How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

Description : How They Met, and Other Stories

STARBUCKS BOY

It was my aunt who pimped me out.

We had this arrangement: I would get to live with her for a few weeks over the summer and take a pre-college course at Columbia before my senior year. In return, I wouldn’t have to do a thing besides stay out of the way. It sounded like a good plan to me, except that when I got to Columbia on the first day of summer classes, I found that my course had been dropped. Apparently, there’d been a notice that nobody in my family had bothered to notice.

I thought Aunt Celia would be mad. Or at least concerned. But instead she said, “Well, this could actually solve Elise’s problem.”

Elise was a friend of Aunt Celia’s who lived in the same apartment building. She had a six-year-old daughter.

“I’m sure you’re wonderful with children,” Aunt Celia told me.

This was an especially strange statementing from Aunt Celia, who (as far as I could tell) considered the continued existence of children to be something akin to a plague. We have a picture we love to look at in my immediate family, taken right after my brother, Jonathan, was born. It’s Aunt Celia’s turn to hold him, and from the look on her face and the positioning of her body, you’d think that someone had asked her to cradle a ten-pound turd. Nothing personal against Jonathan—I’m sure she was the same with me. As Jonathan and I grew up, Aunt Celia always gave us presents to “save for later.” For my seventh birthday I received a pair of Tiffany candlesticks. For my eighth, it was a matching finger bowl. I freaked out, thinking a finger bowl was meant to hold fingers. (Aunt Celia left the room so my parents could explain.) When I turned thirteen, Aunt Celia actually seemed relieved. She finally stopped maintaining any pretense...
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