Miami Jackson Gets It Straight
Patricia McKissack, Fredrick McKissack
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
MIAMI JACKSON CAN’T wait for school to end. But who ever thought five days could be so long? His teacher is leaving for Ghana, his arch-enemy, Destinee Tate, is on his case, and now Miami’s keeping secrets from his best friend, String. Summer can’t come soon enough!
Man, are those kids lucky. Ms. Rollins is a great teacher. And looking good, too! We all hop in our seats just as the bell rings at eight-thirty. “I hate Destinee Tate,” I mumble under my breath. String hears me. “You’re still mad ’cause she won the spelling bee. You can’t win everything, Miami!” Destinee Tate is about the only thing we really disagree about. String likes her. I don’t get it. He’s friends with both of us. I used to get mad at him for even talking to her. Made no difference.
String will turn double-Dutch rope for the girls. Then he’ll run over and hit a homer with the boys. He even sits with Rashetta Lewis—with her nose running all the time. Nasty. Gag! String’s okay like that. I understand. But I can’t hang with Destinee Tate. “You should get to know her,” String is always saying. “I know enough,” is always my answer. Ms. Rollins comes into the room. The Star-Spangled Banner crackles over the intercom. We stand. We sing. We say The Pledge of Allegiance. That
could have asked all the black kids to vote for me simply because I’m black. But I chose to run straight up. I told everybody to go with the best. That went over like two dead flies. I lost big time! Well, not really. I’m the vice-president. Being vice-president is like beige wallpaper. Who notices? Who cares? I wasn’t the only boy to lose to a girl either. Destinee helped Amika take out Horace as class secretary. Lisa nudged David out of the treasurer’s seat. The only boy who got everybody’s
morning. Grandma calls on Sundays. So who is it? “What’s up?” I say. I’m not sure what to expect. “Hey, Miami. It’s me, Destinee Tate.” Gag me! Her voice sounds different. I’ve never heard her talk on the phone. She’s talking fast. “Something has happened. I can’t go to the mall. You’ll have to pick the gift by yourself. Come by my house to get the money.” “Me, come by your house?” I’m not ready for this. “Now? Today?” I’m thinking, what if somebody sees me? “I can call Amika. She’ll go
hers. How will I get to the mall? Too far to ride my bike. Man! This is seriously whacked! 3:45 P.M. I go straight to Mama. She’s at her desk fumbling with papers—the way she does when she doesn’t want to work. I tell her what’s going on. “I’ve got to go by Destinee Tate’s house to get the money the class raised. Then I’ve got to buy Ms. Rollins a gift—all by myself.” “All by yourself, huh? Big responsibility. How do you feel about that? Need help?” “No way. I’m good to go,” I say.