TITLE: Dirty Secrets
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Cigarette smoke smothered me as soon as I walked through the door. You're not supposed to light up in restaurants in Pennsylvania, but Milo's shouldn't be called a restaurant. It's dirtier and grubbier than the coal miners who drink there after their shift - - and if Dad doesn't start back to work again soon the two of us will be moving upstairs into the one-bedroom dive Milo calls an apartment.
Patty, the bartender, called out to me from behind the dirt-stained bar. "Hey, Matt. I hear it's your birthday. When you're old enough I'll give you a blowjob."
I felt my face flush and knew in an instant I was probably as red as the vinyl covering the barstools.
"Relax, silly," Patty said. "It's a drink." She and a bunch of the guys around her laughed like crazy after that one.
I eased past them to the corner where Dad sat. He acted as if he hadn't heard any of this. He's in his own private hell. He could be at Heinz Field watching the Steelers play and he would be alone.
I shook his shoulder. "Come on, Dad. We gotta go home. Grandma and Grandpa expected us to be there for supper already."
He chugged the rest of his Iron City and stood. He left a twenty. Didn't ask for change.
S***. How many beers?