"Spot! Dis is wonderful! Thank you." Robin ran up to me, dripping wet, and gave me a huge hug. Together we fell backwards into the sand, laughing and wrestling.
"Ise love you, Robin," I told her when we had stopped. We were just lying in the sand next to each other. I had gotten us a ride in Roosevelt's carriage and took her to the ocean, just like she always wanted. Pulling me to my feet, she kissed me.
"Last one ta da water is a dirty, rotten scabber!" she called back to me as she ran back to the water.
I woke up with a start, not quite sure where I was. Looking around me, I saw people sleeping on bunks and heard some of them snoring. I slowly realized I was in the Brooklyn Lodging house. I had just been dreaming of Robin. That had been the last time we had laughed together, I thought as I lay back down. After that day, we began fighting all the time. She wanted more and more of my attention and after a while it began to get tiring. When I told Robin she either had to stop or we were through, she took it hard and turned from the sweet girl she was to the nasty girl she was now. I should really explain this to Maggie, I thought as I drifted back to sleep.
"Nice ta see youse," Robin greeted me the next day with a nasty expression on her face. Tajo had gone to visit Maggie and I decided to go with him and see if I could talk to Robin. She looked a bit angry and I wondered what I had done this time.
"Now wat?" I gritted my teeth, trying my best not to yell at her in front of Maggie's younger siblings.
"Allegra." Robin made it sound like Allegra was the plague or something.
"Ise can see we's need ta talk." Gently grabbing her, I guided Robin towards the fire escape and sat her down. "Now, wat about Allegra?"
"Ise hoird youse kissed her.
"I looked pointedly at Robin. "Wat business of yours is dat?"
"Ise thought Ise meant more ta youse den dat." Robin looked down as a tear fell. I had only seen her cry twice and both times were because I hadn't realized she liked me. To see her cry again because of me made me feel sad.
"Hey, don't cry," I whispered. "Don't cry. Youse do mean more ta me den dat." I wrapped her in a hug, softly whispering until she stopped crying.
"Den why did youse kiss da other goirl?" she sniffled. "Why didn't youse wait for me?"
"Ise did wait for youse. But Ise got tired of waitin for youse ta decide if youse wanted ta be wit me or Nevan."
"It's my fault youse broke up wit me?"
I threw my hands up. "Ise ain't tryin ta blame anybody! Ise told youse Ise didn't like how much time youse wanted ta spend wit me and asked youse ta back off."
"Youse told me Ise had ta back off or we were done."
"Because Ise wanted youse ta leave me alone! Youse neva listened ta me so Ise had ta make a deal."
"So den it's your fault Ise turned ta your cousin."
"Fine," I cried in exasperation. "Fine, it's my fault! It's always my fault. Ise sorry Ise said anything and Ise sorry Ise broke your heart. Anything else youse want me ta apologize for?" Without waiting for an answer, I stormed through the house and over to the Manhattan Lodging house.
I walked in to see Laura and Carey sitting on bunks with their respective boyfriends. Carey and Crutchy were giggling about who knew what and Laura was helping Blink with his sign language. I was surprised to see the girls there, not having heard from them since Robin and I had left earlier that summer. Laura caught sight of me and ran over, giving me a hug.
"Spot! What brings you here? I thought you and Robin had gone for a trip?"
"We did. Things…dey didn't turn out so well. Robin and Ise…"
"Thank youse." She gave me a hug before returning to Blink's side. He kissed the side of her head and she grinned, putting her arms around him in a side hug. I watched the two of them, feeling the smallest pang of jealousy. I wasn't jealous that Laura had a boyfriend anymore; I had gotten over that months ago. It was more that she and Blink were still together and still very happy. Shaking it off, I joined Crutchy and Carey on Crutchy's bunk, hoping to cheer myself up by being with the happy couples.
When I came into the LH late that night, Spot was just walking out. We nodded at each other in passing. We hadn't really spoken much to each other since the night Ally and I had started dating. I didn't blame him; in a way I had kind of taken his girl, though from what I heard his former girlfriend kept him busy enough that we didn't fight about it, which was good for me. Reaching the bunkroom, I stopped short at the site that greeted me. Feathers were flying around the room as Crutchy, Carey, Blink, and Laura swatted each other with pillows. I stood there gaping, until someone hit me with a pillow. Grabbing the nearest one, I joined the fray.
"Heya Race," Crutchy greeted when we finally collapsed, laughing and panting. "Youse go ta da track today?"
"Yeah. Remember dat hot tip Ise told youse about? Nobody-"
"-told da horse," everyone finished for me."Wat bout youse guys? Wat did youse do?"
Laura handed me a piece of paper and I looked at it. It was an invitation to a wedding. I looked at it closer as I read the names.
"Daniel Davidson and Laura Mae Martin?" I looked up at them. "Youse-?"
She and Blink nodded, glowing. They looked so happy that I almost wanted to wipe the smiles off their faces. I forced myself to smile and congratulate them, even though I suddenly felt like crying.
That night as I lay in bed, I let my mind think about Ally. I rarely let myself do that, because if I did, I would spend the night crying myself to sleep and wouldn't be able to function properly for a week. I had taken Ally's green hair ribbon and tied it to my pocketwatch so I would always have a reminder of her. Sometimes at night, when I couldn't sleep, I would take it out and play with it. It still smelled like lilacs and the scent always soothed me. Tonight, I took it out again and breathed the scent in deeply. I had been missing Ally a lot that day and holding the ribbon made me feel closer to her.
"Perché hai dovuto lasciare?" I whispered into the darkness, speaking in Italian the way I so often would with her. A tear slowly trickled down my cheek and I let it fall. Soon I was silently crying and I buried my face in my pillow. "Mi manchi," I whispered just before falling asleep, hoping she would somehow hear me, wherever she was.
Perché hai dovuto lasciare?-Why did you leave me?
Mi manchi-I miss you. (Also Italian)