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.”“And that was part of the forty?”“No, no.He was curious what you’d do with it.If it’s any comfort, he did the same thing with me and I went through mine about as fast as you did.”“What, that was like a test or something?”“That’s precisely what it was.Your grandfather was a bit of a pissant.This was his method of teaching money management.”“That’s not what he told me.He said the money was mine and I could do anything I wanted.”“He didn’t want to influence your process.If you made a mistake or turned out to be a financial whiz, he wanted it to come from you.Do you remember what you did with it?”“Some of it, sure.I went to Oregon to see my friend Rick, and ended up lending him a few hundred dollars because the transmission on his truck went out.”“He pay you back?”“Not so far, but he said he would.And I mean, you know, I trust the guy.He’s a good dude.”“You also bought a Harley, if I remember correctly.”“Well, yeah, a used one.And I paid off some credit cards.”“That was smart.I remember the credit card companies were really on your case by then.”“I don’t know what their deal was.If they were going to be such butts about it, why offer me a card in the first place?”Destiny said, “Creed, would you wise up? Your dad’s a shit-ass.He has no intention of giving you forty thousand dollars.Don’t you get that?”“I’m not asking him to give it to me.This would be like an advance.”“Yeah, well he’s not going to do that either.God, you are so dense sometimes.This is all bullshit.He’s having a big laugh at your expense.He thinks you’re an idiot when it comes to money.He won’t give you a dime.”“That’s not what he said.Anyway, this is between him and me, okay?”Destiny got up, ignoring Patrick and Deborah.“You’re pathetic.You know that?”She banged the back door as she left.Patrick said, “You found a charmer in that one.”“We could really use some help,” Greg said, not looking at his father.“I don’t doubt it, but you’ll have to come up with something better than this business about a farm, Greg.I’m willing to listen, but you know me well enough to know that’s never going to fly.You don’t even have a business plan.”“What? Like I’m supposed to petition my own dad for a break?”Patrick said, “Do you have any idea how much farm equipment costs? You want to farm, you better know how much water you have available and what soil conditions are—”“Would you quit with this shit? All I want is what’s mine.Granddad left me forty grand and you know he did so what’s the big deal? It’s not coming out of your pocket.”“You’ll get the money when you turn thirty, at which point you can piss it all away.”“You just can’t let go, can you? It’s all rules and regulations and shit-ass stuff that nobody cares about.”“Say anything you like, son.The money’s in trust.There’s nothing I can do.”Greg got up.“Skip it.I’m sorry I brought it up.”Thursday morning, Patrick left after breakfast, saying he’d be back late Friday afternoon.Greg stuck his head in the door after Patrick took off, saying, “Mind if we borrow the Buick? We’re going to do a little driving tour so Destiny can see the town, and then we may bomb up the coast to Calida.Destiny’s never been there, but I was telling her how cool it was.”Deborah jumped at the chance to have them gone, even for a short time.“That’s fine.I just filled the tank with gas.The keys are on the hook by the back door,” she said.“What about Sky Dancer?”“He doesn’t want to come so we’re leaving him here.”“Would you object to his coming with Rain and me? She has her swimming lesson this morning.”“He doesn’t need babysitting.He’s fine on his own.”“I thought he might enjoy being out and about.”“Sure, whatever.I doubt he’ll do it, but why not? If we’re back late, don’t worry about it.He doesn’t like to be fussed over.He can take care of himself.”“What time does he go to bed?”“He’s a night owl.He gets hyper.It’ll be one A.M.before he falls asleep.”“I see,” she said, and then hesitated.“You know, it wouldn’t hurt you to get to know your daughter.She’s an adorable little girl.In many ways, she reminds me of you.”“Yeah, well, Shelly’s kind of touchy on the subject.”Deborah bit back a remark.She was sick to death of his catering to the woman.“Fine.I just thought I’d mention it.”Deborah waited until she saw Greg and Shelly pull away and then she went out to the bus.The day was overcast and inside there was hardly enough light to see by.She knocked on the folding front door and Shawn opened it.He wore a T-shirt and a pair of ragged cutoffs.He’d been lying on his futon, his flat pillow rolled up to support his neck.On the floor around his bed there were piles of dirty clothes.“Would you like to come inside where the light’s better?”“Did Mom say it was okay?”“Greg did.”“You mean Creed.”“That’s right.Creed.I keep forgetting.You might round up a jacket while you’re at it.”Shawn picked his way toward the back of the bus, lifting up garments in search of his jacket.Deborah removed the dead pillow from its case and stuffed dirty clothes into it until it bulged.Shawn came back, pulling on a sweatshirt of Greg’s that hung to his knees.“I thought we’d give this a quick wash,” Deborah said of the pillowcase full of dirty clothes.“I can show you how to use the washer and dryer.”“My mom showed me once at the laundromat.”“Ours might be different.It won’t hurt to take a look.”Shawn pulled on his tennis shoes and followed her.Deborah loaded his clothes and showed him how to operate the washer.As soon as the cycle was under way she said, “I’m taking Rain for her swimming lesson this morning at the Y.Would you like to come along? You and I can paddle around in the pool.”“I don’t have a suit.”“I can stop at a store and pick one up.You probably need a new toothbrush, too.You know how to swim?”“Not really.”“Well, we can practice.”While Rain had her lesson with six other little kids on the far side of the pool, Deborah and Shawn sat with their legs dangling in the water.In his bathing suit he looked younger than ten, more like a seven-year-old, with his bony shoulders and his collarbones exposed.He was afraid of the water, though he pretended he really wasn’t interested.When Rain joined them half an hour later, they persuaded him to get into the shallow end with them.Rain had a set of weighted rings that Deborah dropped into the water, one by one.Rain would upend herself like a duck, kicking to the bottom to retrieve them.Shawn didn’t want to get his face wet, but Rain made the game look like fun and at the end of an hour, he would at least hold his nose and sink to the bottom briefly.He and Rain would look at each other underwater and blow the air out of their mouths before they shot to the surface.After they’d showered and dressed again, Deborah ushered them into the station wagon.“On swim days, we have a late lunch at McDonald’s and then we skip dinner unless we decide to have popcorn,” she said.“That’s a hamburger stand.”“Yes, but they have other things as well.I can get you lettuce and tomato on a bun.It’ll be fine.”Once at McDonald’s, she told Rain and Shawn to secure a booth while she ordered their lunch.She came back to the table with their order number and sent the two off to get paper napkins, salt, mustard, and ketchup in small packets [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]