Rocking out to "The One That Got Away" by Katy Perry
(picture the swivel desk chair swaying, the head bobbing, and a couple other loose body parts swinging to the music...or not)
That's because tonight when I shut down my NaNoWrimo project I'd hit 18,644 words! I'm pattin' my back (okay barely over my shoulder - damn when did my 'flexibility' vanish? I swear, this body needs a tune up!)
Mr. Callahan returned in all his glory. He sat in the bleachers watching volleyball tryouts. After someone went through the routine, he'd hold up a card with a number rating them from 1-10. You got it. The jiggle test! Zoe, however, only rated an 8, which disappointed her, surprising both of us. Tom said she cheated by wearing a sports bra. We also found out in tonight's chapter, that Tom has a side of his life he keeps hidden, until Zoe draws it out of him, forming a bond that will play a big part later. Here's Tom's revelation in tonight's excerpt:
Tom lowered his head, scraping at a fingernail. "We need the money, or did until he lost his job. Now he just sits in the house and drinks, waiting for his unemployment to run out. He's a mean bastard when he's drunk."
A squirmy feeling twisted in my stomach. My next question came out on a whisper. "Does he hurt you or…your mom?"
"Sometimes." Tom's voice cracked and I heard his hard swallow. "Me mostly. I let him take his anger out on me before Mom comes home. She doesn't deserve to be smacked around for nothing."
"Neither do you!"
"I can take it. He's a puncher. Stays away from my face most of the time. Sometimes he's so drunk he's passed out by the time I get home."
Of course once his tough guy facade melts away, he pays Zoe the ultimate compliment, for him, anyway."Thanks, Zoe." Tom said softly. "By the way, you're anything but an '8'. You're off the charts."