Chapter 26 REPORT CARD DAY
At school the next day, we all got our report cards. Because I’ve been actually doing the work, my grades have improved quite a bit and when I say quite a bit, it means, I got all A’s.
I even compared report cards with Cong. He improved in Biology, like I knew he would, because I helped him and I improved in math because he helped me. He got all A’s also.
“Improved work habits,” Cong read off my report card.
“Nice young man,” I read off his. “Cool!” I handed his report card back to him. “Maybe your mom will like me better now.”
“I talked to her last night,” Cong said.
“I was going to call you and ask how it went.”
“It went okay.”
“Well, she said I must be getting influenced by my American friend.”
“Did you tell her I was your smart American friend? With one hundred and forty-four IQ?”
“You think I should?”
“It could help,” I said.
“You’re probably right.”
After school, Cong and I finished our homework in the library again, then we waited outside for our parents.
For some reason, Fred and Jane didn’t come to pick me up, so Cong’s mom, Mrs. Foo, gave me a ride home. Cong was able to convince her I was a good girl by showing her my report card.
It was lucky, I’ve been doing my homework every day.
“Hi, Mrs. Foo.” I sat in the front seat and Cong sat in the back. Cong’s mom is funny. She speaks broken English and so when we were in the car and she asked me a question, sometimes she would speak Chinese to Cong and Cong would translate. It went something like this...
“What age you?” and then some Chinese words that I didn’t know and then she looked at Cong. Cong then answered back in Chinese.
“What did she say?”
“My mom asked how old you are.”
I spoke up, “I’m almost eight now!”
“I told her. You don’t have to shout. She’s Chinese, not deaf.”
“Your mom, dad together? What they do?” Then she spoke some more Chinese words. Cong answered her back again in Chinese. Then she spoke more in Chinese and Cong answered.
“Is this all about me?” I asked.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Cong said. “I asked her if we had to talk about all this.”
“What did she say?”
“There’s nothing else to talk about, but you.”
“Mrs. Foo, you don’t have to worry about me taking your son away. I’m only seven,” I told her.
Cong covered his blushing face with his hand.
Cong’s mom responded, “I was seven when I met Cong father.”
Nothing gets past Cong’s mom.
“Her parents own a construction business,” Cong told her, then catching himself speaking English, he translated it into Chinese.
Cong’s mom voiced her opinion with a positive sounding, “Oh!”
Then she said some words to Cong.
I turned to Cong and said, “Maybe I ought to learn Chinese.”
“You better not, then she won’t ever stop talking.” Cong said and I stifled a giggle.
Finally we pulled up to my house. I thanked Mrs. Foo and said goodbye to Cong. “See ya in school tomorrow, Cong.”
I walked into the house and Marney’s door was shut. Fred and Jane were arguing in the kitchen. I walked in just quick enough to grab a snack and walk out, hopefully unnoticed, but when Fred saw me, he slapped his leg and said, “Oh damn it, I’m sorry I forgot to come get you today, Samantha.”
“Who drove you home?” Jane asked.
“Cong’s mom.” I took a bite of an apple and looked at Jane and Fred. They didn’t look like they were finished yet, so I casually walked out and went into my room.
I started unpacking my backpack and took out my report card. When I opened my door, I could hear them talking about new bills and new worries but I stepped out and walked toward the kitchen again anyway, this time yielding my super duper report card in my hand.
Fred and Jane looked at me and the room went dead silent as soon as I walked in. “Sorry, I was just...”
“Got your report card Samantha?” Jane asked.
I faked a grimace and said, “I’m really sorry, I’ll try much harder.” Then I held my head low and handed it to her.
Fred looked at the report card over Jane’s shoulder and made a frown at me. Jane looked at him and said, “Oh stop.” She turned to me and said, “Someone’s been studying.”
Fred smiled and hugged me. “I know this whole thing with Marney has been hard on you, too, Samantha. But, we’re proud of you for getting back on track.”
I was pretty proud of myself, too.
Fred signed the report card and handed it to me. “One less thing to worry about.”
“How’d I get to have such a smart Cookie?” Jane asked me and gave me a kiss.
“I don’t know. You wouldn’t let me take the Sex Ed class, Mom.”
Jane nearly flipped her lid when she heard me say it. “You just called me Mom!”
“I’m trying it on for size,” I said.
Fred rubbed my head and grabbed me close for the hug. Jane hugged me too. “Dad, I can’t breathe,” I said.
Fred laughed, “I win! She said, ‘Dad.’”
Jane butt in, “Actually, Dear, she said ‘Mom’ first.”
They both laughed.
Funny, I’ve been concentrating so much on Marney and my own life that I really haven’t been thinking much about Jane and Fred and what they might have been going through. They have so many adult things to worry about, like bills, something I’m lucky not to have as a kid.