The Summer of '62; Episode 14
Tom said, “Mom, she’s just about done with the puzzle.”
“You know what to do,” Mrs. Miles said.
Tom walked over to the table and turned the puzzle upside down and scrambled all the pieces.
“No, no,” Grandma said in a weak voice. “Why did you do that, Tommy boy? I was about done.”
Rich was appalled and his face must have shown it.
Tom looked at Rich sheepishly and said, “It’s actually good for her. It keeps her mind busy.”
Tom and Rich walked to Will Davis’s house after supper and played pool for a while.
Rich and Tom returned to Rich's home to a slice of apple pie topped with a scoop of ice cream.
Rich sensed the verdict was in on him. His contact with Tom would be somewhat curtailed and thus his entrance into the ‘in crowd.’
Mr. and Mrs. Miles said little the rest of the evening.
Rich and Tom went to bed. Tom had a nice single bed with a mahogany head and foot board. A steel framed cot was set up in the room for Rich.
They talked for a while. Rich sensed something was on Tom's mind. He hesitated to responded to anything Rich said.
“You were rude and snotty with my parents,” Tom said and it sounded uncomfortable for him.
Rich thought, “His parents told him that I should be informed that they did not approve of my conduct.”
“It’s better than treating old ladies like crap.” Rich paused. Rich was certain that he would be ask to leave or his invitation to the picnic might be revoked. “You should be ashamed,” Rich said.
Rich laid in bed for a while thinking about the day’s activities and that poor old lady. “I'm convinced they were trying to hasten her inevitable and immanent death. The insensitive treatment of the Grandmother is unconscionable. I know little about myself and how I fit. I don't understand my parents or who they are any better than before. One thing I know for certain – for all my dad’s failures and ruthlessness he would not treat a parent that way. I know we were better than the Miles’.”
Rich and Tom had a good time at the amusement park. They rode rides, played games, and talked to girls. There was a certain unuttered communication between them. Their looks were vacant and their laughter was shallow. Our friendship from that point onward would be superficial at best.
Rich did not call him the rest of the summer and Tom did not call Rich.