Rich didn’t know why Tom Miles invited him to stay at his home for the weekend and to go with his family to he Dad’s company picnic held at an amusement park. Once again, it made him feel as though he had achieved social acceptability.
Rich and Tom walked around his neighborhood. The homes were nice – very nice. The lawns were lush and green, well manicured.
“Maybe I’m now apart of the in-crowd,” Rich thought. “I wish we could live here, but in a year it would be a dump.”
During the walk, Rich confided in Tom. “I really wanted to play for the Blues this year.”
Tom said nothing. Rich became uncomfortable, so rather than remaining silent he spoke some more. “You know I’m playing third for the Reds?”
“Yeah,” Tom said, “so I’ve heard.”
“I’m really liking it,” Rich said.
Tom did not reply.
“Ben Granger is going to play first for us,” Rich said. “He’s a southpaw and he hits pretty good too.”
“Doesn’t he live behind a bar over in Dog Patch?” Tom said as if it weren’t even proper to mention Ben’s name.
“I don’t know where he lives,” Rich said.
“Didn’t he have a sister or two get knocked-up?” Tom said.
“I think one of his sisters did,” Rich said and didn’t say any more about the Reds, but they talked at length about the Blues.
As they walked back to the Miles’ home Tom said, “My mom’s going to have a big meal for us tonight. My mom and dad want to get to know you.”
Rich immediately felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave.
They walked up the driveway and up the steps to the back door.
“Well, hello there, Rich,” Mrs. Miles said warmly as they entered the back door. “It’s good to have you with us this weekend. I hope you like pork chops.”
“Sure,” Rich said, “it’s nice of you to have me.”
She smiled, surprised Rich replied politely. “I took the time to take your overnight bag to the boys’ bedroom.”
“Thank you,” Rich said.
And once again that surprised smile unfolded on her face.
“If you boys like, you can watch some TV in the family room,” Mrs. Miles said.
That confirmed it for Rich; only rich people had family rooms.
Just inside the back door, there was a small room that separated the door to basement steps and the kitchen. The kitchen had a counter to eat at and a breakfast nook. Beyond that was a formal dining room and beyond that was a living room that looked as if never used. Before entering the formal dining room was a small hallway that led to the family room, a bedroom, a bathroom, and stairways to the upstairs. Upstairs there were three more bedrooms and two more baths.
Rich had only seen furniture that nice in the movies or in a furniture store. Rich could not remember ever being in a house not having a dirty dish or two somewhere—but not this house.
Tom turned on the TV.
“Your mom is really nice,” Rich said.
Tom smiled bashfully and said, “Thanks.” He picked up the guide to the TV programming and asked, “What do you want to watch?”
“Movies are on channel 11,” Rich said. “Can you get 11?”
“We get 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 33, and 35,” Tom said.
“All we get is 11, 13, and 35,” Rich said. “I know what you’re thinking, how do we ever possibly get by?”
“Don’t you have an antenna?” Tom said.
“Sure we have one of those, but those are the only numbers I know,” Rich joked.
Tom laughed. He laughed at nearly everything Rich said, as long as he understood it.
They watched TV and Rich kept Tom entertained with what he did best – voice over dialog for the movie.