Vinnie takes Rupert out of his mom’s arms and runs down the hallway toward his room. He skids to a stop in front of his door, twists and lets out a primal scream as he dashes into his room arms outstretched, Rupert firmly grasped in his hands. Vinnie leaps onto his bed and falls to the mattress. He looks up at the ever smiling Rupert, “Stopped you from scoring again, Buddy. When will you ever learn, nothing gets by me?”
Vinnie using his falsetto voice for Rupert, “Maybe tomorrow. I’ll be waiting for you.”
Vinnie sheds his backpack and pushes it on the floor narrowly missing Dexter. Dexter doesn’t mind, he sticks his head in the backpack and mines for anything even faintly smelling like food.
Vinnie rolls onto his back and sets Rupert on his belly. He says, “Buddy, I’ve got to figure out a story to tell Mom about today.”
Rupert says, “How did it go down?”
“Well, Buddy it started off really good.”
Rupert interrupts, “Was that the bus ride to school?”
Before Vinnie answers. His mom calls from the kitchen, “Vinnie, leave Rupert alone and come her right now. I want to hear about your day.”
Vinnie hollers, “Did you read Mrs. Mavis email?”
“She hasn’t sent me an email. My God, what did you do? Out here, now,” orders Vinnie’s mom.
Rupert says, “You got to go. How long do you think you’re gonna be grounded?”
Vinnie brings Rupert up close to his face so their noses touch, “Buddy, Mom might ground me for life.”
“That bad, Bro?”
“Yup. Got to go face the music,” says Vinnie. He sets Rupert on a pillow. Rolls onto his back and slides off the bed. Dexter is up on all fours. Dexter is thinking it’s snack time.
Vinnie runs down the hall, he hops onto the breakfast bar stool and says, “Mom, let me ask you a question before I tell you about my school day.”
Vinnie’s mom sets an after school snack in front of Vinnie.
Vinnie stares at the snack. He says, “Mom, this isn’t my question, but what is this? Did you make this for Dad and give it to me by mistake?”
“You know what it is, Vincent. It’s healthy humus and pita chips.”
“Why, Mom? Joey’s …”
Vinnie’s mom interrupts, “I don’t want to know what Joey is having for snack. I want to know what happened at school today.”
“Mom, if you are happy with what happened at school today, can I microwave a bean burrito instead of eating this?”
Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes, and thinks, I wish Rupert were here so I could ask him his advice. She says, “Okay, if I am happy with your day, you can have a bean and cheese burrito. I want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
“You sound like a judge on TV, Mom,” says Vinnie.
“What is your question, Vinnie?” says Vinnie’s mom feeling her energy being sapped out of her at an alarming rate.
Vinnie puts a pita chip in the hummus and moves it around like a snow plow. While he’s plowing the hummus, he says, “Mom, what if you were shooting baskets with me and you made eight out of ten shots. Is that good?”
Vinnie’s mom says, “That’s eighty percent. That’s pretty good.”
Vinnie’s says, “That’s how my day was, Mom. Can I have my bean burrito?”
“I want to know the details,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Promise you won’t say anything until I am completely finished? And, if you hear an email come in, you won’t read it?
Vinnie’s mom says, “Should I sit down?”
Vinnie says, “It might help.”