i'LL TELL YOU WHAT
 

JIMMY’S FATHER always told him what, always said, “I’ll tell you what,” and then his father would tell him things.  His father told him thousands of things, maybe millions.

          When Jimmy was twelve he stood five foot eight.  Most girls thought he was sixteen, and so Jimmy had girls looking and whispering at him when he went shopping places with his mother, or sat and ate hot fudge sundaes with his father at the Dairy Queen hut off Route 7, the main road into town.  Jimmy didn’t mind the girls looking.  Those older girls weren’t making fun of Jimmy, but wishing he’d talk to them like he was a sixteen year old boy, but he didn’t, because he wasn’t.  What did he know about girls anyway?  He was twelve.  He still kissed his parents and believed what they told him.  He still rode a bike with streamers on the handles, and let his mother buy him sweaters with Izod alligators stitched on them.  He never talked to the older girls, just looked and smiled, and those girls would blush and bow down their heads and touch their hair. 

"I'll Tell You What" is in Pleiades 30:1 (2010).