Ollie felt he didn't have all the time for homework these days, but he did stay up late at night to get it done. A promise, perhaps to his Dad, but there was always time to text Kramer, who definitely never did homework.
Kramer went home to Chicago to visit some relatives during Thanksgiving, but promised when he got back he wouldn't be there for Christmas.
"I hate it." He didn't even like the food. "They all treat me like I'm ten. They don't respect me." But the way he said it, Ollie had to wonder if Kramer respected them. Too much church, according to him. He even sang in the choir and did a solo.
He said he was thankful to have the job at the mega-grocery store, even if he was the boy who chased down the carts in the parking lot for the most part.
Ollie still wondered how he got the job. When Ollie was free, he'd hang out with him and help him. Of course, Kramer had lots of holiday plans. The parties they would go too, would be fascinating. Only, they hadn't happened yet, and Ollie wasn't so sure he even wanted to go.
He still saw Valentina (his sort of fosther sister) at school. It seemed.. she was making Simon quite ill, lately. Ollie was certain he wasn't eating, but it could have been stage fright from all those plays they were in.
What really kept him up was Gabby. He could never predict when she might text. Usually, it was after she'd seen her boyfriend who was not Will who was still quite smitten with Ollie's ex..aka..the only girl he'd ever love..Ivy.
It was painful to read what might be on Gabby's mind. Evidently, she hated her boyfriend as much as she loved him.
"He won't talk to me." She would text. "Maybe, we can't be friends. Why can't we be friends?"
"Just do friend stuff." Was all Ollie could think to text back.
So they ended up together on Black Friday to shop at the big shopping center. It took quite a few rides on the bus to get there. They walked around, huddled in the cold, drank coffee, looked at all the best Christmas presents to have, yet bought nothing.
She told him how Christmas used to be when she was little and loved. Then he listened to her go on about the first guy she was ever with that she counted as a real boyfriend.
Still, she'd never been in a perfect relationship. Finally, they both accepted the fact that perfect relationships didn't exist, and he got her a fuzzy teddy bear on the first try at the big claw machine. If only, he'd kept it for himself. He knew it would never happen, again. Just like their day trip.