Satch & Me

Satch & Me by Dan Gutman Read Free Book Online

Book: Satch & Me by Dan Gutman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan Gutman
Flip said.
    â€œCUPPA JOE!” Laverne called out toward the kitchen. “How do you like it, handsome?”
    â€œBlack,” Flip replied.
    â€œNO COW!” Laverne shouted.
    â€œHey, can I ask you something?” I said.
    â€œWell, you’re a little young to be wantin’ my telephone number,” she replied, glancing at Flip.
    â€œNo,” I said. “Where are we? I mean, what town?”
    â€œHon, you’re right outside the beautiful town of Spartanburg, South Carolina.”
    â€œAnd it’s 1942, right?” I asked.
    â€œLast time I looked,” Laverne said. “Say, you don’t get out much, do ya? I’ll be right back with your drinks.”
    Laverne left and I kicked Flip again.
    â€œDid you see the way she was looking at you?” I asked. “She likes you, Flip. She’s flirting!”
    â€œDon’t be silly. Waitresses just smile like that to get good tips.”
    â€œYeah, but after we track down Satchel Paige, you should ask her out on a date.”
    â€œStosh, I don’t even know her!”
    â€œWell, that’s how you’ll get to know her,” I insisted.
    I heard a noise outside, so I looked out the window.A bus had pulled up. The words “Homestead Grays” were painted on the side.
    It wasn’t long before Laverne came back with our drinks.
    â€œMy friend Flip here says you’re the prettiest girl he’s ever seen,” I told her.
    â€œI did not!” Flip exclaimed.
    Laverne smiled. “You’re pretty cute yourself, Flip.” She giggled. “How old are you?”
    â€œSeventy-two,” Flip replied.
    â€œHahahaha! He’s joking!” I said. “Flip’s eighteen. What a kidder!”
    â€œWell, it just so happens that I’m gonna be eighteen in a couple of days myself,” Laverne said. “What do you do, honey?”
    â€œFlip’s a baseball player,” I said. “He’s thinking of trying out for the Dodgers.”
    â€œStosh!” Flip yelled.
    â€œOh, too bad,” Laverne said. “Daddy won’t let me go with a ballplayer. He says they’re low class.”
    â€œLow class?” I said. “Baseball players make millions of dollars a year.”
    â€œWhat planet are you from?” Laverne asked.
    I glanced up at Laverne’s father in the kitchen. He was shooting dirty looks in our direction. Laverne winked at Flip and said she had to take care of another table.
    Flip and I were sipping our drinks when I noticed that the diner had suddenly grown quiet. Nobody was talking. Silverware stopped clickingagainst plates. Nobody was eating. Everybody was looking toward the front door.
    An African American kid had just walked in. He looked like he was about my age.
    I peeked out the window at the bus parked at the curb. Inside the bus windows, I could see a bunch of black guys. It looked like they were wearing baseball caps.
    The kid walked up to the lady at the cash register.
    â€œI’d like to order twenty hamburgers, please,” he said.
    Laverne’s father rushed out of the kitchen.
    â€œI’m sorry, sonny,” he said, “but we can’t help you. Ain’t nothin’ personal, you understand. You can use the bathrooms out back if you need ’em.”
    The kid lowered his head for a moment. It looked like he might cry. He was probably hungry. He just turned around without a word and walked back to the front door.
    I got out of my seat and caught up with him before he could leave.
    â€œHey,” I said. “Where’s your mother?”
    â€œAin’t got no mother,” he told me. “My momma died the day I was born. Daddy takes care of me.”
    He pointed toward the bus, which was still outside. Then he opened the door and left the diner. When I went back, Flip was standing at the cash register.
    â€œI’d like to order twenty hamburgers,” Flip said to Laverne’s father.

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