“FRANCIS, get down here!” After three times of asking nicely, Annette, Frankie’s mom, deferred to his father to get him downstairs for breakfast.
“What’s wrong honey?” she asked as he plopped down next to his younger brother.
“I hate school,” Frankie pouted.
“Now Frankie, this is your first day of middle school, how can you say that already? I loved middle school.”
“Yeah, right. Grade school was bad enough, now I’ll have eight different classes. That’s eight times today kids’ll laugh at me when the teacher calls out ‘Francis Dwyer’ and they see that I’m a boy. WITH A GIRLS NAME!”
Dad scowled at his raised voice.
Turning back to his mother, “What were you thinking when you came up with Francis? Did you want a girl?”
Dad was laughing now, “No. Back when we were kids your mom was in love with Frankie Avalon and his real name was Francis.”
“HIM? Great, so I’m named after some dude from two centuries ago that mom goes crazy over whenever old beach party movies come on TV.”
“Yup,” his dad leaned over to peck his mom on the cheek, “And I married Annette.”
She pumped a hand under her imaginary puffed up hair as she leaned in to accept his display of affection.
“Ew gross,” his little brother covered his eyes.
Paulette slid into the seat next to Frankie before Ronnie could get the seat. The bus was full so he would have to stand all the way to school. She shot him an evil grin, rolled her eyes then scooted in to make room. When they got off the bus, Scrawny pointed them in the direction of the seventh-graders classrooms then headed off with the other eighth graders. Frankie said goodbye to Paulette and took a deep breath before stepping into his first class. They would meet up again for the last two classes of the day.