A Long Way From You

A Long Way From You by Gwendolyn Heasley Read Free Book Online

Book: A Long Way From You by Gwendolyn Heasley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gwendolyn Heasley
Tags: General, Juvenile Fiction, Social Issues, New Experience, Adolescence
I already feel guilty enough about leaving him at home.
    “Oh no,” Kiki exclaims. “I hope you didn’t fall in love with King Kong like that lady in the movie. Hands would be so mad. What about the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters ? You see him? He’d be impossible to miss. . . . Does he smell sweet?”
    Kiki has an incredible imagination both because of and in spite of growing up in the middle of nowhere.
    “I’m pretty sure the Ghostbusters took out all the ghosts back in the 1980s, but I’ll keep my eye out for anything suspicious,” I answer seriously.
    I’ll have to remember to take some photos of Ghostbusters landmarks for Kiki.
    Amber forgets to pay a lot of bills but never forgets the cable. She’s a serious fan of the Home Shopping Network, which she watches from late night to early morning. Having cable is a good thing since Kiki’s already an amateur film buff and studies TV Guide like it’s the multiplication table. Classics are his favorites. I think I know why Kiki’s so into movies—because Amber once said that our dad loved film and TV and wanted to be in show business.
    I don’t remember that about our dad, but I’d never tell Kiki that. He thinks that it’s their thing. He hopes one day that our dad will show back up, he’ll impress him with his movie savvy, and the last six years will be forgotten. I know that’s ridiculous, but Kiki’s only nine years old. All third graders believe in ridiculous things.
    “Don’t watch too much TV, Kiki,” I counsel. “Remember that Corrinne’s grandparents said that you’re welcome there anytime. Did Mom go out today?”
    “Kits,” Kiki whines, “it’s too hot for anything but TV. No, I don’t think Mom went anywhere. Why?”
    “Oh, nothing,” I say and breathe deeply. “You’d love it here, Kiki. We’ll visit Manhattan together someday. Today, I got to see the real Starry Night , the painting on the poster above my bed, and I was so close I could almost touch the painted stars.” I already want to ditch Corrinne’s party and try out my new membership to MoMA. I wonder how late the museum stays open.
    “Wow,” Kiki exclaims. “Mom says I can sleep in your bed tonight, and I’m going to stare at your poster all night. It’ll be like we’re looking at the same stars.”
    Tearing up, I squeak, “I’m always thinking about you here.” My guilt that I didn’t call earlier overwhelms me.
    “What are you having for supper?” I ask as I wipe a single tear away.
    “Stouffer’s lasagna,” Kiki answers. I can hear Amber saying something in the background.
    “Okay, Kiki,” I sigh. “Make sure you eat some veggies as well. You want to be tall and strong, right?”
    “Okay, Kits,” Kiki says. “I love you. And remember: Who you gonna call? ”
    “Ghostbusters,” I answer, blinking a few times. I suddenly remember that I saw Ghostbusters on TV with my dad right before he left. The movie gave me nightmares, and he stayed up all night trying to convince me it was actually a comedy. “A green gooey sidekick named Slimer? Kits, c’mon, how’s that scary? A marshmallow man? How’s that scary? One day, I’ll take you to New York and you’ll see it’s not scary.”
    I found out a few weeks after we saw that movie that real life is what is actually scary.
    “I miss you,” I say, and hope my voice doesn’t crack. “Put Mom on.”
    I hear some scuffling in the background, and Amber picks up the phone.
    “Kits, any celebrity spottings? And did you take my black heels?” Amber rants.
    “I’m not here to see celebrities,” I say and then lower my octave level, so Corrinne can’t hear. “The black heels are under your bed. And where are you going in black heels anyway? Remember, the bathroom fuse is the top left. And don’t blow-dry your hair in the bathroom. Do it in my room.”
    “Okay, Kitsy. What am I going to do without you?” Her voice trembles a bit, and I realize she’s really nervous about being on her

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