The back screen door opened and Roger shuffled inside, dumped his school books on the kitchen table, and opened the refrigerator.
“Don’t drink from the milk container,” his Mother admonished, “get a glass.
“How was school?”
“It kinda sucked, Mom. I got an F on my English paper.”
“What? How could you get an F in English? What paper?” She fired the questions at him as he tilted up the gallon jug of milk and took a drink.
“Roger! Get a glass.”
“It was that paper that you helped me with. The one you suggested I write about our trip to Mexico.”
“I read that paper Roger. It was good. How could you get an F? I based my last book on that trip and it made the best seller list!”
“Yeah, I think that was a big part of the problem. I think that Mrs. Brown read your book and she said my story sounded a lot like a novel she had read recently. She accused me of plagiarism. That’s why she gave me the F.”
“That’s crazy Rog, you were there too. Of course the stories are going to sound alike. We were writing about the same experiences. Do you need me to go talk to her? There’s a difference between plagiarism and inspiration.”
“If you do, Mom, you’ll blow your cover.”
“What do you mean?”
“Mrs. Brown thinks you’re just Madeline Kirkland, single stay-at-home mom. She doesn’t know that you’re a writer. She doesn’t know that your nom de plume is Missy Peaches. If you go in and tell her who you are; you’ll lose your anonymity in town. I know how much you value our privacy. I’ll take the F it won’t hurt my GPA that much. I do really well in that class.”
Madeline Kirkland, aka Missy Peaches held her arms out wide and then wrapped them around her son. He hugged her back and they stood motionless for awhile, embracing, savoring the moment, right there in the middle of the kitchen.