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Date Posted: 21:41:27 04/29/05 Fri
Author: Diane
Subject: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please
In reply to: Diane 's message, "Okay - Chapter 11" on 21:38:14 04/29/05 Fri

Adam did not like his new school, though he would never burden his father with this problem. The other boys did not tease him about his accent--they ridiculed him and mocked him endlessly. They grabbed his backpack and threw it on a high shelf where he couldn’t reach it. They stole his lunch. The fact that he was the smallest boy in class and already fluent in English with no trace of an accent pissed them off.

There were no spots available on the intramural hockey teams, and no one wanted him on their team for street hockey during recess or after school.

And now, as Easter drew near, the boys would shoot him murderous looks and taunt him for being Jewish. Adam was confused. He didn’t even know he was Jewish. He asked his father about it the first day this had happened. Michael had smiled, winked, and said, “It’s just pretend.” Great.

* * *

Michael’s paintings were beginning to sell, and a small, new newspaper, “Scoop” got the exclusive on the opening of the gallery where some of this art would be shown. Michael had wanted to avoid publicity, but he didn’t want to have to hide away with Adam forever. It wasn’t healthy. Besides, he had cut his hair quite short, was sporting a full beard, and would speak only Québécois French; he bore little resemblance to the man for whom the Collective was looking.

He and Adam sported matching tuxedoes, and only stayed for half an hour. Adam pretended severe shyness and refused to speak—his accent was still too Parisian. Besides, the only things they had to eat were calamari, stuffed mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Had these people never heard of peanut butter or mini-weenies?

* * *

The next morning, Adam informed his father that he was much too sick to go to school. Michael was concerned. They had been out a little later than usual, but Adam had seemed fine. With hurried steps, he walked to Adam’s room and threw open the door.

“No!” shouted Adam. “Don’t come in! I have an infekteeus dyseez.”

Michael was perplexed until he saw a medical journal on Adam’s nightstand. Apparently, Adam had taken some time to prepare for this one.

“What infectious disease do you have, Adam?” asked Michael, his voice full of concern.

Adam flopped back on his pillow listlessly. “I have the Ebola virus.” He’d read all night, and this looked like one that could keep him out of school for months.

Michael quickly ducked his head and put a hand over his mouth. A coughing fit covered his laughter. “Do you have a fever, Adam?”

“I’m sure I do,” came the quick response. Stupid book. Every disease in there said you had to have a fever, but it never explained what a fever was. Well, if he was gonna have Ebola, he might as well have a fever, too.

“Adam,” Michael said, shaking his head as he walked into the room and sat on the edge of Adam’s bed. “you do not have the Ebola virus.”

“How do you know?” Adam asked suspiciously.

“Because you don’t live in Africa, and you aren’t bleeding from your eyes, ears, mouth and rectum.”

Gross! thought Adam.

“My diagnosis is that you don’t want to go to school today. Am I right?”

Adam rolled away from his father and looked at the far wall.

“Won’t your friends miss you if you skip school?”

Adam snorted.

Michael turned Adam over so he could see him, so he could really look in his face. My God. Why had he not noticed before? The boy had visibly lost weight, and there were dark shadows under his eyes that hadn’t just popped up from last night.

“Do you have any school friends, Adam?”

Adam slowly shook his head from side to side.

Michael’s voice dropped even lower. “Has it been pretty rough on you?” Again, Adam turned his face to the wall. He didn’t want to make things harder on his daddy than they already were. Michael patiently turned Adam back over to face him again. There were tears in Adam’s eyes. “Do you hate your school, Adam?”

For an answer, Adam simply sat up and hugged his father fiercely. Michael could feel his son’s small body shake with silent sobs. Michael wanted to cry himself. Six weeks, and Adam hadn’t said a word.

“Well, today is Wednesday. Why don’t we go pick up your things, and we’ll take the rest of the week off. I’ll make a few phone calls, and we’ll find a better school for you, okay?”

“B-But what if we can’t, Daddy? What if every single kid at every single school still hates me?” It was clear that Adam’s concern was very real to him.

“Hate you?” scoffed Michael. “You, Adam Samuelson, are the most loveable kid in the world. I should know. I made a mistake when I picked out the last school. It was my fault, not yours. I’ll do better this time. I promise.”

“Do we have to go back to my old school?” asked Adam plaintively.

“Yes—just to return your books and pick up your gym shoes and things. I bet those bozos will be so jealous when they see you strolling in there wearing jeans. And I bet none of them are having lunch at Dairy Queen.

Adam wiped his face. “I bet not,” he concurred, almost grinning at his dad’s use of the word ‘bozo.’ He never remembered had dad being this funny when he was little.

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[> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Shanola, 19:33:12 05/18/05 Wed

Only one thing.

Adam doesn't know what a fever is but he has no problem with the word 'rectum'? I found that hard to believe. Plus, most kids who are school age have been sick a few times and have had their temps taken by Mom. Why wouldn't Adam know what a fever was?

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[> [> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Diane, 19:56:02 05/19/05 Thu

Adam doesn't know what a fever is but he has no problem with the word 'rectum'? I found that hard to believe. Plus, most kids who are school age have been sick a few times and have had their temps taken by Mom. Why wouldn't Adam know what a fever was?


I can leave out 'rectum.'
I didn't know what a fever was until middle school--my mom always (incorrectly) called it a 'temperature.' But I see your point. Would the scene lose any of its cuteness if I took that bit out?

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Shanola, 19:14:26 05/20/05 Fri

No, I don't think it would lose anything by taking it out.

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