Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays by Steven R. Schirripa Read Free Book Online

Book: Home for the Holidays by Steven R. Schirripa Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steven R. Schirripa
“But turn on the hot tub now, so it'll be ready after you eat.”
    Tommy looked at Nicky, and at Nicky's mom, and then laughed.
    “Yeah, right,” he said. “A swim! Some joke.”
    “Seriously,” Nicky said. “Come on. You can help me turn the hot tub on. Get your jacket.”
    “You make sure Tommy doesn't get his bandage wet,” Nicky's mother said. “The doctor said three days.”
    Nicky led Tommy out the back door, across the back deck and along a snowy path leading down a sloping lawn. At the bottom, covered with a heavy plastic shell, was a swimming pool with a rock-lined hot tub beside it. Nicky went into the pool house and pressed a button. The plastic shell began to draw back, revealing the steaming blue swimming pool. Nicky punched another button. The hot tub began to bubble.
    “My mom keeps the pool warm 'cause she swims laps,” Nicky said. “The Jacuzzi will be hot by the time we finish lunch.”
    Tommy stared at the water. “Swimming in the snow,” he said. “Unbelievable.”
    After lunch, the two boys soaked in the hot tub and splashed in the pool. Tommy dared Nicky to jump out of the pool and make an angel in the snow. Nicky dared Tommy to do it first. They both ran screaming back to the hot tub and sank in to their chins.
    Suddenly, there was a pretty blond girl standing by the pool, wrapped in a heavy parka and wearing a chilly smile.
    She and Tommy stared at each other.
    “Hi, Amy,” Nicky said. “Wanna swim?”
    “Oh
please
—no,” Amy said. “I just came to see whocould possibly be making so much noise. It sounded hideous.”
    “Sorry about that,” Nicky said. “It was me. This is my friend Tommy, from Brooklyn.”
    “Howya doin'?” Tommy said.
    “Oh dear,” Amy said. “Is he the one who taught you how to be a groompa?”
    “Goom-ba,”
Nicky said. “Can I bring him to your party tonight?”
    “Of course,” Amy said. “Wear something … dry.”
    “Thanks for the tip,” Nicky said.
    “Bye-aye,” Amy said, and turned away.
    When she was gone, Tommy said, “So what's with the prom queen?”
    “She's okay,” Nicky said. “She was just trying to impress you.”
    “Well, it worked,” Tommy said. “What a big stuck-up baby.”
    The first of the gang from Brooklyn arrived late that afternoon. Clarence went down to the train station in the Navigator and returned with Charlie Cement; Jimmy the Iceman and his girlfriend, Janice; and Sallie the Butcher, along with his new wife, Carol, and his daughter, Donna. Nicky and Tommy, locked in a
BlackPlanet Two
battle to the death, heard them arrive and went downstairs. “Hey, Donna!” Tommy said. “Howya doin'?” “Hi, Tommy,” Donna said. “Hello, Nicky.”
    “Hi.”
    “You should see the place Nicky's dad rented for you guys,” Tommy said. “It's right on the beach. It looks like a wedding cake. Fourteen bedrooms!”
    “Is that how many you have here?” Donna asked, gazing around.
    “No,” Nicky said, feeling shy. “Not that many.”
    “Are you sure? This is the biggest house I've ever seen in my life.”
    “Not really,” Nicky said. “Most of my friends' houses are way bigger than this.”
    “Some friends,” Donna said. “It must be hard for you to make do with less than they have.”
    “Cut it out, you two,” Tommy said. “I wish you were staying here. There's a pool! We went swimming this afternoon.”
    “Get out of here,” Donna said.
    “Swear,” Tommy said. “It's heated!”
    At dinner, Nicky said, “Mom, do you think Donna could stay here, instead of down in Newton? That way, she could come to Amy's party.”
    “Hmmm,” his mother said. “She could sleep in the guest bedroom. Carol? What do you and Sal think about that?”
    “Is she safe here with these hoodlum boys of yours?” Sal said. “I heard that Nicky Deuce is a regular Romeo.”
    Nicky blushed until his face was on fire.
    His mother smiled. “I'm pretty sure she'll be okay,” she said. “I'll keep an eye on her.”
    ∗ ∗

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