“Ding-dong!” The doorbell rings as I walk into my favorite store. It’s musty smell reaches towards me and the walls filled with comic books and posters welcome me.
“Why, if it isn’t my favorite customer, Sammie! Looking for a new comic book?” The shop's owner, Mr. Jones, says to me in his gruff voice while organizing some books on the shelf.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Jones!” I say, walking toward him,“ Yes! I was wondering if you had any new comic books. I reread all of mine that I have at home, and I’m looking for more!”
“ A new book just came out!” he says, while shuffling around. “I saved a copy just for you, Sammie.”
“Wow, thanks! How much?” I say, pulling out my wallet.
“Nothing! Nada! Just a gift to my favorite customer!”
“No way!” My mouth opened wide. “You’re awesome! Thanks so much!”
“Not a problem!” He says, while handing the book to me. Now, you better run home, or you might get in trouble! I know your mama, so skedaddle home!”
“Thanks Mr. Jones!” I walk out of the store. It’s almost sunset, so the beautiful pink and orange glow welcomes me. I take a moment to breathe it in, and then I run home.
I walk up the steps to my house, panting. I’ve never run this far before, and even though Mr. Jones store is only a few blocks away, I never rush. I never even run if I need to. But when my mom gets angry, you definitely do not want to be in her way.
As I walk into my house, my mom greets me. I breathe a sigh of relief. Phew, I thought, she’s in a good mood.
“Sammie, honey.” My mom says, “Dinner will be in 10 minutes, so wash up and come down here. Dad is coming home late, so we will eat before he comes home.”
“Thanks mom.” I say. I ran up to my room. When I walk in, my cat, Misty, is on my bed, asleep. When I got her, I named her Misty because her color was white with a touch of gray mixed in. She could also slip by without me even noticing, like mist. She had her own kind of superpower.
I put my new comic book next to me, on the bed, next to Misty, and I tell myself not to read it until after dinner. But, somehow I look at the first page, and I fall into the book.
Fifteen minutes later, I’ve read the whole thing. I put it on my shelf with all my comic books. In total, I have 213 comic books. Well, 214 now. I have read and reread all of them. You could say I am a comic book nerd. I know, it’s weird for a girl. But when I got a comic book for my birthday, I fell in love with comic books.
Whenever there’s a new comic book, I buy it from Mr. Jones.
Whenever there’s a comic book signing, I go.
Whenever there’s a shooting star at night, I wish with all my heart I had a superpower.
It’s my life. I even try to make my own characters and comic books. But none of them are good. Most of them are dumb.
I look at my watch. Oh no! It’s been twenty minutes since my mom said I had to come down! I run to the bathroom and wash my hands in record time. I speed down the stairs. My mom and brother look at me.
“I’m so sorry! I-” I say.
“Yes, we know.” My mom says, “You got lost in a comic book. I know you love comics, but you aren’t spending as much time with your family any more. Like yesterday. We were playing Monopoly, and you didn’t want to play. Instead, you reread all of your comic books.”
“And,” My brother Conner added, “You never want to go out anymore or play!”
“I know!” I say, ”But you guys know that comics are my life! I collect them! I read them! I-”
“We know.” My mom says grimly, “We will discuss this later, when your father gets home. Just eat now.”
My mom had made fresh mac-and-cheese, (not from a box) and it was creamy and smelled delicious. But in my mouth, it tasted gritty and unpleasant. My father was nice, but he thought that comics were a waste of time and not worth the money. He let me read them on the condition I would do other stuff besides comics.
For example, I like chess, so I joined the chess club. I thought that would be enough, but he said that I had to do one more thing. So I chose the book club. It wasn’t like comics, but I like action books.
After we ate, my mom said that we could play The Game of Life. I was about to ask if I could skip, but my mom gave me a look that looked so terrible that I quickly shut my mouth.
We played a little bit, and then my dad came home. We put the game away and my dad ate his dinner.
When he was finished, I yawned.
“I’m tired.” I said, “I think I will go to bed now.”
But of course, my mom said, “Not so fast. We need to have a family meeting. Honey, have you noticed that Sammie hasn’t been spending as much time with us lately.”
“I know.” He says gruffly. “I was going to mention that soon. Sammie, I know you love comics, but you could be spending time working or doing something useful.”
“I know, dad,” I said, rolling my eyes,”But I need comics in my life. Just like Conner needs baseball!”
“Sammie,” My dad says,”You know that rolling your eyes in this household is not permitted. Honey, you know that we can take your privileges away, right?”
“Yes, dad. I know.”
“Also, honey, family is more important than comics. I would be okay with it if you would play with your brother and-”
“Yes dad! I know!” I interrupted. “Now, I’m tired and I’ll go to bed now.”
I stomped up to my room. I changed into my pajamas, reread the new comic book that I got, and went to bed.
The next morning, it was Saturday. I had nothing to do, so I started to draw some comics. I made up a character named Squirty. He had the power to squirt water out of his mouth and other parts of his body. I know, it's dumb. But it was the only thing I could think of.
When I took a break to go downstairs to get a snack, Conner was there. Of course, he wanted to play. I was about to say no, when my mom walked in. She looked at me.
"Sammie," She said, "Go with your brother now."
"Humph. Fine, I'll go."
I took my bike and told Conner we'll go to the park.
He brought a frisbee and his bike. We biked to the nearest park, and it wasn't that busy. At that park there was a playground, too.
We biked around the park for a bit, and stopped when our legs got tired. We each bought a snow cone from a vendor. I got lemon, and Conner got strawberry. When we finished our snow cones, we went on the swings together.
For the first time in forever, I was actually having fun! Conner and I talked on the swings together, and I realized that was the first time I had actually talked to him in a long time!
After we talked, we played with the frisbee together. I mean, Conner was super funny, and he was a pretty good frisbee thrower. I was terrible at frisbee throwing.
And for the first time, I realized what spending time with your family meant.
When we got home, it was dinner time. I washed my hands and ate dinner. It was leftover mac-and-cheese. This time, it was delicious. We had another family game night. This time, I had fun! I didn't realize that playing games together was really fun.
The next morning, I woke up to a beautiful day. It was Sunday, and my mom had made pancakes for breakfast. They were delicious! After that, my mom said we could go miniature golfing together as a family! I didn’t even object.
It was awesome. I lost, because I kept on cracking up and messing up my shots. My family didn’t even mention the talk we had a few nights before. We had so much fun!
When I got back home, I didn’t even think about my comics. Okay, maybe a little. But I didn’t read them. I realized that having fun with my family was way more fun than reading or comics.
I also thought about my 214 comics. Maybe I didn’t need all of them. I looked through them. I separated the ones that I didn’t need and the ones I wanted to keep. I kept about 50.
The rest of the comic books I gave away to Goodwill. I knew I had to do it. But, well, it was really hard.
I learned my lesson. Family is more important than anything else in the world. Even comics.