Today's Reading

I'm about to spew a truly inappropriate joke about maxi pads when Mr. Person saves me. "Looks like your only two choices are study hall or the Art and Craft of Cinema."

"I thought that class was filled! I tried to get into that last year."

"I recall that appointment." Mr. Person nods, and I flash back to how I completely lost myself and both cried uncontrollably and called Mr. Person a dicktag when he couldn't make that happen. I guess he would remember that.

"Is there really an opening?"

"Looks like someone dropped out last week. Maybe they got a C."

I ignore the guidance counselor sass and relish the rare good fortune. "Can you put me in? Please?" I smile my brightest fake smile at him, which makes no sense because this moment is totally deserving of a real smile, but sometimes my face just can't make the leap.

Click click and click. "Done. You are now a physics-class dropout and a film student. Your future's looking bright, Eliana."

I sneer at him in that charming way I have and say, "Thank you, Mr. Person. Your guidance counseling skills are once again top-notch."

"I'll put that on my tombstone," he retorts.

I leave the tiny office with a reprinted schedule in hand and a spring in my step. Stuff like this never happens to me. I'm out of physics and in film class? That's luck. That's kismet. That's actually good news.

I stop my bouncy walk.

What terrible crap is going to happen to balance it out?


School days after gig nights are the worst, especially if the gig was on a Sunday. As if Mondays need any new reasons to suck.

My mother's already yelled up the stairs three times—the first two in English, the last one in Greek—for me to get out of bed. It's not until Yia Yia, my grandmother, pokes her head into the room that I finally stir. She's wearing the same plain gray dress she always wears. One of these days I'm going to sneak into her closet to see how many of these dresses she owns. She either has like fifteen, or she wears the same one over and over again. Inquiring minds want to know.

"Dmitri-moo." Her accent is thick, but her voice is sweet. "Don't make you mother work so hard. Nico ees downstairs already, you go too, na??" I like it that Yia Yia speaks to me in English. I know more than enough Greek to converse with her, but she works hard at trying to fit in, to be more American, and I appreciate it. She definitely works harder than my parents.

"Dmitri!" My mother's voice rattles the window. "EAAa Eow Twpa!" Come here, now!

"He coming!" my grandmother shouts. "Give boy a chance!"

"Thanks, Yia Yia," I say through a yawn. She turns, winks at me, and leaves the room.

I reach for my phone and scroll through the texts from last night. "Great gig!" "You guys killed it!" "The drums never sounded better!" I flop my head back on the pillow and smile.

When I hit the kitchen dressed and ready to go, my brother, Nico, two years younger, is already at the table reading a book. Nicky always has his face buried in a book. I swear it's why he needs glasses. This one is something called The Last True Love Story.

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