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Authors: J. Minter

Pass It On

BOOK: Pass It On
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pass it on

j. minter


a word or two from your good friend jonathan, the social glue

Part 1
a cool shiver of a saturday, the snap of thanksgiving in the air

chapter 1
who knew the apartment needed a fresh coat of paint?

chapter 2
sunday afternoon—four guys, no jonathan

chapter 3
i get some really good, and some very bad, news

chapter 4
arno is in the bright, burning beginning of a very wild relationship

chapter 5
i learn some things that i so do not want to know

chapter 6
david's sweet and somewhat-too-serious love affair

chapter 7
a monday at school that i so cannot take seriously

chapter 8
after-school milk and cookies with mickey and philippa

chapter 9
the tent that's pitched in my living room

chapter 10
arno's new girlfriend's cousin throws a little get-together

chapter 11
i meet someone special

chapter 12
david thinks he lives alone

chapter 13
wake up and crush!

chapter 14
lovers quarrel over the shape of clouds in the sky

chapter 15
the joy of being somewhere i never am

chapter 16
dinner with the wildenburgers

chapter 17
david is good at football, too

chapter 18
arno's got a problem

chapter 19
one-on-one with david

chapter 20
mickey is suddenly left to his own devices

Part 2
The Psychologically Convoluted Interior World of the Grobart Family

Chapter 1
a portrait of the grobart clan in repose

Chapter 2
what the hell is happening in my apartment?

Chapter 3
david shouldn't be surprised

Chapter 4
i tell ruth everything

Chapter 5
arno trips out with his uptown girl

Chapter 6
this is not who mickey is

Chapter 7
patch has the stupidest outgoing message on his cell phone

Part 3
a few fateful nights at the floods

Chapter 1
who is nicer than little flan flood?

Chapter 2
arno has to make a sudden choice between friends and lovers

Chapter 3
my confrontation with old father flood

Chapter 4
i spend friday in heaven

Chapter 5
everyone is at patch's but patch

Chapter 6
mickey's one and only true love

Chapter 7
amanda is studying, dammit!

Chapter 8
maybe liesel really is the girl for arno

Chapter 9
why would my happiness grate on the group?

Part 4
a sunny saturday in old greenwich

Chapter 1
david gets shotgun

Chapter 2
i take a moment to enjoy flan flood's sweet lap of luxury

Chapter 3
who goes sailing in november?

Chapter 4
david helps the guys through the heart of saturday night

Chapter 5
mickey should never be allowed to drive anything

Chapter 6
i must reveal my secrets!

Part 5
in the valley of the pardos

Chapter 1
no problem at all, mrs. pardo!

Chapter 2
how little does homecoming matter to arno?

Chapter 3
david brings someone special to ginger's

Chapter 4
mickey's magic slammer

Chapter 5
the bathroom of my destiny

Chapter 6
arno worries first

Chapter 7
mickey knows a dead man when he sees one

Chapter 8
arno sums it all up

Chapter 9
david gets some more of that newfangled grobart philosophy

Chapter 10
my mom comes through on her promise

Chapter 11
mickey's love is real

Chapter 12
arno already knew the bad news

Chapter 13
if there's a sunset, who do you think is headed off into it?

Chapter 14
all of us together again

for SKS

a word or two from your good friend jonathan, the social glue

The other day I was walking down Ninth Street, headed over to Patch's, and this girl with honey-colored hair and a long, gray coat passed by me. We smiled at each other, because we'd definitely been at parties together. This was before all the secrets around me started to churn, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

The streets of New York City shone in the sunlight and the wind was strong. Brightly colored leaves rustled in the wind. In the fall, I like to have a warm, dark-colored sweater on hand—either for me, or to lend to a girl like that, like the one in the long, gray coat who walked by me that day and who shared the trace of a smile.

I remember looking at that girl and wondering,
what's her secret?
Then, only a few days later, when all the secrets started to build, they felt like the big difference between me and my friends.
Whenever I saw a girl, or even other guys, I thought,
what's their secret?
And I wondered that about people because all of a sudden I had so many secrets of my own.

Now I believe that everybody I like has secrets. They sprout up fresh all the time, like mushrooms or something growing in nature that I'm not familiar with, since I rarely leave Manhattan.

But let's start this story right at the moment when I had to take on my first big secret, which is about my dad and what he'd been up to over in London, where he moved about five years ago when he left my mom and me and my brother.

This is the secret that I had to keep from everyone. And I'm pretty sure it's the one that set all the others in motion. Soon enough the secrets were growing, gaining speed, and rushing toward me and my friends until we had no choice—we had to either knock them apart or let them mow us all down. And that girl I saw on Ninth Street? Yeah, I got to see her again.

a cool shiver of a saturday, the snap of thanksgiving in the air
who knew the apartment needed a fresh coat of paint?

“I can't believe it,” I said. “Dad's getting remarried next week and we find out now?” I leaned against the doorway of my brother Ted's bedroom. My mother was in the hallway, facing me.

“I understand that this might be upsetting for you, Jonathan.”

“Might?” My foot jumped suddenly as if the ground below it had gotten overheated. “Have you called Ted?” I asked.

“I left him a message.” My mother inspected the yellow-white wall. The paint was cracked and flaking in places. She smiled and nodded to herself. “In any case, the important thing for you to know is that I'm taking a vacation, and while I'm gone, we're having the apartment painted.”

“We? Are you sure this is really necessary?”

She'd been threatening to do this for a while. We live in this gigantic rambler of an apartment
on Fifth Avenue and Eleventh Street, on the eleventh floor, and sometimes I feel like the apartment is prehistoric or something—like it's always been there—which is why I got so weirded out when my mom said she was going to change something about it. My mouth hung open. I stared down at my new Prada loafers, but I found no solace there. I looked back and my mom was still looking at me.

“I'm quite sure. This place will be an uninhabitable mess for a couple weeks. So you can either stay in a hotel or spend a few days with each of your friends.”

“Where are you going?” I asked. Maybe it's because my brother's up at Vassar, or because I'm practically halfway through my junior year, but my mom seems to feel that most of the time I can pretty much take care of myself.

“I'm flying to Paris tomorrow night.” She smiled at me. “Milla is still there and she's going to take care of me.”

“What about Thanksgiving?”

“Oh, I'll be back before then.”

“But it's next Thursday.”

“Is it? I'll tell my travel agent.”

“Well, I guess I'll just shuttle between my
friends' houses,” I said.

“You can stop by here during the day, but all the furniture is being moved out tomorrow morning. With your dislike of disorder, darling, you can see why you should go elsewhere.” She moved into the living room and I followed.

I didn't even bother to start getting annoyed with her about how this was going to affect my schoolwork or how she could've maybe waited till December break. I got that there was a reason why she was cleaning house and flying to Paris to be taken care of by her best friend from college. She was upset because my dad had called to say he was going to get remarried. He's a real piece of work, my dad. If he didn't send the checks that kept me and my brother in school and my mom in couture clothes from Bergdorf's, our opinion of him would've fallen so low years ago that by now we'd have completely lost track of it.

“How'd he deliver the news?”

“He called last night. Her name is long, but I wrote it down: Penelope Isquierdo Santana Suttwilley.”

“PISS?” I asked.

My mother laughed, and her right eye began to blink uncontrollably.

“Why, yes. I've heard from Arno's father, Alec, that she looks a lot like me. She's younger of course, and probably spunkier. Apparently Alec Wildenburger is going to be the best man.”


“Alec said it will be a small ceremony, with only a few of their closest friends. I'm sure your father is going to call you, he just hasn't had a chance yet.”

She brushed my hair off my forehead and walked back down the hall toward her bedroom. She was putting an earring on, so she listed to the left. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine a different, better color for our apartment walls. But I couldn't. Everything was fine the way it was. And who cares about wall paint anyway? Not me, and I'm exactly the sort of detail-oriented person who is supposed to.

I went back into my bedroom and sat down in the chair at my desk. It was about noon, and the sun was starting to shine through the clouds. I'd hung out with my guys last night—first at Patch's, and then we'd all gone over to Mickey's girlfriend Philippa's house until really late, because her parents were in Long Island—but I hadn't talked to anyone yet that day, so I called Arno's cell.

“Arno's cell. Liesel speaking.” She pronounced it

“Oh, hi. Could I talk to Arno?”

There was muffled laughter. Then Arno got on the line.

“She slept over?” I asked.

“Yeah. My parents don't know she's here. What's up?”

I gulped some air. Arno had only just met Liesel the night before—she was a very “uptown” girl Philippa knew from school and she'd arrived at like three in the morning. I'd barely shaken hands with her. But I guess Arno had made a much stronger connection. Through the phone, I could hear the new Beastie Boys CD playing. I punched up the same sounds on my iPod.

BOOK: Pass It On
3.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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