Read Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04 Online

Authors: Lucy Rose: Working Myself to Pieces,Bits

Tags: #Washington (D.C.), #Social Issues, #Family, #Diaries, #Juvenile Fiction, #Family Life, #Girls & Women, #People & Places, #General, #United States, #Washington (D.C), #Family & Relationships, #Marriage & Divorce, #Bakeries, #Interpersonal Relations, #Children's Stories, #Death; Grief; Bereavement, #Families, #Death & Dying

Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04 (6 page)

BOOK: Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04
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“Well,” Madam said. “If I had a friend who lied, I think I'd ask myself if the lie hurt anyone. If it did, then I'd tell to protect the innocent person. But if my friend lied to make herself look like a big shot, I'd feel sorry that she felt so unimportant.”

“Then you'd tell?” I said.

“I'd talk to my friend privately because I wouldn't want to embarrass her,” Madam said.

Here's what I think: Madam was talking about a friend. I am talking about Ashley.

February 14—4:42 PM
Valentine's Day

Valentine's is 1 of my best holidays so I decorated Gumbo, and Pop cooked tomato omelets. We all got heart chocolates except for Gumbo because chocolate is dreadful for dogs. My mom traded me her minty hearts for mine with coconut contents.

Then for a good deed we carried candy to the retired but Mrs. Hennessy took Mrs. Zuckerman's red gumdrops when she wasn't looking. Then she took her purse and Mrs. Zuckerman got peeved at her stealing ways.

Red Alert: Aunt Frankie got 2 Valentines. One from Hank. One from Chester. Hank's has a golden tassel on it.

February 15—School
Valentine's Day

Right after the Announcement of the Day that comes from the P.A. system, we decorated Room 7 for our Valentine party and Mrs. Timony said, “Bart and Lucy Rose, I need you to unravel the streamers.”

“What's unravel mean?” Bart asked.

“It's the same as pull apart,” I said. “I learned unravel when my mom told me to stop doing it to my brown sweater.”

The most D-double-D-licious foods were fried cookies made by Marisol's mom and toffee candy that Hannah got from a store in London called Boots. Now I'm wondering if English people buy their boots at stores called Candy, which I'd say would cause confusion for tourists.

“I brought Red Hots,” I said.

“I brought Hawaiian Punch,” Jonique said.

“Do they have Hawaiian Punch in Hawaii?” Clayton asked Ashley.

“I don't know,” Ashley said.

“But you were there,” Clayton said.

“I only drank umbrella drinks,” Ashley said.

I looked at Jonique and I could read her mind and we were thinking the same exact thing.

Melonhead's card was a surprise to me, especially after last year, which was surprisingly terrible. This year he drew a giant robot chasing a puny man. Inside he wrote, “FLEE ELF.”

“Get it?” he yelled over to me.

“Excellent-O palindrome!” I yelled.

“Thanks for the B-U-T-ful rhyme!” he said.

I knew he would go crazy for it because I wrote:

Violets are blue,

Roses are red,

You're the only one with a Melon

Head.

“My dad says poems are meaningful when they are personal,” I said.

Now, here's the rudeness that happened: When the delivery conga line went around, Ashley put an envelope on my desk but inside there was nothing but emptiness. If I were a tattler, she'd be in that old lunch-smelling office of Mr. Pitt's right now.

On the way home Melonhead and Jonique and I sucked Red Hots to turn our tongues red. Hank called us a sight and a ½.

We were, too, especially Melonhead because he wobbled his head and drooled pink spit so it looked like his chin was bleeding to death and caused Mrs. Melon to feel like she could get a heart attack.

February 16

For after-school snack Madam fixed parfait that looks like stripes of ice cream only it's made from yogurt and berries and is for my health and I was not in a mood for eating it.

“I'd rather have 67 fire ants in my pants than know that word-stealing, lie-telling Ashley,” I said.

“Okay,” Pop said. “But it's going to be hard to find fire ants in the winter.”

“I'm serious,” I said. “She gives me misery and despair.”

“What happened?” Madam asked.

“She told every single body in 4th and 5th that I'm in love with Melonhead,” I said and I started to cry from the frustration of it. “She's says I gave him a LOVE poem for Valentine's, which I did NOT. Now everybody sings K-I-S-S-I-N-G if I'm near him at all.”

“That was a rotten thing to do,” Madam said.

Pop gave me a hug and went into the kitchen. I put my head on Madam's lap so she could call me “Poor Old Sock,” and pet my hair for comfort.

“I know you're one who loves looking at people's positive sides,” I said. “But Ashley doesn't have one.”

“That could be,” she said, which was shocking to me.

“Plus she lied about going to Hawaii with her dad, you know,” I said.

“I didn't know,” Madam said.

After 9 or 11 minutes of hair smoothing, Pop came back with 3 new parfaits.

“The events of the day call for real ice cream,” he said.

“Do they ever,” I said.

February 17

Even though tomorrow's a school day, Jonique and I got to be the Bingo callers for Game Night at the Home. Mrs. Zuckerman was the 1st winner.

“Please pick a lovely prize from the selection,” I said like I was on TV.

“I'll take the striped change purse and send it to my married granddaughter in Kansas City,” she said.

“I didn't know married people like change purses,” I said.

“Anybody who likes money likes a change purse,” she said.

“That includes me then,” I said.

Mrs. Hennessy was playing, but not so well. Mostly she was covering up her card with too many buttons.

Mr. Woods was sitting next to a lady with red hair that's new. I mean the hair, not the lady. That gave me curiosity because in my entire life I had never gotten to see a real wig up close, only Halloween wigs and the kind actors wear in plays, which are not so real looking. I got the idea to walk over like I was casual and inspect the lady's head, but only with my eyeballs.

Here's what she said: “Quit hovering.”

I had no idea what hover is so Mr. Woods explained that it's when you hang over something.

“Like I'm suspended?” I said.

“Sort of,” he said. “But hovering is more annoying.”

February 18

At recess Melonhead said, “Wait for me after school.”

“I will not,” I said. “Ashley could spot us.”

“I don't care,” he said.

“I do,” I said.

“Really?” he asked me.

“Look, Melonhead,” I said. “We can do stuff at my house or at the Divas' store but not in front of the public where Ashley can spot us.”

Then I walked away.

February 19

When Jonique came to pick me up for school my mom asked her, “Is Adam sick?”

“No,” she said.

“Is he running late?” my mom asked.

“He has to walk by himself from now on,” I said. “On account of Ashley and the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song.”

“Do you really think that's a good solution?” my mom asked me.

“It's a fine one,” I said. “I'll still see him, just not where Ashley can see me with him. We're good friends.”

I stuffed my feet into my snow boots and grabbed Jonique's arm. Then we scurried right out of my house because I could feel a talk coming on.

February 20

Mrs. McBee is on a campaign to catch up with time so everybody has to scramble like mad, including Mr. McBee's brothers, who drove from North Carolina for 2 weeks of helping Mr. Nathaniel put radiators back where they used to be before the plumbers remodeled them into vents. They are utterly thankful in the extreme that they got here before the snow did because even though we only got inches and didn't even get off school, they are nervous to drive in it.

The confusing thing about the brothers is they're both named Mr. McBee, but in this book, where I have privacy, I'm calling them Harold and Zeke. They're twins but not the identical kind because Harold is short and a little wideish and Zeke is tall and bounces.

Melonhead thinks the brothers are the greatest because they let him ride with them to the dump, which he says is absolutely full of great stuff.

“Is there stuff people would want?” Jonique asked him.

“Tons,” he said.

“That is how we can make Diva money,” Jonique said. “We'll rescue treasures and have a yard sale.”

“Utterly brilliantine!” I said.

Zeke promised that next time he goes, it will be the girls' turn to ride with him in the pickup truck.

February 21

Here is the e-mail I got from my dad:

“Dear LR,

“You have the TOP SPOT in my heart.

OXOXO,

Daddy”

That palindrome made me feel like I am beloved, which I am. I wrote back:

“Dear Dad,

“My top spot is you. And Mom.

Love,

LR”

I like to be fair.

February 22

Melonhead came over at 8 AM and hollered, “Great news!” through the mail slot and kept saying “Hear all about it!” until I opened. Then he said, “I CAN walk with you in the mornings because Ashley's mom is driving her so she doesn't get cold. She'll never see us.”

“Okay,” I said. “But if we ever spot her lurking about the sidewalk you have to lie down on the ground and get under snow.”

“It's a deal, Lucille!” he said, even though he knows utterly well that is not my name. I am just plain Lucy. Plus Rose, of course.

February 23

Mrs. McBee says if it's not one thing, it's another. Today another is a blocked pipe.

Mr. Jackson the plumber said, “No problem. I'll put a snake in the toilet.”

“I would say a snake in the toilet is quite a huge problem,” I said.

It turns out the kinds of snakes that work for plumbers are metal, not reptile. Even so, I would not want 1 thing to do with it.

February 24

After cello, Jonique and I went to my grandparents' and found Madam, who was practically done in from too much thinking. She had to come up with a recommendation for a lady called Melting Down in Mount Pleasant who had triplets 5 weeks ago and those babies eat every minute of the day and night and the lady feels like she's absolutely beat and exhausted and, on top of that, her house is a wreck and her clothes don't fit. The 2nd problem was that Madam's editor needed her answer on the double to put it in “Dear Lucy Rose,” which is the name of Madam's newspaper column and also the name of herself. So far she'd written: “Dear Melting Down, This is normal.”

“Only 244 words to go,” Jonique said because that math-loving girl can subtract in her head.

“Here's 3 more,” I said. “Buy new clothes.”

“Get the husband to clean up,” Jonique said.

“I have an idea,” Madam said. “While I'm writing, you girls can try on my costume jewelry.”

We took that deal but fast. I put 6 bracelets on 2 arms and Jonique put 8 on 1 and we piled on necklaces and covered our hair with bobby pins that have diamonds that could be fake because they came from Grubb's drugstore and I hope they are because we put some on Gumbo, who is not the most reliable poodle. When we were totally gorgeous, I told Jonique, “Madam will feel stunned by us.”

I was right about that.

Then I said, “Madam, you should give us this costume jewelry since we wear more costumes than you do.”

She did not go for that idea.

February 25

Since I was absolutely weak from starvation and my legs were almost collapsing, Pop took Jonique and me to Jimmy T's for an after-school snack. I said, “Hello, Mrs. T, we seriously need 2 lemon meringue pie pieces, please. With lots of bouncy white on top.”

“Bouncy white's the best part,” she said.

Pop said, “I'd love a bagel with the Scoop du Jour.”

Mrs. T said, “I'll toast your bagel but you'll have to get your own Scoop.”

“Don't you worry, Pop,” I said. “We've got Scoop galore. Melonhead had to go to Mr. Pitt's office.”

BOOK: Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04
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