By Gracie Prior
The car across from Jimmy’s house sped out in the middle of the night. The headlights pierced the darkness. Jimmy was up at that hour because he couldn’t sleep. He was bothered by a remark his dad had made at the dinner table about him spending so much time with his nose in books. It did no good for his mom to defend him. She was always overruled. So Jimmy was up reading a wonderful book in his bedroom with a towel under the doorway to block the light. He heard the car rev up across the street and went to the window to have a look.
Mr. Brewster had come out with a suitcase and thrown it in the car. He went to the front door and escorted Mrs. Brewster carefully and slowly to the car. Then they were gone. It was an emergency of some kind and Jimmy figured it probably was the baby coming. Mary was so excited the last few weeks; she wasn’t much good working on the script. That wasn’t like Mary, he thought. With all this excitement, he wondered if he would ever get to bed.
His bed in his room was soft and inviting. He got in and fluffed up the pillows. Then Jimmy prayed a short prayed for Mary’s Mom and the baby. It was all he knew how to do. He had been reading stories from the black book called The Bible. A picture of a shepherd leaning way over a scraggly crevice and reaching his arm out to a sheep that was caught between the rocks especially touched him. The picture was frozen in that reach and Jimmy was moved by it and the caption, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd cares for his sheep.” Jimmy also read storybooks. Besides books about knights, he loved animals, and one of his favorite animal books was ‘The Wind in the Willows.’ He thought Mr. Toad was so funny, but he loved Mole and Ratty the most. They were different, but such good friends, just like he and Terry or he and Butch. As he reread his favorite part where Mole finds he is home for Christmas, Jimmy’s eyelids finally got so heavy that they would not stay open.
The birds chirped and sang the next morning. Jimmy’s head hurt from lack of sleep. The birds didn’t care. They just sang as though it were the most perfect day. Jimmy put on the clothes he had laid out for school last night. He went downstairs and nodded at Mom and Dad. Dad was drinking hot coffee and looking grim. His dark hair was combed and groomed so that the teeth marks of the comb could be seen. “Good Morning,” Jimmy said.
Dad looked up from his coffee and nodded at Jimmy. I’m going to be late tonight. You help your mom with Cindy and Beth. I want to hear a good report about you tonight. And don’t run off to that club till you have your chores and homework done.”
Mrs. Falcon moved behind Jimmy and took her hand and pressed hard against his hair for awhile. She came in front of him and made sure he could see her smile. “We’ll do fine together, won’t we Jimmy?”
Before Jimmy could answer, the phone rang. He jumped to answer it. It was Mary. He smiled and jumped up and down. His prayers were answered. Mary had a new baby sister and she was beautiful, Mary said. Mrs. Brewster was fine. Mr. Brewster was tired and coming home. “Thanks for the call, Mary. Tell me more at school. You’re going aren’t you? Great. Oh, boy, oh boy. A new baby. See you Mary.”
Jimmy ran to get his books. Mr. Falcon looked at his wife and announced, “That boy is certainly not right.”
Jimmy heard his mom reply, "It’s true he’s not normal. He’s far above that and I’m going to see that he stays there." Then his ears picked up the clanking of dishes in the sink.
(Next week, come back as Butch has new problems coming his way.)