It's One of Those Weeks
By Stacy Thurber
(written in 1972 at the age of 15 – errors as they occurred THEN)
v SUNDAY v
"Hey Mom! Where's my shirt?" asked Mark Grainger.
"Why not try looking in your closet?" answered Mrs. Grainger, Mark's mother. So Mark looked in his closet and found the shirt he was looking for. "Did you find it?"
"Yeah, I found it," said Mark. I wish I looked in there before I asked, he thought. He took the shirt out and found it all dirty. Apparently, he forgot to put it with the other dirty clothes. "Oh no!" Mark exclaimed.
"What is it now?" asked Mrs. Grainger.
"It's all dirty! My shirt is all dirty! Why didn't you wash it?"
"Could it be that you didn't put it with all the other dirty clothes? Put it in there now and find another shirt."
"But I don't have another shirt!"
"Well, that's not my problem. Go get one of your father's."
"But Dad's are too big! What am I gonna do? I can't wear a school shirt to church. I guess I just can't go."
"You're going to church if you just wear your underwear!" Mrs. Grainger snapped back. "Now get one of your father's!"
Mark mumbled to himself, "I'd rather wear a school shirt." But Mark didn't. He went into this parent's room, got one of his father's shirts and put it on. It was way too big for him, but he wore it anyway. When he was done getting dressed, he went into the kitchen for breakfast. Mr. Grainger, his father, stared at him for awhile. Mark already knew what his father was thinking.
"That shirt is one of mine, isn't it?"
"Yes. Didn't you hear Mom and me?"
"Is that what all the shouting was for? Why are you wearing one of mine? Your shirt's don't fit anymore?"
Mark got really steamed up. He explained in a lot of shouts.
"Don't yell," said Mrs. Grainger.
"Well, it's not my fault I have to wear one of your shirts," said Mark.
"Isn't it?" asked Mrs. Grainger. "You're the one who didn't have that shirt cleaned. You're the only one who has one good shirt to wear. Don't say it's not your fault. It is."
They all ate their breakfast and got ready to leave.
When they left the house, Mr. Grainger asked Mark if he had any church money.
"I think so," said Mark. He reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a dollar bill. "Do you have change for a dollar?"
His parents both said "no."
"I guess I'll take change out of the basket when I put my dollar in."
When they arrived at the church, they sat down on one of the benches. They finished singing a hymn and now the minister was talking while the basket was being passed around for money. It got to Mark. He put the dollar in and started to take some change. Then someone whispered loud. "Thief, thief! That boy is taking money out of the basket!"
Mark looked up and saw everyone looking at him. "I'm only taking change."
The man who caught him said, "A likely story. I didn't see you put in anything before hand."
"My parents know I wasn't stealing."
"They would already protect you."
The minister went up to Mark and asked him to tell the truth.
"But I already told you. I had this dollar bill and I put it in the basket. Then I was going to take some change, when this man saw me. Like I said, my parents know what happened."
Everything finally got settled and when they came home from church, Mark was so relieved that the incident was all over with.
"Boy! I've never been so embarrassed in my whole life. And I had to wear this shirt, too. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day."
v MONDAY v
Monday started out okay. Mark found all his clothes and didn't lose one book. But when he got to school, his troubles had just begun.
Mark was walking to school with his friend, Zachory Peterson. Zachory was tall and lanky looking and the same age as Mark.
"Zack, you wouldn't believe what happened to me yesterday."
"What happened?" asked Zack.
Mark told him. Zack couldn't believe what his ears had heard. "You must be joking. Tell me the whole story later, okay?"
"Okay," said Mark. As Zack turned and walked away, Mark found his feet resting in a mud puddle about two inches dep. "Oh no! Not now! My new shoes are all covered with mud!" yelled Mark.
Zack returned after he heard Mark. "Come on, let's go and wash it off."
Mark and Zack were in the boy's restroom and Mark grabbed some paper towels and started wiping his feet. He sat on the edge of a sink and by accident, the water got turned on.
"My pants! They're all wet. I knew I shouldn't have come in here," said Mark.
"They why did you?" asked Zack.
"Because you told me to, that's why!" Mark's anger calmed down. "I'm sorry I yelled at you, Zack. But you just don't know what has happened to me."
"I understand. You don't have to say you're sorry. I've had days that made me so angry I'd hit my little sister, Sandy. I rarely ever do that. I'd get killed if I did it often. Don't worry, your pants will dry."
"I know they'll dry. But just how long will it take them?"
The first few classes were embarrassing for Mark. The students sort of made fun of him. The pants were dry by lunch time, though.
"Hi Mark!" Zack ran over to Mark. "How are your pants? Did they dry?"
"Yeah, they dried. After I was laughed at through my first three classes."
"Well, at least they're dry now. What are you getting for lunch?"
"A hamburger, I suppose."
"Is that all?"
"Why, are you getting more?"
"Sure. I'm starving."
"When aren't you?"
"Zack, how can you eat so much and stay so thin?"
"You're not big, either."
"Well, at least I don't eat as much as you do. It's amazing you don't look like the Goodyear blimp."
"Cut the wise cracks and let's get in line."
It seemed like days before they entered the building with all the food. But when they did, Zack's nose nearly lifted him off the ground.
"I love the smell of this place," said Zack.
"You say that everyday."
"I know it. I like to repeat myself."
Mark picked up a hamburger and milk while Zack picked up two hamburgers, two milks, and two packages of miniature donuts.
"Are you sure your not buying someone else’s lunch, too?" asked Mark.
"Yeah, I'm sure."
"How can you eat that much? I'm hardly hungry."
"I didn't have breakfast this morning. I've got to make up from this morning."
"Let's go sit down before there's no where to sit."
They found a spot on the grass and sat down. Mark unwrapped his hamburger and opened his milk. He started to take a bite, then…..
"Ouch!! There's something hard in my hamburger!" screamed Mark.
"What is it?"
"I don't know now, but I'll find out." Marked opened his hamburger and found tiny pebbles all through his meat. "ROCKS!"
"Rocks? Are you sure?" Zack leaned over and looked. "Those aren't rocks. They're pebbles."
"Pebbles, rocks, what ever they are, they are in my hamburger."
"Someone must be after you."
"Yeah, or I took someone else’s hamburger."
"My hamburgers are fine. Want one?" Zack held out his hand with a hamburger in it.
"Are you sure it's safe?"
"Look before you bite into it."
Nothing was wrong with the hamburger Zack gave Mark. When Zack was done eating his feast, they went over to the trash can.
"Hey Mark, isn't that the girl you were going to ask to the dance?"
"Did you ask her yet?"
"No. After all the things that have happened to me, do you think I'd ask her?"
"Won't hurt to try."
"With my luck it probably will."
"Go on, ask her. She might say yes."
"Okay. I'll ask her. But it won't be my fault if she turns me down."
The girl was Andrea Taylor who had long blond hair and very blue eyes. Andrea's back was facing Mark when Mark approached her. Then he turned around. Zach motioned to Mark to keep going. Mark turned back around toward Andrea.
"Andrea?" asked Mark with a slightly cracked voice.
Andrea turned around. "Yes?"
Mark cleared his voice. "I'm Mark Grainger. I'm in your English class."
"Yes, I know," said Andrea. For awhile there was no sound. "Well, what do you want?"
"I'd like to know if you'd go out to the dance with me on Friday. Will you?"
"Mark, I thought you'd never…..I mean, sure. What time?"
"Is 8:00 okay with you?"
"I'll see you at 8:00, Friday night, then. Goodbye." When he turned around, he bumped into a garbage can.
"Are you okay?" asked Andrea.
"Yeah." He rubbed his left leg. "It doesn't hurt much." Mark went back to Zack. "Oh my leg!"
"Does it hurt much?" asked Zack.
"Of course it does."
"What did she say?"
"About my leg?"
"No. About your asking her to the dance. What did she say? Yes or no?"
"Yes." Mark said that as if she had said no.
"You don't sound very pleased."
"Well how do you expect me to sound? I just ruined my leg. I feel crippled."
"It's probably not that bad."
"That's what you think."
"Do you want to go to the nurse?"
"No. And besides, she's never there during lunch. Someone can die and she still wouldn't be there."
"That's true." Zack looked at his watch. "Oh oh. Lunch has five more minutes and I have to go to my locker."
"So do I. I hope I can make it."
"Want some help?"
"No. Thanks anyway."
When Mark got home, he first went to the refrigerator for a seven-up and went to his mother and told her what had happened.
"That's nice. About you getting a date, not about your shoes, pants, or leg."
"Can I use the car Friday?"
"The car? Why do you need the car?"
"To take Andrea to the dance. I have a license. Don't tell me you forgot about that."
"I didn't forget. I just don't think you need the car."
"Well, what do you suppose I do. Walk?"
"Why not double date with Zack?"
"But this is the first dance I've ever been to and the first one with Andrea."
"So! Mom, I couldn't."
"Because…I don't know. I just doesn't seem right."
"I've been on lots of double dates. It's cheaper for you guys. You get to split the tab."
"Okay. I'll call Zack. But what will I do it he says no?"
Mark went to the phone and dialed Zack's number.
"Hello, is Zack there? There was a short pause.
"Hi, Zack? This is Mark. Would you mind double dating with Andrea and I? That is, if you asked Carol."
"Sure, I wouldn't mind. Carol's used to it."
"Good. I almost thought I had to walk there."
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing, just something between my mom and I."
"Why do you want to double date? I mean, this is your first date with her, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it's my first date. It's just that my mom won't let me use the car. I guess she doesn't trust the luck I'm having."
"Neither would I."
"Thank you. You sure know how to make a person feel good."
"Sorry. What time do you want us to come and pick you up?"
"Around 7:45. Is that okay? I have to be at Andrea's at 8:00."
"Sure. 7:45 is okay. I have to go now. My mom's calling me. She probably wants me to fix something. Bye Mark."
"Bye Zack." Mark hung up the phone. "I'll tell Andrea tomorrow that we're double dating with Zack and Carol."
Just now his father walked in. He looked like he had a hard day.
"Hi Dad," said Mark.
"Hi Mark. Whatcha been doing?"
"Nothing much. You look tired."
"I am." Mrs. Grainger just entered the living room and spotted Mr. Grainger.
"Hey, I didn't hear you come in," said Mrs. Grainger and she went over to him and gave him a kiss. "Why don't you two get washed up for dinner. It's almost done."
v TUESDAY v
Tuesday morning was a beautiful one. Just a few clouds and a beautiful blue sky. The weather was neither hot not cold. Mark was sure nothing would go wrong for him today.
On the way to school, Mark didn't step in any mud puddles or got his pants wet. He had geometry first period, so he went right to that class. Taking no chances, he was avoiding anything that could get him into trouble.
Mark's geometry teacher is a big one. He was about six feet tall with a waist as big as ten watermelons. He was about in his forties and his hair was sort of thin. His name was Mr. Barton and Mark really didn't like him. But then, Mr. Barton wasn't too fond of Mark, either.
"Alright class," said Mr. Barton in his low voice. "Turn to page 209 and read while I pass back yesterday's test."
Mark was really worried about that test. Yesterday he thought he'd never get it done. But he did and now he was getting it back. He thought, I just hope I didn't fail. I just know I did.
Mr. Barton had Mark's test paper in his big chubby hand and walked over to Mark.
"Mark, what has happened to you?" asked Mr. Barton.
"I don't know. Why? What did I do?"
"You got an A, that's what."
"An A? What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing. I didn't say there was. It's just that this is the first time I ever saw you get an A." He emphasized the "you." "Did you study this time?"
"This time? What do you mean by this time? I always study."
"I'm sorry. One thing though, this A will certainly bring your grade up."
"Great!" Mark thought, Maybe today will be my good luck day.
Lunch time came and when Mark spotted Zack, he ran over to him.
"Zack! Hey Zack! Guess what?" yelled Mark.
"What?" asked Zack.
"I got an A on my geometry test, that's what. Can you believe that? An A!"
"Wow! The highest I've ever gotten was a B. Seems like your lucky day to day."
"Doesn't it? Nothing has gone wrong for me yet. I guess my bad luck has gone for good."
The rest of the classes went pretty well. In history, Mark got bawled out for talking to Zack. But besides that, everything went okay.
Mark and Zack were now walking home. They came to the point where they both went in different directions and said goodbye to each other. Mark started toward home. He goofed off a bit and walked a little funny. He was stepping on every line and crack on the sidewalk, because he had nothing else to do. Then two grade school boys watched him.
"Hey! Look at him!" said the taller boy of the two. "I wonder what he's supposed to be?"
"I don't know, Robbie."
When Mark heard them, he stopped doing what he did, and turned around seeing the two boys.
"Hey kid!" yelled Robbie. "What's your name?"
"Why should I tell you?" asked Mark with a lower voiced than usual.
"Because I asked you, that's why!"
The short one turned toward Robbie and whispered, "Maybe we just better leave him alone."
"If your scared, go home. Your no help to me anyway." So he did and it was just Mark and Robbie.
Mark thought, While they are talking, I'll leave. He started walking, again, toward home, but Robbie saw him leaving so he yelled out.
"Why are you leaving? Ya scared of me?"
"No. I just don't want to be bothered, that's all. I have to be home, so bye!" Robbie ran after him.
"Put up your dukes!" said Robbie with his hands up against his face.
"Are you kidding?" Mark laughed aloud.
"Don't laugh at me!"
"You asked for it!" Robbie took his hand, which was a fist, and punched Mark right in the stomach, then ran off.
Mark's face sort of turned blue. He couldn't breathe for a minute or so. He felt kind of embarrassed. A kid doing this to me! he thought. He was just glad no one was watching.
When Mark got home, he didn't dare mention anything about what had just happened. He wasn't going to tell anyone.
v WEDNESDAY v
It was now Wednesday. Most of the day went terrifically. Mark was kind of sad to see that Andrea was absent. He just hoped that she'd be okay by Friday.
When Mark went home, he just walked regular. No goofing off this time, he thought. He didn't want to be the stupid idiot he was yesterday.
When he got home, he phoned Andrea to see why she was absent. He found out that she had a little cold and that she'd probably be fine by Friday. Maybe even sooner. She said that she didn't want to take any chances of getting it worse.
Tonight his family and he went out to dinner. They were going to a really fancy restaurant, so that meant that Mark had to dress up. Mark hated to dress up just to go to dinner, but he didn't want to get into any more trouble, so he did as his mother said.
They were all ready, so they got in the car.
"What restaurant are we going to that's so fancy? asked Mark.
"The Dragonfly Inn," answered Mrs. Grainger.
"The Dragon what
"The Dragonfly Inn," she emphasized the "fly."
"That's a funny name for a restaurant.
"Well I can't help that. Tonight I want you at your best behavior. Your father is meeting with very important people tonight."
When they arrived at "The Dragonfly Inn", Mark got out of the car and was constantly tugging at his tie.
"Don't pull on your tie," said Mrs. Grainger.
"Why do I have to wear one anyway? It's bad enough to wear one at church, but why at a restaurant?"
"Because you can't get into the restaurant without one."
"I wish you picked one where I don't have to wear one. I hate to wear ties."
They entered the building and a waitress showed them to their table. They were now waiting for the other party.
The other party was the Peterson family. Mark didn't know it was Zack's family. He never thought to ask.
The waitress came again but this time the Peterson family was behind her. Mark saw Zack and said to himself, Zack? What is he and his family doing here at our table?
Mr. Grainger got up. "Hello Mr. Peterson, Mrs. Peterson. I'd like you to meet my family. This is my wife, Emily and son, Mark."
"Hello," said Mr. Peterson. "This is my wife, Cheryl, my daughter, Sandy, and my son, who is way back there, is Zachory."
Mark waved to Zack.
When the Peterson's sat down, Zack sat next to Mark.
"It seems that your son already knows mine," said Mr. Peterson.
"Mark and Zachory have known each other for some time," said Mr. Grainger.
"I've heard of Zachory talk about Mark, but I would have never suspected that he was your son."
"I didn't know your father was important to my father," whispered Mark to Zack.
"Neither did I. Well at least we won't be lonely."
"Yeah. But we might be bored all night." Mark rubbed his neck. "My tie itches."
"So does mine."
About fifteen minutes have gone by. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, except Mark and Zack. They were both tired of hearing business and woman talk. Zack's sister, Sandy wasn't looking too interested in what the Grainger's and Peterson's were talking about either.
They ordered their dinner awhile ago and they were just getting it now. The waitress was trying to hand Mark his dinner, but was having a bit of difficulty doing so.
"Here, let me help you," said Mark. He got up and reached for his plate. When he took it, it started to fumble in his hands. Mark tried to keep hold of it the best he could. The waitress hurried in giving everyone else their dinner to help Mark, but it was no use. SPLAT! The plate fell on the table hitting a ketchup bottle and ketchup sprayed everywhere. The waitress ran to get help.
Everyone looked like they were shot a hundred times. Mark sat down in embarrassment.
started laughing. Sandy
Be quiet. It's not funny," said Mrs. Peterson. Sandy
"Mark, look what you've done!" said Mrs. Grainger. "Ketchup is all over everyone."
"I'm sorry Mom. It was an accident." Mark looked at everyone and said, "At least this lightened up the
…er…ing." His voice was jagged
during the last sentence because his eyes made contact with his mother's. gath
"How could you say something like that?" asked Mrs. Grainger. The waitress came back with help and rags.
"Would you like to move to another table?" asked the waitress.
"No. I think we better leave," said Mr. Grainger. "Mr. Peterson, I'll meet you some other night. Alone."
"Oh boy Mark. Are you ever in trouble," said Zack. "You shouldn't have offered to take the plate."
"I didn't think I'd drop it. My mom is going to kill me. That's her new dress and she just bought it today, too. Now there's ketchup all over it. I'll see you tomorrow, Zack. That is, if I'm still alive."
v THURSDAY v
Thursday morning wasn't as good as the others, excluding Sunday. He fell out of bed twice when he trying to sleep. When he got up, he felt just miserable.
When Mark went to get his shoes, he found them missing. He thought that he could have left them in the living room, so he went and looked. He didn't see them in there so he went back to his room and started looking, very closely. He still didn't find them.
"Hey Mom!" yelled Mark. "Have you seen my shoes?"
"Did you look under the couch? I think I saw you kick them under there."
"I forgot about there." He looked under the couch, and sure enough, there they were.
"Did you find them?"
"Yes. I found them. Thanks."
Mark finished his breakfast. Twice he almost fell asleep eating. Mark left his house and went to the spot where Zack came along.
When Zack came, they started toward school.
"Mark, did you get any sleep last night?" asked Zack.
"Why? Does it look it?"
"Yeah. What did you do last night?"
"Trying to sleep, but I didn't do too good."
"You could say that again. I just hope you don't fall asleep during the English test."
"The test! I almost forgot about that! Oh, I hope I make it through today."
"You've made it so far."
The English class came along and Mark could barely keep his eyes open. Mark bumped into Andrea, by accident, when he entered the class.
"Oh, I'm sorry Andrea," said Mark. "I guess I wasn't looking where I was walking."
"Looking? How could you have? Your eyes were closed. Were you sleeping?"
"I don't know."
"Didn't you go to bed?"
"Yeah, I went to bed. I just didn't get any sleep, that's all."
"Do you think you can make it through English?"
"I've made it so far."
They went into the class, and sat in their seats. The teacher had already passed out the tests and everyone had started. Mark got through the first problem okay, but when the second one came, his eyes became very heavy. Before he knew it, he was asleep.
The teacher came up to Mark and shook him to wake him up. "Mark?"
Mark woke up and said drowsily, "Yes?"
"Were you sleeping?"
"Sleeping? Me? What makes you think I was sleeping?"
"Because your head was on the table." By now, the class was watching.
"I was just thinking," said Mark.
"Well, I don't see any answers on your paper." The teacher saw everyone staring. "Everyone get back to work."
Mark started on his test again. The teacher was watching every move Mark made, and Mark knew it, too. So he tried to keep his eyes open and finished the test.
When class was over, Zack walked over to Mark. "I saw what happened to you in class. You fell asleep, didn't you?"
"Yes, but that wasn't the only time. I did it in other classes, too."
"No, I'm not kidding. I've been in trouble with three other teachers already and that's not including what just happened now. I just don't know what to do. I would have stayed home, but my mom wouldn't let me, and if I did, I probably couldn't get any sleep anyway, even if I tried."
"I'm sure glad I'm not you."
After school was out, Mark went right home and flopped on his bed and fell asleep.
v FRIDAY v
Friday morning, Mark was not a bit tired, but he sure was hungry. Last night he slept straight through dinner. He slept with his clothes on, but he didn't care. He was glad this was Friday. Tonight was the dance.
Mark changed into some unwrinkled clothes and went to eat breakfast. When he was done, he got his books and started to leave. Right when he stepped out of the house, he realized that he didn't do any of his homework. He had a lot to do, too.
"Oh well, I'll just tell the teachers that I was too busy to do any homework. And if they ask me that I was doing I'll just way I was sleeping."
Mark left and Zack and him made it to school just in time. Right when Mark sat down in his geometry class, the bell rang.
He thought, That was a close one.
"You were almost late, Mark," said Mr. Barton. "Try not to do it again. Next time you might be late."
"Sorry Mr. Barton."
"May I please have last night's homework?" All the students passed in their homework except Mark. Mr. Barton looked through them and noticed that there wasn't one from him. "Mark, where is your homework?"
"I didn't do it."
"I was busy."
"Okay. You get an F for the day, then. Unless you do it tonight and hand it in Monday, then you might make a D." The class laughed a little.
When geometry got out, Mark was really mad. He mumbled to himself, "At least he didn't ask me what I was doing that was so busy. I think I would have been laughed out of that class if he did."
Mark walked over to the drinking fountain. He started to take a drink until someone bumped into him.
"Ouch!" yelled Mark. "Why don't you watch where you're going?" Mark turned around and no one was there. "The lousy guy ran away." Mark rubbed his head, he felt that he was getting a bump, so he went to the nurses office.
"What can I do for you?" asked Nurse Holloway.
"I hit my head on the drinking fountain and I think I'm getting a bump."
"How did you happen to do that?"
"Let me get a look at it then." The nurse checked his head. "I better put some ice on that. Come with me."
Mark followed. She led him to a room where there were some cots.
"Lay right there," she said.
He did as he was told. She brought back a pack with ice in it and told him to keep it on this head. Mark did so and mumbled to himself, "How do I get into these things? I just hope I'm okay for tonight."
About thirty minutes later, Mark left the nurse. Andrea saw him.
"What are you doing here?" asked Andrea.
"I was at the nurses office."
"I bumped my head, but I'm okay now."
"Okay for the dance?"
"Sure. I have to get to my class before the teacher thinks I cut. I'll see you later."
When Mark got home, he did all of his homework from the night before. He finished about dinner time.
When Mark was eating, his father asked, "What did you do today?"
"Anything interesting happen?"
""Well, if you call getting bumped into and hitting your head on the drinking fountain interesting, then the answer to your question is yes."
"Do you feel well enough to go to the dance?"
"Sure. All I did was bump my head." Mark looked at the clock and noticed that it was getting late. "May I be excused, please?"
"Sure Mark," said Mrs. Grainger. Mark went to his room and got his clothes out for the dance. He got everything on without any trouble.
Mark finished dressing about 7:45. He heard Zack honk his horn and ran to Zack's car. "Hi Zack, Carol," said Mark.
"Hi Mark," said Zack. "Hop in. Where does Andrea live?"
"She lives at
654 Lomita Avenue."
"I know where that is. Has anything else happen since I've seen you?"
"No. I just hope nothing goes wrong to spoil tonight."
When they arrived at Andrea's house, Mark got out of the car, went up to her house, and rang the doorbell. Mrs. Taylor, Andrea's mother, answered the door. "You must be Mark," said Mrs. Taylor.
"Yes. Is Andrea ready?"
"She'll be just a minute. Won't you come in?" Mark entered, but tripped over the threshold. "Are you all right?"
"Yes." Andrea came from her room and entered the living room. "Hi Andrea. Are you ready?"
"Yes. I just need my coat."
"I'll get it." Mark got her coat and when he put it on her it was inside out. "I'm sorry Andrea."
"That's okay. I do that sometimes, too."
Mark fixed the coat and put it on her the right way. They went outside and Mark introduced Andrea to Carol and Carol to Andrea.
After the introductions, they left to the dance. Andrea said, "Is your head okay, Mark?"
"Sure my head's okay. All I did was bump it."
"I didn't know you bumped your head," said Carol.
"He hit it on the drinking fountain," said Zack.
"How did you do that?" asked Carol.
Mark explained. He was getting tired of all the questions about a bump.
When they arrived at the dance, Zack parked the car and they all got out and headed for the dance building.
When Zack and Carol entered the building, they started to dance right away. Mark and Andrea decided to do the same.
The first few seconds, Mark was dancing just fine. Until his feet got tangled in with others.
When the song ended, Mark had left a trace of ten or twelve wounded people. He was so embarrassed.
"I don't even know why I asked you to the dance. I can't even dance right," said Mark.
"Don't worry," said Andrea. "You'll do better. Just wait and see. Let's get something to drink.
"That's a good idea. We can skip the next dance."
Mark and Andrea went over to the punch bowl. Mark got two glasses and when he dipped the ladle in, his tie when with it, too.
"Oh Mark! Your tie," said Andrea.
"That's okay. It's just a tie." He put down the two glasses and ringed his tie as dry as he could. After he dried it a little, he decided to use one hand holding the ladle and the other hand holding his tie and started to pour punch into one of the glasses.
"Watch out Mark. You're filling it too high," said Andrea. But it was too late, Mark spilled the punch on the table.
"Clumsy me at work again," said Mark. "I can never do anything right."
"Don't say that Mark. You can do things right. It just hasn't been your week, that's all."
"It may not be my year. I'm going to go get a rag to clean up this mess I made. Wait here, okay?"
"Okay." Zack came over to Andrea when he saw Mark leave.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Oh, Mark's bad luck has struck again."
"What did he do?"
"Well, while we were dancing, he bumped into a few people."
"You call that a few?"
"Don't tell him I told you."
"I won't. Anything else happen?"
"When he dipped the ladle in the punch, his tie went in with it."
"You're kidding." Zack couldn't help but laugh a little.
"Don't laugh. It's really not funny."
"Was that all he did?"
"You mean he did more!?"
"I don't think I should even tell you."
"That bad, huh?"
"It wasn't that bad."
"Then what was it?"
"He spilled the punch on the table. Just a little. He went to go get a rag to clean it up. You know, he thinks this bad luck is never going to leave. Keep quiet, here he comes."
"Hi Zack," said Mark. "Did Andrea tell you what happened?"
"Some. Don't feel bad, Mark. Everyone has troubles once in his life."
"Then how come it all happens to me in one week?"
"I don't know. I better go back to Carol. She's waited long enough."
When Mark cleaned up the mess, the announcer announced that the next dance was a waltz.
"A waltz! Come on Mark," said Andrea.
"A waltz? Andrea, are you kidding? After all the stupid things I've done, you still want to dance? And especially a waltz?"
"Sure. Come on. Nothing will happen."
"Okay." Mark put down the rag and they both went into the crowd.
When the music began, Mark had a bit of trouble starting because it was so crowded. But as the music was played longer everyone spread apart a little and Mark and Andrea started dancing.
But Mark still had troubles. His feet always ended up on someone elses. Mark didn't know it then but that someone else was Andrea herself. She tried to hide the pain, but it was no use. Mark know right then that he wasn't touching the floor much.
"I'm sorry Andrea. I've spoiled your whole night."
"You didn't spoil it, Mark. Why don't you try at the punch bowl again."
"Do you think I should take the chance?"
"Sure. Nothing else could happen."
"Don't be too sure. But I'll try it anyway. The worse thing that could happen is getting killed, but I don't think that will happen. I hope."
When Mark walked over to the punch bowl, he walked backwards. The reason for this is because he was still looking at Andrea. When he turned around, CRASH! Down went the punch bowl and other refreshments.
"My mom's punch bowl!" yelled a girl. "You broke my mom's punch bowl. She told me not to bring it but I insisted. Now she's going to kill me because you broke it!"
"I'm sorry," said Mark. "I'll pay for it."
"You bet your life you're going to pay for it. And right now, too!"
"Well, how much was it?"
"Thirty dollars! I don't have thirty dollars! I've never even owned thirty dollars! How can a punch bowl, looking like that one did, cost thirty dollars!?"
"It didn't. But since this one is in a million pieces, why not get a better one?"
"He'll pay exactly what that one cost," said Andrea. "How much did it really cost?"
"I'm not saying."
"Then I'm not paying," said Mark.
The girl thought awhile then gave in. "Okay, I'll tell you the real price."
"That's better," said Andrea.
"How much did it cost?" asked Mark.
"Do you have that much, Mark?" asked Andrea.
"Yes." He paid the girl the ten dollars. He was happy about the price being lower, but sad because the price was still high.
Mark was lucky having the rest of the night on his side. He was happy, too. The only part that would be bad was telling his parents what had happened. He wasn't looking forward to that.
v SATURDAY v
When Mark got up, he headed straight for the kitchen. He was hungry.
"'What are we having for breakfast?" asked Mark, trying not to get on the subject of the dance.
"Pancakes," answered Mrs. Grainger.
"Getting dressed. How did you sleep, Mark?"
"Pretty good. I hope nothing goes wrong for me today."
"Speaking of things going wrong, how was the dance? Did anything happen?
"I'll tell you when Dad is here," said Mark wondering why things going wrong brought up the subject of the dance. He thought, Does she know something I don't?
While Mark was thinking, Mr. Grainger came in. "Dad's here now," he said. "What is it your going to say?"
"He's going to tell us about the dance," said Mrs. Grainger. "Well, what happened? Did anything go wrong?"
"Did anything go wrong! I'll say they did. The whole night was bad luck."
"What happened?" Mr. Grainger asked curiously.
"First, I'm a lousy dancer. I nearly bumped into every person. Maybe I did. I don't know. Then I dunked my tie, excuse me, your tie into the punch bowl."
"What tie was it?" asked Mr. Grainger.
"Your good one."
"Well, what one is that?"
"The blue with the silver."
"You're kidding! Mark, that's my best tie!"
"I'm sorry Dad. It's not ruined anyway. I washed it the best I could."
"My best tie, ruined!" Mr. Grainger pushed aside his plate and put his head on the table.
"Don't worry dear," said Mrs. Grainger trying to comfort him. "What else happened, Mark?"
"After I dunked the tie, I filled the glasses too high with punch and spilled the punch all over the table. Don't worry. I cleaned it up. But the worse part was knocking down the punch bowl." Mark covered himself with his hands to protect himself.
Mr. Grainger got up and yelled, "You what!!"
"I knocked down the punch bowl."
"How did you do that?"
"I bumped into it."
"We know that," said Mrs. Grainger. "But how?"
Marked sniffed the air. "What's burning?"
"The pancakes!" screamed Mrs. Grainger.
"Don’t change the subject," said Mr. Grainger. "How did you knock down the punch bowl?"
"I walked backwards and when I turned around, I ran into the table knocking everything down."
"Oh my pancakes!" said Mrs. Grainger with a very sad face. "I guess we'll just have cereal."
Mark got up. "I'll get the cereal."
Mr. Grainger grabbed him and put him back into his seat. "How much did it cost?" He said as calmly as he could.
"How much did what cost?" Mark asked innocently.
"You know what! The punch bowl!"
"Oh! Ten dollars."
"Mark, if you had to knock down a punch bowl, why a ten dollar one?"
"I almost had to pay thirty dollars. But Andrea got me out of it."
"How did the rest of the night go?" asked Mrs. Grainger.
"The rest of the night was fine. Even though we died of thirst."
"Well, at least that's all over with," said Mrs. Grainger.
The phone rang, so Mark got up and answered it. It was Zack.
"Why are you calling so early?" asked Mark.
"Mark," said Zack. "Everything has been going rotten for me ever since I got up. Mark, I think I caught your bad luck!"