Dec 9: Little lies

Saturday, December 21, 2021
My Black Casio (digital) watch told me I had about an hour before Pete would come to Atlas. That left me with plenty of time to get to work on the second part of my plan. 

Sofie, that is. 

Mom was surprised to see me back at their house so soon after I left. 

“Are you still hungry?” she asked me. “Let me make you a sandwich.”

“Is Sofie up yet?” I asked her and without waiting for a reply, skipped up the stairs. The first thing I saw when I got to Tina’s old room was a was her old “Do NOT disturb” sign on the closed door. I knocked carefully. 

“Sofie, are you up?” I said. “I have an idea. Knock on my door when you’re redy for breakfast.”

I went into my room. I logged on the BBS to see if Twisted Sister had replied. He had. 

Logging out now, have a plane to catch. :) 

That me smile. That could only mean that Mikke was on his way to Kumpunotko, for the first time in a few years. The Church of Holy Rock had kept him busy, he told me, without elaborating further. 

I replied, even though I didn’t know when he’d be able to read my message.

Sounds good, looking forward to seeing you! 

Since I had some time to kill, and my Spectrum, I pressed play on my tape recorder, loaded a new round of Daley Thompson’s Decathlon and warmed up my index fingers. Normally, I would have closed the door so that the sounds of my banging the keyboard wouldn’t have disturbed the others – especially Tina back in the day – but now I pounded them extra hard. Not because I hoped to break my world record in javelin throw, but because I wanted to wake Sofie up. 

I turned on the sound on my TV as well and for good measure, pressed Play on my stereo. 

It worked. Just as my javelin landed at 99.30m and the crowd cheered and Bruce Springsteen shouted “hey, baby” in “Dancing in the Dark”, I heard a voice from behind me. 

“What is that noise?” Sofie said. 

“Oh, just your cool uncle playing video games,” I said cheerfully. 

“Well, you are my uncle,” she said, and turned around. 

“Wait!” I shouted. 

Sofie turned around again. She tilted her head, but didn’t say a word 

“Listen, we’re having our annual Christmas movie marathon at Atlas,” I began, “and we’d need a little help at the theatre. Someone to stand behind the counter, maybe make some cappuccinos, wait on people, that sort of thing.”

“And…?” Sofie said. 

“And … Sara wanted me to ask if you maybe wanted to earn some money,” I said, again, blurting out a blatant lie. 

Sofie’s face lit up, just as I had hoped. She would surely have said no had I asked her to do it, but when I threw in “Sara” (and “money”), the idea sounded much better. 

“How much?” she said but I knew she had already said yes in her head. 

“Let’s say four hours a day, and four days, and ten euro an hour. You do the math,” I said.

“Not fair, I’m on a break,” she said but she was grinning and I knew we had a deal.

“OK, I’ll see you at Atlas at three, OK? Show starts at four,” I said, and glanced t my watch. It was 11.40. I was going to meet Peter at Atlas in just twenty minutes. 

I ran down the stairs, shouted goodbye to Mom and Dad, and ran to the Beetle. 

It was raining again and Beetle’s windshield was foggy. But for once, I could see clearly. 

➡️ More on Someday Jennifer (HarperCollins Canada 2019)

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