Worse Than Getting Shot

When the police car stops in front of Mrs. P’s house, Dad’s words begin to make sense.

‘Don’t get shot,’ I tell him every day. Today, he replied with a grimace, ‘I gotta feeling it’s gonna be one of those days when getting shot’d be less painful.’

Mrs. P opens the door. The landlord’s all aggressive, insists on his rights.

‘Pat, Mickey,’ Mrs. P pleads. ‘You spent half your childhoods in my kitchen, devouring cookies and milk. Now your kids do.’

Dad and Mickey stand there, shoulders slumping.

I can’t watch. But first, I make sure Dad knows I saw.