“You can’t flip burgers forever, Calvin,” Dad always says, usually from behind the cover of a newspaper.
Actually, it turns out Calvin can’t flip burgers for more than two hours, but he didn’t tell his parents he lost the job. There’d be questions he just isn’t prepared to answer. Like, “but why did you put the hose there?” and “wait, how many times?”
But he really does need to find another job, because it’s three months later and they’re still asking him how work was. So far, aliens have abducted the night manager three times and the girl who cleans the shake machine is a Russian spy. Honestly, he's running out of things to tell them.
And, you know, he’s not that sure about the night manager.
“Have you thought about night classes?” Mom asks sometimes, just in case her only child got a complete personality transplant when she wasn’t looking.
He has thought about them – he really has – but community college looks a lot like school and he’s still not sure how he made it out of there alive. According to the comments in his yearbook, he isn’t the only one. Ms. Gripple (the Math teacher) took up half a page just working the probabilities.
Calvin was kind of proud of beating the odds, and he thinks Dad was proud of him too. However Mom felt, she kept between her and the school board.
When Susie doesn’t throw him out of the library for being too loud, or too quiet, or too Calvin, she says, “What do you want to do?” But she never listens to the answer.
Probably because it changes once a week. Except today he says, “Everything.”
She looks up and brushes her bangs back up out of her face. ”Everything?”
“I’m leaving.” Which is news to him, and he kind of wishes his mouth had consulted him about it first, but he figures it’s too late now.
“Leaving for where?” Susie’s mouth lifts in a hesitant smile like she’s waiting for the punch line, but it’s not coming.
“Everywhere,” he says promptly. “I’ll send postcards.”
She grins and shakes her head and puts another book on the pile. “When’re you going?”
“Now,” Calvin’s mouth says, and then kisses her.
He nearly makes it to the door before she clips him with a flying hardback – she still throws like a girl. He rubs his shoulder and dives out onto the street, slingshots around a large man carrying a watermelon and launches himself up the sidewalk.
And guesses he’s going everywhere.
It’s not like he has that much to stuff in a bag: a few shirts, couple pairs of Jeans, boxers and socks and he’s done. He stands in the middle of his bedroom (he can’t stand anywhere else, the walls were lost to sight years ago) and thinks of what Mom will say.
He adds a hairbrush.
“You shouldn’t go alone,” Hobbes says. “Everything could happen.”