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from Moon Dance by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2019–2020 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 8 - Mia

I’d been dreading Sunday since my phone call with Dad on Friday. Mass was uninspiring, but that wasn’t the priest’s fault. I couldn’t concentrate on the homily. My mind kept wandering back to Friday night on the dance floor. Miles was the first guy I’d ever dated that could really dance.

“Why are you smiling?” Mom leaned over and whispered in my ear when we stood for a hymn.

“Am I?”

“Yes. Does it have anything to do with Friday night?”

“Shush,” Dad said. He had that look on his face that let us know he was displeased with us, again.

Mom put her hand on my arm and squeezed gently. She smiled at me and for a minute, I thought she was going to wink. Then the singing started, and we all looked down at the hymnal.

Saved by a song.

As we filed out of the church and shook Father Joseph’s hand, my stomach grumbled loud enough that my cousin, Susie, heard it. She started giggling, and Dad shushed her. At least he was spreading his displeasure around.

On the steps, we all congregated to decide where to go eat.

“I vote for Bucca di Beppo,” Susie said. She was looking cute in a new dress.

“Did you get a new haircut?” Mom asked her.

“I did. Do you like it?” She patted her head and smiled.

“It is very becoming, and I love that dress,” Mom said. Mom and I waited all week between Sundays to see what Susie would wear. She was studying fashion design at the Art Institute and made her own clothes.

“The color goes great with your complexion,” I said.

“How about we go to Carrabbas?” Uncle Rudy asked. Susie gave him a dirty look. She didn’t like it when her dad overrode her ideas. Dad and Uncle Rudy always agreed with each other. I figured it was how they did their male bonding, since they hardly spoke otherwise. Mom, bless her soul, piped in and sided with Susie.

“I like the family-style eating at Bucca,” she said. That bought her a smile and several points in Susie’s book. Aunt Margie, who normally stayed neutral, voted with Mom and Susie. Philip, never got to vote, he was too young. Besides, he’d gone over to the parking lot and was fooling around with some other little boys from his catechism class. I decided to let them all duke it out. I figured I was going to get a lecture wherever we ended up.

“Next Sunday, you’re all coming to my house,” Aunt Margie said. “I’m making carbonara, and we’ll have cannoli for dessert.

“I’ll be there,” I said with a big smile. Aunt Margie could be a five-star Michelin chef if she ever cooked anywhere outside of her own kitchen. If I’d had a trip to the Bahamas planned when she made the announcement, I would have cancelled. Her food was that good.

“I’ll bring the salad,” Mom said. We had all started walking toward our various automobiles.

“So where are we going? Did we decide?” I asked when I reached mine.


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