'Because You're Lucky'

Story Time

June 06, 1999|By Irene Smalls

Editor's note: When Kevin comes to live at his cousin Jonathan's house, both boys must make some big adjustments.

The question traveled through the family like wildfire. Cousin Cheryl called Great-Aunt Myrtle, who called Nana Louise, who called her goddaughter Yvonne, who called her brother Jimmy, who called Aunt Laura. Who was going to take Hazel's boy, Kevin? Softhearted Aunt Laura was the first to say yes.

So caramel-colored Kevin with the long curly lashes came one day to live with his aunt Laura, her son, Jonathan, and her daughter, Dawn. He came without a toothbrush or a toy. He came without a change of clothes, and he came without a mommy or a daddy.

Some days Kevin and Jonathan were friends, and some days they were not. Kevin had street-smart jokes and fight in his words as well as in his fists. Sometimes at night in the room they shared, Kevin would tease Jonathan. Jonathan would get angry, and they would fight.

"He hit me first," Jonathan yelled one night when his mother came in.

"He hit me first," Kevin screamed.

Jonathan's mother was confused. She couldn't tell who had hit whom first. So she said, "You both sit down quietly, and don't get up until you both say, 'I'm sorry.' "

Jonathan said, "You always believe Kevin. You don't believe me. You're my mother. Not his. I hate Kevin."

Kevin grabbed his own mother's picture off the dresser and started to run downstairs.

"Wait a minute," Jonathan's mother said. "Jonathan, I'm your mother, and I will always be your mother. Kevin wasn't mine before, but he's mine now. I have enough love for all of you. Now, both of you go to sleep."

One day after another shoving match, Kevin packed up his half of Jonathan's clothes and moved across the hall to the guest room.

Jonathan hollered, "Get out and stay out!" as Kevin left.

"He made me mad -- that's why I left him," Kevin said to Jonathan's mother.

That night Kevin went to sleep in his new room in a wink, but Jonathan had trouble going to sleep. It had been a long while since he had slept in his room all by himself.

The next day was Saturday, and Jonathan watched cartoons for a long time because it's hard playing chess all by yourself. Kevin stayed in his room all morning.

"Where's Kevin?" Jonathan asked when his mother went into the living room.

"Oh, he's up in his room, I guess," Jonathan's mother said.

"Where's Jonathan?" Kevin asked when she went upstairs with the laundry.

"Oh, in the house somewhere. I think he's looking for you," Jonathan's mother said.

When Kevin came down, he looked around. Then he stuck his head into the living room.

"That you, Kevin?" Jonathan shouted.

"Yep," Kevin yelled back.

Kevin and Jonathan both said "Sorry" at the same time.

There was a short silence. Then Jonathan asked, "Do you want to go to the park?"

"Yep, yep, yep!" Kevin answered, so quickly that they both giggled.

Kevin and Jonathan went to the park. They came home when it got dark.

Jonathan's mother, standing at the door, announced, "Supper and then bedtime."

"So fast?" Kevin asked.

"We're having fun! Why do we have to go to bed now?" Jonathan asked.

Jonathan's mother smiled at both of them and said, "Because you're lucky."

Excerpt from BECAUSE YOU'RE LUCKY by Irene Smalls, illustrated by Michael Hays. Text copyright (c) 1997 by Irene Smalls. Illustrations copyright (c) 1997 by Michael Hays. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, (Inc.)

Pub Date: 06/06/99

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