CHAPTER XXII. THE NOTE
Jimmy went out the door with Butch. "What did you mean by this note?" Jimmy said.
Butch looked at the note he had written for Jimmy. "For a twerp, you're pretty cool," it said. "Oh, you mean the twerp part? You know how you act, silly-like. You do it on purpose. I know you're cool. It shows in what you do and say. You just do what, and say what, and dress like what comes to you. Don't you? Nobody forces you to do these things. Do they?" Butch stopped.
Jimmy turned his face away in shame.
"Well, I think you're so cool anyway and that's what I wanted to say. I'm sure sorry, Jimmy, if it came out wrong. You know I'd never hurt you for anything."
Jimmy smiled a real warm smile. "That was a very nice thing to say, Butch, and I accept your note. I shall treasure it always. Well, that's all I wanted. See you." Jimmy crossed the street and Butch walked across the street farther up and went home.
* * *
Dear Diary, March 14, 1959
I have so much going on in my head. Butch gave me a note that hurt my feelings, but he didn't mean to. He's great. He thinks I'm my own man. If he only knew. Someone is always on me: do this, do that, why can't you act like so and so? At least Butch and the others like me the way I am, even though the real Jimmy can't break through, not yet.
It is so great about Terry's dad. He is doing much better. He only coughs once in awhile. I'll never forget that little prayer. Mary's dad is taking me to her church Sun. Dad and Mom said I could go. Dad said no, but Mom talked him into letting me. She said he never took me, so if Mary's dad took an interest, I should be able to go if I wanted to. I do want to. I've never been to church, that I can remember. I don't know what they do, but I just have this feeling that it will be something new and wonderful. I have to stop writing. I hear Cindy and Beth coming to bed. I have to hide you, Dear Diary. If anyone knew I wrote in here they might laugh at me or even read it. That would be the worst of all. Then I would have nowhere to go with all the bad stuff.
* * *
Jimmy had just hidden his diary when Cindy - four,and Beth - two came into his room. They ran up to him and gave him a hug. "Good night, Jimmy," they called. Each gave him a wet kiss on his cheek. Then they ran out of the room and went to bed. Jimmy sat thinking about the girls and Mom. At least they loved him. At least they thought he was special, just as he was. He got out his Arabian Nights book and lost himself in pleasure.
(Next time: something very special for Jimmy. Come back and see.)