“Guess what!” Alicia smiled. Mikey looked at me. “What have you done?” he said looking suspiciously back and forth between me and Alicia. I shrugged my shoulders. “Frankie has a crush on ...
“Annabel!” I heard Grandma Rose’s voice as soon as I walked in the door “good you’re home. I thought maybe you’d gotten lost”
“Grandma!” I dumped my bag and walked through the hallway to the kitchen.
It was Friday already, the days had just disappeared. I had no idea what I’d done with the time. I hadn’t seen Frankie sins Monday and I was starting to wonder if he was avoiding me (which would be stupid sins he didn’t even know me).
“Look who came home from college just to meet you!” I looked, but I had no idea who I was looking at or why it was such a big deal. But then I remembered my cousin Mikey saying that his brother was coming home to meet me. He was the thin guy with glasses I’d seen with Frankie in the cafeteria the other day.
“Hi, I’m Gerard, but you can call me G” he gave me a hug “it’s good to finally meet you, Mikey’s told me a lot about you”
“Yeah, you too” I couldn’t believe I actually had a family. A big family, not just me and... I caught myself in time. I couldn’t think like that, like she was still alive, but I’d always wanted cousins and my mom was an only child. That’s why I always wanted a big family with lots of children myself.
I had the stomach flu! I’d had it all week, ever sins Tuesday morning. Alicia had called me and asked if I knew anything about the anniversary. I bet she wanted to know if Mikey had forgotten or something (unlikely though, he loved that girl more than anything I’d ever seen). I told her not to worry, he had it all planned. Mikey called to tell me all about what I’d missed in school (“do you want me to throw up on you?” I’d said) and then he told me he’d meet his cousin. Her name was Annabel and she lived with their grandma at my street. I didn’t tell him I’d meet her, I wanted to do it in person, not over the phone.
You could see her house from my window (not that I looked at it all the time) and sometimes I saw her coming home from school, one day she was looking at my houses direction in the doorway, I couldn’t see her face, she turned away after a few seconds and closed the door behind her. Sometimes I saw her and her grandma out on the front porch, talking and drinking tea. I wondered what she was doing on the other side of the door. I’d make up stories in my head about her at the dinner table or getting ready for bed or doing homework or anything really. And now you think I’m crazy, but haven’t you ever wanted to see someone that much that it hurt? Now you think I’m stupid, what if it wasn’t the same for her? But as I said, I felt a connection to her, and that was that.
Now it was Friday and I hadn’t thrown up sins yesterday morning, which meant I wasn’t contiguous anymore. That was good sins Bob dropped by after school to give me this week’s worth of homework. Then he dragged me down to the park saying I’d get a cig. There we meet Alicia. We said hi and hugged.
“When are you meeting Mikey?” Bob said taking up his cigarettes handing one to me and one to Alicia.
“I don’t know... he said he was going over to his cousin fist, have you meet her? She’s great! Then he’d come and meet me here” she lit her cig and gave the lighter to me.
“Yeah, Annabel right? She sits at our table in school” Bob took a drag and blew out the smoke slowly “I think she likes you” he said to me.
“Yeah” I took a drag “I meet her, she’s really cute” I smiled to myself.
“Oh-ow, Frankie has a crush!” Alicia smiled “isn’t it sad about her mom?”
“What about her mom?” was Alicia going to tell me why Annabel looked so sad all the time?
“Don’t you know? Her mom died, that’s why she moved here” Alicia told me everything she knew about it.
“Hey, were did Bob go?” I looked around.
“Haven’t you noticed? Every time Melissa or some other prep comes around he disappears” I followed Alicia’s eyes and saw him walking away hand in hand with Melissa “that’s why he doesn’t sit with us anymore” she continued.
“I thought it was because he got in the basketball team and wanted to be more a part of them” I said thoughtfully.
“I think his embarrassed to hang out with us because the preps are so prejudice”
Mikey interrupted our conversation by coming and kissing Alicia. They looked so happy together.
“Guess what!” Alicia smiled. Mikey looked at me.
“What have you done?” he said looking suspiciously back and forth between me and Alicia. I shrugged my shoulders.
“Frankie has a crush on your cousin!” Alicia was still smiling but Mikey wasn’t. He just looked accusingly at me and left with Alicia saying they had to go.
I was sitting at the front porch later that night. Mikey had stopped by earlier but hurried off saying something about an anniversary.
Grandma had told me that they used to have Sunday night dinner together here. All of them, G, Mikey, their dad (my uncle Don) and their mom (my aunt Donna) – I could have stayed with them, but I didn’t want to be around a lot of people now – came and grandma made a really nice dinner. I was really looking forward to see them, and get to know them. I shivered and dragged the blanket over my shoulders. It was getting could, that meant summer was over for real. Grandma handed me a cup of tea and sat on the hammock beside me.
“How you holding up, love?”
“I don’t know...” I took a sip of my tea “I miss her, a lot”
“You know I missed your father terribly when he killed himself” she put her arm around me and hugged me. I knew it was her way of saying she kind of knew how I felt even though it wasn’t really the same.
“Won’t you tell me about him?”
She told me how he was as a person, and how I reminded her about him. Stories about him as a child and most importantly, about the time he came home from London.