CHAPTER IX. A PLACE OF OUR OWN
C 2004 By Gracie Prior
(In the last chapter, we took an interlude while Mary got to know her boys a little better. We return to Butch's problems.)
Butch sat in his room on the twin bed. He had pennants up on the wall from major baseball teams. He didn't have a favorite team and he didn't listen to games much, but he liked to get into sports talk once in awhile. Other boys had sports decorations on their wall. He didn't want to be different. He didn't consciously think about all this. The pennants were just there. They didn't speak to him. His heart was in reading and writing. He was running out of ways of telling his mom and dad what he liked and why.
"How embarrassing," he said to himself. "Mom has to be right there when the club comes over. Terry has the basement, Jimmy has a den, Mary, I don't know yet, but I bet her mom isn't there doing ironing." He pondered the problem. "What I need is a clubhouse. Dad and Mom always want me to go outside. Well I would like to live outside, to get away from them." He felt guilty for that last remark. His parents were old, older than Terry's even. He was sure they were much older than Mary's or Jimmy's. And as he was an only child, they babied him too much. "A clubhouse is just what I need. I even have money saved from when I delivered those phone books. I'll see if Terry and Jimmy will help me. Then we can do our club outside and please everyone."
Butch went downstairs and looked around for his mom. She was in the kitchen, making salads for dinner. "Mom, I have a project, for outdoors, that I'd like to try. Can I do it?"
"Butch, you know that depends on what it is."
"Let me make a clubhouse on the back of our property. We've got lots of room. Dad can help if he wants, but I can figure it out. It doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be a place where I, where we can be alone."
"Well I don't know. You'll have to ask Dad. You and your friends will still be sitting around reading and all. You need exercise."
"The last time you said I needed to be outside. The clubhouse will be outside. There won't be any electricity. Just whatever battery stuff we can bring in. If you like, we can run around the house every hour or so, just to stay fit."
"Don't you get that attitude with me, young man." Her carrot cutting became faster and more vicious.
Butch grabber his jacket. "It's just, Roy's mom is always on him because he never reads books. He's always playing baseball. You get on me because I read and don't play baseball. How is a guy supposed to be a kid in this day and age?" He slammed the door and went outside.
As Butch ran down to Jimmy's house, he noticed what a beautiful day it was. "Look at that sun!" The very last of the red and yellow leaves fell gently in the wind. When Butch called, Jimmy came out at once. "I have a great idea for the Scribblers. Do you think you and Terry can help me make a clubhouse out back in our yard? That way, we can always have a place to meet. Won't that be cool?"
A pensive mood framed Jimmy's face as the boys took seats in the green metal chairs on Jimmy's porch. "It's just what we need. Then we can get boxes and store our stuff and we'll really be in business. Besides, we won't have to keep calling to see where to meet. It will always be at the clubhouse. Will your parents let you? Do you have money for the materials? Do you know what you, we, are doing?"
"Yes to all the questions. Mom and Dad haven't agreed yet, but they will. They pretty much let me do whatever I want, as long as it isn't something bad. They are fair I have to admit. Don't tell them I said that. I don't want them to think I'm an easy kid to handle."
"Why not? I am. Easy, that is."
"It just works better to have leverage."
Butch and Jimmy looked over the trees in the yard and breathed deeply. After awhile, Butch said, "Let's call Terry and Mary and tell them the good news."
"Shouldn't you wait for official confirmation from the parents?"
"Butch squeaked the chair against the rough wood on Jimmy's porch. "Nah," he said. "It's a done deal."
(Next time: More news on the clubhouse. See you then. Nancy)