Beneath the Surface
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by Tony Ginyard
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Iceni Books; Revised edition (March 15, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
It was summer, 1983, the last week of August. The usual humidity was absent on this particular day in Philadelphia, and was replaced instead by a cool, refreshing breeze. Juanita watched as her eldest son walked to the end of the block and then turned at the corner. She instinctively knew exactly where he was headed, and for the first time ever, that she could recall, it bothered her.
Andre had always been the shy, quiet type, but he never had a problem making friends. Lately, though, Juanita noticed that Andre had become more introverted than usual. He stopped associating with his friends, and pretty much stayed in his room until recently. She knew something was bothering him, but when he made that announcement just a few minutes ago, chills went up and down her spine. It was the look on his face. His eyes. She should not have let him leave without discussing what was on his mind. She turned and headed back into the house. As she reached for a cigarette, her mind began to wander . . .
Andre made his way down Cambridge Street to 22nd. He then decided on a quick
detour to Lehigh Avenue. "I am in the last legs of my summer vacation," Andre
thought as he walked along the iron gate surrounding the neighborhood park. "I
am seventeen years old and about to enter my senior year in high school. What am
I going to do with the rest of my life? Dad has not been supportive of me at all
in my ambitions to become a commercial artist, and if I told him that Mrs.
Yardley was practically begging me to apply for a drama scholarship, he would
absolutely, positively freak!"
As Andre walked across the small bridge to Glenside Road, he became even more agitated. "I mean," Andre began, talking to himself, "how old-school can you get? If you are not working with your hands, he doesn't feel it's worth the time or the effort. College has not been mentioned once, even though I know we can't afford it, but we are talking about my future here."
After a quick left onto Opal Street, Andre, more determined than ever, decided there was one aspect of his life that his parents would have no control over. He would be more than happy to tell them, too, but first, there was one person he had to speak to. He stood outside his grandmother's house for what seemed an eternity, but in actuality was only a few seconds. "How many times have I come here seeking solace?" he wondered to himself, allowing the memories of the past several years to flood his mind. During the holiday season, everyone would converge on this house. Aunts, uncles, cousins, even strangers from near or far would come to sample some of Grandma Pauline's cooking. The house itself was three stories. It was painted brick red, and trimmed in a sort of eggnog yellow. There were six bedrooms, and three and a half baths. Beautifully polished hardwood floors were covered in ornate oriental rugs and antique mahogany furniture.
A smile crossed Andre's lips as he reached for the doorknob. The door was hardly ever locked, and today was no exception. Andre let himself in and was greeted instantly with the smell of cinnamon and apples…