Miguel's Journal



Entry #17: What they don't know won't hurt me.


I decided that it made much more sense not to tell my parents that I got suspended for two days for fighting with Juan. I figured that if they knew about it, there would be this big scene with my mother yelling and my father hanging his head the way he does when one of us kids disappoints him. I would rather have him take a smack at me then to look at me with those sad brown eyes of his, like I had not only disgraced him and my mother, but all of our ancestors. Man! I don't need that! Besides I feel bad enough as it is.

So I decided not to say anything to anyone and just hang out somewhere for the next couple of days. I 'm not talking about running away or anything, just to be out of the house during the day so my family would think that I was at school.

The first day, Wednesday, I went to the mall where I ran into Chaz. He was out of school for the afternoon 'cause he had a dentist appointment or something and decided that it wasn't worth it to go back to school just for two hours. If he didn't know about the fight and my suspension, he didn't say anything. Even if he did know about it, he just acted like it was the most natural thing in the world for the two of us to be there in front of the arcade a little before lunch on a weekday. Fine with me, I probably would have made up some lie if he asked me and this way, I didn't have to. So we went into the arcade and played a few games.

We spent about a half hour playing "Area 51," where you have to shoot contaminated military personnel. We were doing great. I made Sargent and he made Corporal. But we used up all our money, which was stupid because, we were pretty hungry to start with and by the time we finished playing, we were like starving. So Chaz suggested we walk over to his house, which isn't all that far from the mall.

I couldn't believe the house Chaz lives in. Big front lawn, wooden floors all polished, the kinda furniture that looks like what you see in a store, you know, that no one ever sits in. And he had this really big stone fireplace, with paintings hanging on the walls. And in the kitchen, there was a microwave and a cordless phone and a digital washing machine (yeah! it had a control panel!) And there was this giant refrigerator that kinda looked like a wooden cabinet and it was just packed with all kinds of stuff. You know, like fancy bottled juices and all these different kinds of cheeses and sliced meats. There were packaged salads and even sushi! Oh, and in the freezer there were muffins, cookies and ice cream and they even had a filtered water set up attached to the refrigerator door! Like a soda machine, you know, where you press the cup against the front of the machine and your cup gets filled. You could even get cubed or crushed ice to go with your filtered water just by pushing a button and letting it fall into your cup! Man, it was cool.

At least that's what I was thinking at first but then when Chaz showed me his room, which he does not share with his brother, I started thinking how different our lives are. I mean, of course I thought about that as soon as I saw his house, but it really hit me when we were in his room. The nice big desk, the suped up computer, the microscope, the boom box, the CD collection, the hundreds of books! I never would have guessed that Chaz was so... I dunno. I mean, the guy doesn't have a car or anything and he sure doesn't wear expensive threads. I just thought he was just a regular skater dude and now I realize that he's, like rich.

After we'd hung out at his house for a while, I told him I had to get home. He said he felt like walking and so he'd walk over to my house with me. I told him I didn't think that was a good idea since my little brother had a cold. Don't ask me why I lied! I just did. So I left and told Chaz I'd see him around.




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