Thursday, February 16

Jen works at a coffeeshop & takes night classes at a community college.

Emeric had given serious thought to the subject of his reading material, finally deciding to put off Treasure Island until he had finished the latest Redwall novel. He'd done this with all the Redwall books and he wished that Treasure Island wasn't so confusing; he only ever got through the first five pages though he'd read the abridged version five times. Clutching his present read in one hand, he wondered if he would have time to get through the last two chapters before school started.

"Mum, I don't want to go to school today."

"Are you feeling sick, hun?"

"No, I just don't want to go." He started to draw a tree on the foggy car window and through the lines made by his finger, he could see raindrops, wet pavement, and dark, leafless trees.

"That's good, because it's a Saturday."

"What!? Oh. Where are we going?" The car took a left turn and shortly came to pause at a traffic light. Julian looked at her son, his hair still ruffled even though he'd tried to wet it before he combed it.

"To the doctor's, remember? So he can tell us about those tests you took last time." Emeric nodded, then yawned. "I'm sorry for getting you up so early, Em, it was just the only time he could spare for us."

"It's okay, mum." He grinned sleepily. "I still brought my backpack."

"Oh, darling, put it in the back. Don't think about it. How far are you along in your book?"

"Almost finished." He let his heavy pack drop onto the floor in the back seat and scooted up in his seat a little, wiping away the fog-tree with his scarf. "What about you?"

"Not yet. Poetry takes longer to read because it's so condensed."

Julian hated that her son had to wake up early on yet another morning just to have a miserably cold time in a pristine office full of stainless steel counters and linoleum tiles and that awful hospital smell--even if the doctor was nice (she only hoped he wouldn't try to give Em more stickers at the end of the visit). Such a patient kid! She wished she'd at least been able to get him out of school for the appointment, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.

As they turned into the parking lot Emeric listened for the sound of the tires crackling on the wet pavement; it was one of his favorite noises. His mother turned off the music they'd been listening to and pulled into a spot near the door; there was nobody to fill up the parking lots on a wet Saturday.

"You want to go see Jen at the coffeeshop after? You could finish your book there, if you want." Jen took breaks every now and then from manning the espresso machine and read to them the most interesting stories out of her psychology textbooks--and if she was working they'd get free drinks even though Julian always tried to pay.

Em smiled and nodded. "Yeah." Julian turned off the car and pulled up the emergency brake, unlocking the doors with her other hand.

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