By Angie Kay Dilmore
What do I write? Blake stared at his paper. The morning journal assignment was “My Easter.” The past few years Easter hadn’t been too much fun at his house. Blake glanced over at Pedro, who was writing furiously. He must have an awesome holiday.
At recess, Blake and Pedro played on the monkey bars. “So what are you doing for Easter?” Pedro asked. “Do you go to your Grandma’s or something?”
“No,” Blake said.
“I guess you and your mom dye eggs, make baskets, and have an Easter egg hunt then?”
“Well, what, amigo? You got to do something for Easter.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Blake. The bell rang.
“Whatever,” Pedro said, as the fourth graders headed back to class.
At home that afternoon, Blake sat at his desk tackling homework. He still hadn’t written in his journal. He was saving that assignment for last.
Do I make something up, or try to remember an Easter from years ago? Or should I just write the truth? Blake began writing.
The next morning in class, Mrs. Wilson asked for volunteers to read their journal entries. There was no way Blake was reading his out loud. Pedro didn’t appear to be anxious to read his either. Blake noticed Pedro looking over, reading his paper. He didn’t try to hide it. Easier than explaining it to him. Along with his friend, Blake reread his journal.
Every year for Easter, Dad and I go to church. Then we
visit my mom. She was in a car accident a few years ago,
and she’s paralyzed. She lives in a nursing home. They
bring dinner to her room on trays. It’s not bad. For dessert there’s white cake with white coconut icing. Dad feeds Mom. Her food is all smashed up so she can swallow easier. Then
we go home.
“Wow, I’m sorry, amigo,” Pedro said. “I had no idea.”
“Thanks,” Blake said. “It’s no big deal.”
After school, Blake and Pedro walked to the buses. “Happy Easter, Pedro. Guess I’ll see you after break.”
“Hey, why don’t you and your dad come to my place for Easter dinner? After you see your mom? We have tons of food, lots of people. No one would mind.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun. Ask your dad. The address is 273 Bellafonte Street, five o’clock. I’ll wait outside for you.”
Easter day, Blake slumped in the arm chair while Dad fed Mom. “Pedro asked us over for dinner today. May we go?”
“I don’t know, son. I’d hate to impose on their holiday.”
“Please, Dad, I really want to.”
“I suppose we could, if you’re sure we’d be welcome.”
“Pedro said it’s okay.”
After Blake and his dad spent time with his mom, they drove to the Bellafonte address. A string of people stood at the door. “This doesn’t look right,” Dad said. “The sign says Safe Harbor Mission.”
“But look, there’s Pedro. He’s waiting, like he said he would,” Blake said.
Surprisingly, the long line moved quickly. Servers behind the buffet dished out generous portions of ham, mounds of scalloped potatoes, green beans, and thick slices of peach pie. “Is this where you live?” Blake asked Pedro.
“Yeah, it’s great. I’ve got my own bed and everything. My mom and sisters and I moved here a few months ago.”
After dinner, Blake and Pedro played pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny and made Easter crafts with pastel-colored construction paper. They had an egg hunt in the small yard behind the mission. Dad chatted with the other grown-ups.
“Thanks for asking us to dinner, Pedro,” said Blake. “This is the most fun I’ve had on Easter in a long time.”
“I thank you, too, Pedro,” said Dad. “It’s been a nice change for us.”
That evening, Blake got out his journal and began writing. “Today I had an awesome Easter with my friend Pedro. . . .”
© Angie Kay Dilmore
Angie Kay Dilmore is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.