On Sunday, I spent way too much on a speaker ipod thingy for the kitchen. During dinner, I tested Elijah and Luca’s ear pain threshold while they banged their heads as they call it, “concert style.”
Suddenly, the phone rang. The caller ID was Eli’s teacher. Of course, I panicked.
“Hi Mrs. P___. We weren’t just listening to loud metal.”
“Oh. Okay…well. I’m calling to ask for your help. Elijah borrowed (name withheld)’s homemade book last week and hasn’t returned it. It’s a book (name withheld) wrote about his favorite rock bands and it’s very special to him. He would be devastated if Eli lost it. Can you help him find the book and return it tomorrow?”
“I promise you on my honor I will return the book or die trying.”
Mrs. P___ hung up as soon as she could and I turned on Eli like a jackal.
“Hey man. That was Mrs. P____. We have to find that rock book you stole. Where is it? Where did you last see it? I, I mean we, have to find that book pronto or you are in big trouble.”
Eli merely shrugged and said, “I couldn’t find it.”
“No. That is not good enough. You better go look. Again.”
I tossed all the stuff out of his book bag and removed all the books from his bookshelf. I yanked all the sheets off his bed. No rock book.
Eli didn’t seem to have as much anxiety about it. Or any anxiety about it. Luckily, I had enough for both of us.
I lied to him and said Mrs. P___ told me Elijah would no longer be able to borrow any books from school if we couldn’t find (name withheld)’s book. This didn’t seem to bother Eli either.
Next thing I knew, I was digging through our garbage bins. I ripped open a bag of recycling and rifled through its contents: Bill. Bill. Bill. Drawing from Luca. Pizza box. Drawing from Luca. Bill. Everything an identity thief needs to become Rick Hamann. Bill.
And there it was. A little stapled white stack of paper with orange and blue crayon scribbles. The cover read, “Rokc Badns.”
I ran inside waving it enthusiastically. I found it! I found it! Eli looked up from whatever he was doing, completely casually.
“Oh. Good. You found it.”
I went on a mini tirade about being nice to other people’s property and in the future he’d have to be much more careful.
He said, “I bet you threw it away in the first place, thinking it was garbage.”
He was probably right.