I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver Read Online (FREE)
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“Ben, honey, are you feeling well?”
Mom plucks the plate from in front of me, with most of my dinner still on it, untouched. I’d taken maybe one or two bites before it fell into my stomach like a rock and what little appetite I’d had to begin with was gone.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I tell her. Always easier to just tell her that. It’s better than having her pull out the thermometer and every bottle of medication we have in the cabinet. “Just a lot on my mind.”
There. Not a total lie.
“School?” Dad asks.
“You aren’t falling behind, are you?”
“No, just a lot going on.” Again, not a total lie. Is it really even a lie if I’m just withholding certain information?
“Well,” Mom starts. “As long as you’re keeping your grades up. When does your report card come in?”
“Next week.” It’ll be all As, except in English, which will probably earn me a “We’re not angry, just disappointed.”
“Are you sure you’re feeling okay? You know these temperature changes have always gotten to you.” Mom walks back over to me and brushes the hair away from my forehead. “You do feel a little warm.”
“I’m fine.” I shake her hand away. “I promise, just tired.”
And I think that’s enough for her because she gives me this little smile.
“All right.” She’s still staring at me as she walks away. “We should schedule you a haircut, it’s getting too long in the back.”
“Okay.” I sip some water to give myself something to do. “Did I tell y’all that Gabby Daniels had to drop out as Art Club president?”
“No, did something happen?” Mom asks.
“I think it was just too much for her, she’s in like every other club at school. But that means that I get to take over for her!”
“Oh, honey, that’s great!” Mom says from the sink, washing off the plates before she slides them into the dishwasher. “Are you going to have to do anything extra for the club?”
“It’s mostly organizing events and trips. I was already covering for Gabby most meetings, so it won’t be much different.”
“You sure that won’t interfere with studying?” Dad chimes in, a grimace on his face. “Remember our agreement: If your grades slip, you have to quit.”
“Yes, sir.” I can feel that light pressure in my brain, like something’s getting tighter against my skull. I look at Mom, hoping she might say something, but she doesn’t. She just stares at the floor like she normally does when Dad gets like this. “I know.”
Dad sighs and walks into the den, while I grab the last of the dishes on the table and take them over to the counter, before pulling out the Tupperware to pack the leftovers.