The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 9
It was nice talking about my parents. I don't know why I decided to tell Joe about it. Maybe it was because he was the only one that I've ever talked to about it... even if it always led to me giving him a good punch. That and we were doing those question things.
It was Thursday now and I was headed into my counseling session.
"Hey Jackie," Mr. Barker said as he sat in his chair. "So, you have anything to share?"
I just nodded my head as I told him about what happened two days before.
"After I was done crying we played thumb war until we got hungry," I finished with a laugh
"Sounds like a big emotional rollercoaster." I just nodded. "It looks like you don't mind."
I thought about it for a while. "Well, I don't," I said honestly. There was asmall smile that appeared on his face. "And now you're gonna rub it in that Ienjoyed laughing, having fun, and talking about my feelings or whatever."
"I'm not gonna rub it in. I'm celebrating in my head, but I'm not gonna rub it in." I let out a half laugh, half scoff before he continued. "Jackie don't you see, you keep all these feelings inside and you don't realize that it's good to let them out. Sometimes it just makes you feel better. You do feel better don't you?"
I did. "Yeah, I guess. But it's just so hard sometimes. I mean, who do I talk to, when do I talk to them? I can't go to my parents because I don't want them to feel bad and I don't want to go to my friends and drop all this on them."
"Well, for one thing there's me, it's what I'm getting paid for, and two Ishould be the last resort, friends and family should always be there for you. Maybe you should talk to your parents about this. You're not purposely trying to get them to feel bad, so tell them that. Communication is a back and forth thing Jackie, maybe they want you to talk about it. They want you to be able to talk to them, not me, when you have a problem."
Mr. Barker was right. He's always right whether I want him to be or not. My session was already up so I agreed to at least try. I was in the car with mom and I was thinking about talking to her about it. Ideally I would have, but Ireally didn't know what to say. So instead we talked about the planned back to school shopping trip for today. She knows how much I hate going shopping, so she and I had an agreement that we'd have back to school shopping trips only. You know for a little mother-daughter bonding.
"Are you okay with going shopping today?" She asked. "You don't have any plans do you?"
"Just the back to school shopping plans and I need to buy Joe a gift too. His birthday is tomorrow." If a kazoo is what he wants a kazoo is what he'll get.
When we got home Joe was waiting for us out front. "Good morning Joseph," mom said.
"Morning Mrs. M."
"You two can hang out a little before we leave," mom said before going into the house.
"Leave?" Joe asked.
"We're going back to school shopping and I'm gonna get your birthday present."
"My kazoo?" His eyes went wide. He must really want that kazoo.
"Yes Joe, your kazoo." I rolled my eyes and we both headed inside.
"Can I come?" Was he serious? "I already know what you're gonna get me."
"Well, there has to be some surprise like... what color it's gonna be."
Joe and I just hung out for a few minutes before mom told me to get ready to go shopping. I said goodbye to Joe and headed upstairs to get my wallet. My parents gave me a ten dollar allowance every week. I always saved it for when Iwanted to buy a new book or something.
"Jackie," I heard mom call from downstairs. "Why don't you call Berna to see if she wants to come?"
Before mom would just invite Berna because she felt bad that Mrs. Rada was always gone, but throughout the years mom's been becoming fond of Berna, like she was part of the family, and she pretty much was. Not that I was complaining. There was a second phone in the second floor hallway so I walked down the hall and called Berna. She agreed since she loves shopping. I shook my head at her excitement and headed downstairs. I heard a couple voices in the living room. When I got there I saw Joe and mom talking.
"I thought you left," I said as I walked over to the couch they were sitting on.
"I'm leaving now. Have fun shopping." He was out of the house and I threw aquestioning look over at mom.
"Is Berna coming?" She asked innocently.
I just raised my eyebrow and said, "Yeah, I told her we'd be there in a few."
"Alright, well then let's go!" I just knew that she and Berna were gonna be having the most fun shopping.
We picked Berna up and headed to the mall. Berna's dad gave her his credit card to buy whatever clothes she wanted. Mr. Rada knew that mom and I would never let her get away with buying too much or anything to skimpy so he trusted her with the card.
This shopping trip was no different from other shopping trips. The three of us would look around for something for me to try on. When we did they'd get me to a dressing room to try them on while they went out to look for more stuff. They'd keep coming back with more things until I told them to stop. After I was done I'd wait while Berna tried on some things. This would continue at every store until we all had about ten bags in each of our hands.
Now we're sitting in the food court eating a snack. My feet hurt and I just want to go home.
"Why don't you girls go looking for Joe's gift now? I'll stay here and watch our stuff," mom told us.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, now go. You have an hour. I still need to go home and get started on dinner."
Berna and I left mom at the food court and walked through the mall toward the music store.
"What are you getting Joe, I still need to get him something," Berna said.
"A kazoo." Berna gave me a that's-it look that made me laugh. "That's what he said he wanted so I'm getting it for him. He also said he wants a harmonica, you can get him that."
On the way to the music store we passed a book store. I stopped right in front and gave Berna puppy dog eyes.
"Fine," she said exasperated before we headed inside.
I quickly settled on an oldie, Little Women and headed to the register. As I passed one of the many tables with books on display, I saw a book that said How to Kazoo and there was a kazoo that came with it. I grabbed it and went to the cashier to pay for them.
"Good choice," Berna said when she saw the extra book I picked up. "No offense to Joe, but I don't think he'll be able to figure out how to play a kazoo without instructions."
"That's why I took it." We both laughed at Joe's slight airheadedness and continued on to the music store.
Once we got inside Berna asked the girl at the register where the harmonicas were. She was looking at them as I wandered around the store a little bit. Kevin and sometimes Nick were teaching me how to play the guitar. I wasn't all that great, but with a little more practice maybe I could be okay. I looked at the price of guitars and geez, they were way out of my price range. I continued toward the back of the store and saw some tambourines. I picked up one that looked the nicest, yet simple, and walked over to Berna. She was still looking at the harmonicas.
"Hey Berna," I said to get her attention. "Could you imagine Joe on stage with this?"
"He'd go crazy with that thing," she said with a laugh.
"I think I'm gonna get it for him. It's only $15 or something."
"Well lucky you," Berna said. "I don't know anything about music. I know clothes. I think I'm gonna get him a shirt or something."
I just laughed at her and said, "Fine, let me pay for this and we'll go to aclothing store."
"Headless double row," the guy at the register said out loud. I guess he was talking about the tambourine. "You a beginner?"
"Umm... it's for my friend and yeah he is." He just nodded his head and finished ringing me up before Berna and I went to another store. We ended up buying some silly string as well. If Mr. Barker wanted me to have a little more fun, then Iwas gonna have a little more fun.
Twenty minutes later we were walking back to the food court to see mom in the same spot we'd left her.
"You girls ready to go?"
"Yup," we said in unison. We walked out to the car and headed home.
We dropped Berna off on the way. When I got home I raided mom's craft supplies for a box, some rapping paper, and some ribbons to wrap Joe's gift.
"Find something good for Joe?" Mom asked while I sat rapping in the living room.
"I think so. I hope he likes it."
"I'm sure he'll love anything you give him," she assured me.
The Jonas' usually had a barbeque on special occasions during the summer and tomorrow's no different. Hopefully thing's will be calm with Berna and Kristine there.