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Chapter 17: The Adventures of Frankie

The gift

Paulette bounced up behind Frankie digging fingers into both sides of his ribs. He nearly cleared the jewelry counter at the discount department store. Good thing nobody was waiting on him, she’d a freaked them out too.

When Frankie finally came out of the rafters she asked, “Buying something pretty for me?”

First she tickles the bejeebers out of him then she caught him trying to buy a girly gift. Frankie couldn’t get much redder. Oh great, just as his face was turning into a stop light, Rita the Red Head walked up.

He finally answered, “I’ve got to do something for Mother’s Day. But what are you doing here?” He glanced over at Rita, nodding as if to say hi then turned back to Paulette before looking at the floor in embarrassment. “I figured you made something for your mom weeks ago.” Paulette always finished her school projects way ahead of schedule. And she always got an A. Frankie on the other hand was the kind of kid that waited till the last minute. He’d be up late the night before it was due then just squeak by with a C. Sometimes if Mom found out about it he’d get started a day or so early then he’d wind up getting a B.

“No, silly,” she poked him in the side again, the jab nearly made him bend in half. “I made a big pillow for her last week. Then another for my grandmother and my other grandmother.” Now she was counting on her fingers. “A small one for my aunt and oh yeah, one for my other aunt too.” She didn’t even stop to take a breath. “We’re here to get some thread for a new blouse we’re making for Rita.”

Frankie did his best to explain that he didn’t have much money and everything was so expensive. Most of his money was in his savings account and Dad wouldn’t let him take any out. He pretended to sound like his father as he explained, “FRANCIS! If you’re always taking money out then you’ll never have it in there when you really need it.” All three kids laughed.

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