about to find out what our young man here
has been able to remember since waking. Did you bring your notepad and
With a final scowl aimed
at the boys, Ms. Greer gave the doctor an offended look and replied, "Of
"Are you ready to
begin, Amadeo?" asked Mendoza.
"I guess so, sir.
What do you want to know?"
"What is the first
thing you remember from that day?"
"Mmmmm, do you mean
like, what I had for breakfast?"
"If you like,"
replied Mendoza with a smile. "However, if you'd prefer we can skip
over that and begin with what you saw when you arrived at the school."
"I saw Freddie and
Brice tossing Angelo around like a football, and a bunch of people just
standing around watching," 'Deo said, anger tinging his voice.
Ms. Greer wrote down
every word, a grim expression on her face.
As Amadeo related what
he could remember of that day, Milo looked increasingly distressed and held
onto his best friend's hand, squeezing reassuringly when 'Deo recalled Freddie
advancing on him with the knife.
agitation as he recalled the events, Dr. Mendoza suddenly said.
"That's enough for now, Amadeo. Ms. Greer, please get Mr.
Rossi a glass of cold water and a cool cloth."
Milo's fingers were red
and aching as his friend's grip had tightened with each word, but he would
never complain. He could tolerate a little pain if it helped his friend feel
Ms. Greer, with a much
softer expression than when she'd arrived, helped Amadeo slowly sip some water
and then bathed his face with the cloth. "All right, honey, it's all
right. It's all over and done with, OK? All over and done with," she
said softly, placing her hand gently on the side of his face.
Mendoza eased Milo's
hand out of 'Deo's grip and placed it on his chest and then put one of his own
on the boy's. "Amadeo, I'd like you to breathe with me, can you do that
son?" he asked, calmly. "Breathe in for six beats of your
heart, and exhale for six beats. Breathe with me, son. Let's start.
Ready? Come on, Amadeo, you can do it. Breathe in for six...
that's right... slowly now... out for six, good boy. Let's do it again.
In for six... that's right. Out for six. Good."
When Amadeo's breathing
returned to normal he leaned backward against his pillows. He felt as
wiped out as if he'd run a 10,000 meter event. Ms. Greer took his pulse,
wrote it down on the pad she'd been taking notes on and placed the cloth on his
"We'll talk more
later, if you're up to it, all right, son?" Mendoza asked soothingly.
"I'm all right,
Doc. Really," 'Deo replied tiredly. "I can go on."
"I know you can,
but I think we should take a break for now, let you get your bearings."
it's all right. There's really not much more I can tell you. They
had me down. I was pinned. They were punching me," he
hesitated. "They had me pinned," he repeated, frowning in
concentration as he tried to remember. "One of them got up and
started kicking me. My face. My head. The other one kept punching
me. I tried to put up my arms to protect myself... and then it's just dark
after that. I'm sorry. I can't remember anything else after that," he
"There's no need to
apologize, Amadeo," Mendoza said kindly. "Full or partial
memory loss, whether permanent or temporary, is normal after injuries such as
yours. I'm frankly amazed that you've been able to remember as much as
"Is it... is it ok
to tell him what happened afterward?" Milo asked uncertainly.
asked, concerned. "Are you up to it?"
"I've been dying to
hear what happened ever since this turkey woke me up the other day with his
constant nagging, 'Wake up! Wake up!' " Amadeo said with an exaggerated
look of long suffering.
"I'd have told you
yesterday but you went and fell asleep on me before I could, dipstick!"
Mendoza listened to the
exchange with a bemused expression. Ms. Greer's mouth never twitched but
her eyes sparkled with amusement at the boy's banter.
"Well, I'm awake
now! Get with the words!"
"Wait'll you hear
this! One of the guys who'd seen the whole thing spoke up. He said
that Freddie and Brice had you down, that's when Brice got up and started
kicking. You stopped moving, and Freddie got up and went after the knife
again. One of the others tried to step on it to keep Freddie from getting
it but Fred punched the guy and knocked him down, picked up the knife and
started to go after you again."
Milo paused for dramatic
effect. "Dae, you'll never believe what happened next!"
"There was an alien
invasion, the entire human race was captured and they were rendered incapable
of finishing a story."
"All right, Melvin,
don't get bent. So anyway, that kid, Angelo? Don't ask me how, but
he got up and kicked Freddie in the..." he glanced at Ms. Greer with an
embarrassed expression on his face, "in the, uh... i
Amadeo guffawed and
covered his mouth to control the volume, which caused him to snort instead.
Amadeo had been giving his friend lessons in Italian, starting with the
'naughty' words. Leave it to Milo to remember that one.
Milo grinned, blushing
partially from what he'd said and partially from pleasure that he'd made his
Mendoza chuckled, and
the corners of Ms. Greer's mouth turned up despite her best efforts. She
ducked her head over her notepad and continued writing to hide it.
"OK, so then
he kicks off like he's about to run a relay, from the way he tells it kid's got
some speed on him, by the way. He jumped... man it was impressive to
listen to, I gotta tell ya, and lands a flying kick to Brice's knee, and the
two of them are curled up in the dirt like rolly pollys. Angelo, he walks
over to you, stands there a second or two and just drops like someone cut his
strings. That's when the teachers got there. Anyway, everyone'd
scattered when they saw Cobrane coming, but Miz Jennings told Sharon that
Cobrane and Garcia took care of you and Angelo and Mr. Young and Mr. Stewart stood
over those... J.D.s til the cops came and busted 'em."
"So they're in jail
now?" Amadeo asked through his laughter.
anyway, just a few days after they were arrested Judge Thornton calls the...
what's it called..."
it!" Milo said, clicking his fingers. "Thanks."
"All right, so they
had the arraignment... and what happened?"
"OK, so they held
it in a closed court. Figured it would be a zoo if they made it open to
the public so only reporters were allowed in. And Dae, they came from all over
Georgia! Look, I brought one of the articles for you to read."
Milo handed the paper to
Amadeo who unfolded it. There on the front page was a picture of two
young men. If the caption hadn't identified them as Brice and Freddie, Amadeo
would never have known who they were. Their hair was clean and trimmed,
and both wore suits and ties.
According to the
article, the judge read the charges and instructed the two boys to enter their
pleas. Brice stood, claimed he had acted in self-defense and entered a
plea of 'Not guilty.'
Next to speak had been
Freddie who also entered a plea of not guilty, following it up by announcing to
the judge, "'We was jus' jokin' around with the dago when the wop went
ape, screamin' and yellin' threats.'"
According to the
article, the lawyer had advised him to stop talking but the boy was on a roll
and continued by saying, "'We tol' 'im real nice like t' back off but yer
honor, I think the wop was gassed, he pulled a blade an' attacked us, see, so we
had to rough him up a bit to get him to settle down. We were the victims,
yer honor, y' see. It was a mistun'erstandin'.'"
Judge Thornton had sat
back in his chair, clasped his hands on his desk, and declared the statement to
be the biggest crock he'd heard in many a year. He then remanded the boys
to the county jail until their formal trial which would take place in August.
Amadeo grinned when he
read the judge's verdict, then he refolded the paper and laid it down on top of
"Are you all right,
Amadeo?" the doctor asked.
"I'm fine, doc.
Just... confused. People sometimes just don't make much sense to
son," the doctor admitted. "Same here." He took a
breath and let it out slowly. "Well, Mr. Rossi, visiting hours will
be starting in a few minutes, and then there's lunch, and physical therapy.
You did wonderfully yesterday. Everyone was impressed with how well
and how far you walked for your first time. I know you'll make great
strides. But 'Deo, listen to me now. You're young, you're strong,
you're in good physical condition, but all that aside I don't want you to try
to rush your recovery. You did great yesterday, but you pushed yourself a
little too hard. When Sam and Gary tell you to sit and relax, you sit and
relax, got it?"
Amadeo looked as though
he were about to argue with the doctor's orders.
"Do you know what
duct tape is, Amadeo?" Dr. Mendoza said sternly.
Amadeo blinked, taken
aback. "Yes sir."
"If Sam and Gary
tell me that you're not listening to them, I'm going to come in here and duct
tape you to the chair. Understood?"
Amadeo and Milo looked
at each other to verify that they'd both heard what they thought they'd heard,
and then looked at the doctor, who looked very serious. They glanced at
Ms. Greer whose face was completely impassive, except for a hint of something
in her eyes. Was that a smile in there? Who knew dragons smiled,
but was that smile for them or against them, and was a smiling dragon anything
like a smiling crocodile? If it was, Amadeo was in trouble.
Rather than take the
chance, Amadeo replied, "Yes sir."
"Very well then,
young man," Mendoza said, glancing at his watch, "It is 10:45 and I
have no doubt that the lounge is near to overflowing with friends, family and well-wishers,
so in a few more minutes Ms. Greer and I will open the doors. We'll see
you again around 3:00, after your therapy session, is that all right?"
"Sounds good, Doc.
Dr. Mendoza patted the
boy on the shoulder and he and Ms. Greer left the two boys in the room.
"Dae, I need to ask
you a question, ok?"
"Was that your
question?" Amadeo quipped.
"Cut it out,
goofus, I'm serious. I need to ask you something."
"Ask away, my
"What's a dago?
And what's a wop? I asked my father and he said he didn't
"Dago is meant as
an insult toward Italians, Spanish and Portugese. It doesn't make any
sense to me, to be honest. It's like if I went around calling every
Polish person a Milo just because they're Polish." he shrugged.
"Depends on who you
talk to. It could either mean 'With Out Papers', W.O.P., meaning I'm here
without identification, here illegally, and don't belong in this country, or it
could be a mispronunciation of the word, guappo, at least that's what my father
said. Basically it means me and every other Italian are bad guys, trouble
makers, members of organized crime and such. Neither is correct but, eh,
whatta ya gonna do?"
"Throw myself down
on the floor and hold my breath until I turn blue!" They both said,
After a pause, Milo
asked sheepishly, "Um, so, do you?"
"Do I what?"
Amadeo asked with a puzzled look on his face.
I mean, you're not here illegally, right? I mean, I don't care
really, I'm just curious."
"Dad's parents came here in 1899, and dad was born on February 29th,
1904 in Pennsylvania. Mom's folks came here and settled in Pennsylvania in
1900. She was born on May 22, 1908, making them, and their brothers and
sisters, American citizens. Mom and dad were married May 21, 1926 when
dad was twenty two and mom was eighteen. They moved back to Italy when
dad's job transferred him there because they were opening a new branch of the
factory and he knew the language. All of us kids were born there, but we
have dual citizenship... that means we're citizens of both Italy and
cool." Milo said admiringly. He'd have liked more time alone
to talk to his friend but there was no time. The Rossi clan, minus the
children, filed in, followed minutes later by Mr. Barnes and Mr. Cobrane.
Johnny and Natie stood
up and greeted the men, offering them the comfortable seats closest to the bed.
"We're only going
to stay a little while, but thank you for the offer." Barnes said with a
smile as he shook Amadeo's hand.
"We're very pleased
to see you awake and well, Mr. Rossi." Cobrane said, then shocked
the teenagers by smiling. "We've come bearing good news, Mr. Rossi,"
said Mr. Barnes. "Your teachers, in light of recent events, have
offered to waive the obligatory make up work required toward your final grade,
as there are only five weeks left to the school year. Since summer break
is coming up soon, they've agreed to allow you to take your final exams at the
end of June. They will each schedule a day for the exam, and will, with
your parent's permission, go to your house to administer them. This will
give you several weeks to study. They will also provide you with study
guides so that you will know which topics to concentrate on."
"That's very kind
of you, Mr. Barnes," said Mrs. Rossi with a gracious smile.
appreciatively at his wife. He could listen to her voice all day. She was
what his father had described as 'a real lady.' She was soft and feminine
and yet could be hard as iron when the need arose. She was caring and gentle
but was strong physically and mentally and had yet to run from any challenge.
She had a heart as big as the outdoors, loved her children without
question and yet still had love to spare for their friends, who all called her
'Mama', and for every stray cat and dog that needed a little food and
tenderness. She had a smile that lit up the room and could charm the
birds out of the trees. They'd been married for thirty eight years and
she only seemed to become more beautiful as the time passed.
Other men would be
possessive and jealous, and guard her like the treasure she was, but he had no
need to be or do any of those things. She was as devoted to him as he was
to her, and he wondered every day what he'd done right to deserve such a
Johnny dragged his eyes
away from his wife long enough to thank Mr. Barnes and Mr. Cobrane as well.
"We'll be looking
forward to your return to school soon, Mr. Rossi," said Cobrane, reaching
his hand out to shake 'Deo's.
Amadeo put out his hand
and clasped the man's outstretched hand. "Thank you, sir.
It'll be nice to be back."
Reference to Smaug - The name of the
dragon in The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien Publisher:George Allen & Unwin (UK) Published: 21 September 1937 No copyright infringement intended