We were supposed to show: He was angry at his mother for not letting him go to the movies.
I lean my rake against the tree in the middle of our yard and stare at the pile of leaves I just spent half an hour making, then kick the mound apart. Wish I could kick something else. Or blow something up.
All the guys are going to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” today, but not me, uh-uh. Mom said it’s because I didn’t do my chores yesterday, but I think it’s because she thinks it’ll give me nightmares. Bet she even thinks the devil wrote it or something. She’s always saying things like that.
I’d tell her it was written by that English lady, the one who wrote Harry Potter, you know? But she wouldn’t let me see those movies either. I had to sneak out of class one afternoon with Pete and Billy and use my own money for the ticket and popcorn and stuff. Nah, I can’t tell her who wrote it even if it isn’t the devil.
I rake the leaves into a high pile again. My shoulders ache when I’m done with that section. Even if I clear ‘em off our whole lawn, Mom won’t say I can go. I hear it’s one of the most dope movies this year. All them monsters and scary stuff. I bet I’m the only one in my class who can’t see it. Not fair. Why do I have to have the strictest mother in the world?
Pete’s mom is letting him go, and Billy only has a dad so he can do just about anything he wants. They’re so lucky. I kick at the leaves again, but this time not as hard. I’ll only have to rake them a third time. I punch my fist into the trunk of the tree until blood starts to drip, then sit down against the trunk, knees pulled up and my arms around them, and my head on my arms. I’m deflated like the balloons Pete had at his twelfth birthday party last week.
Wonder if I can sneak outta class again. Nah. Don’t have the money. So when the kids talk about Fantastic Beasts, what can I say? Like all the other times I didn’t get to do something, I’ll be the only one who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Except for Nicholas. The high and mighty Nicholas.
Nicholas Phillips always acts like he’s above it all, that he wouldn’t be seen doing the things we like to do. I sometimes think it’s because he has strict parents, too. He can’t really believe those things aren’t fun, can he?
I look up at our house. I shouldn’t think evil thoughts, not about my mother, but I can’t help it. Can I? Uh-oh, there’s my mother at the window. I better get back to raking if I ever want to go to a movie ever again.