Authors: James Bow
Tags: #JUV000000, #JUV037000, #JUV016160
THE UNWRITTEN BOOKS
Copyright: James Bow, 2008
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise (except for brief passages for purposes of review) without the prior permission of Dundurn Press. Permission to photocopy should be requested from Access Copyright.
Editor: Barry Jowett
Design: Jennifer Scott
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Bow, James, 1972-
The young city: the unwritten books / by James Bow.
PS8603.O973Y69 2008 jC813’.6 C2008-906212-4
1 2 3 4 5 12 11 10 09 08
We acknowledge the support of
The Canada Council for the Arts
Ontario Arts Council
for our publishing program. We also acknowledge the financial support of the
Government of Canada
Book Publishing Industry Development Program
The Association for the Export of Canadian Books
, and the
Government of Ontario
Ontario Book Publishers Tax Credit
program, and the
Ontario Media Development Corporation
Care has been taken to trace the ownership of copyright material used in this book. The author and the publisher welcome any information enabling them to rectify any references or credits in subsequent editions.
J. Kirk Howard, President
Printed and bound in Canada.
Printed on recycled paper.
3 Church Street, Suite 500
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2250 Military Road
Peter McAllister kicked open the door and tottered down the basement steps, looking like a box with legs. “Box of books,” he puffed. “Again. Where do these go?”
Rosemary Watson dropped the roll of carpet and rubbed her hands against her jeans. Her halter top was smudged with dirt. She peered around at the whitewashed brick and the concrete floor and pushed her glasses further up on her nose. “Theo, you’re paying
much to rent this place?”
Her brother, Theo, smiled ruefully. “Seven hundred dollars a month. Plus utilities.”
“For this dungeon?”
Peter swayed. “Box. Books. Where do they go?”
“Location, location, location,” said Theo. “For seven hundred dollars I could get a wonderful place ... an hour away. I don’t need anything fancy. With my doctoral work, I’ll probably just be here to sleep.”
“Books!” yelled Peter.
“Well, the outside is nice,” said Rosemary. “Gingerbread, pocket garden, nice old Victorian. I can’t believe we’re in downtown Toronto. But I’m sure the original builders didn’t intend to have you living in the basement.”
“Right, that’s it!” said Peter. “I’m dropping these!”
Theo and Rosemary grabbed the box from Peter’s hands. He sagged into a chair, fanning himself with a discarded scrap of cardboard. “Why does it always have to be a hot day when people move?”
“Poor Peter!” Rosemary stepped behind him and wrapped him in a hug. “And we’re only just starting out. Then it’s up to Waterloo to move me into my dorm, and then over to London to move you into your apartment.”
“Don’t remind me,” Peter huffed. He clasped and kissed her hands.
“Looking forward to university, you two?” asked Theo.
“Yeah!” said Peter. “Welcome to adulthood!”
Rosemary took a deep breath. “Welcome to rent.”
“Welcome to no curfew,” said Peter.
Peter chuckled. “Don’t be a killjoy.”
She slapped his hair. “I am not a killjoy!”
“A worrywart, then.” He caught her wrist and kissed it.
She giggled. “I’m practical!” She bent toward him and they shared a kiss.
Theo rolled his eyes. “You two are shameless.”
Rosemary pulled away briefly and gave her brother a sly grin. “Us? Shameless?”
“No idea what you’re talking about,” added Peter when he was able.
Theo sighed. “Here!” He thrust one box at Peter and another at Rosemary. “Take these into the bedroom and straighten up in there. I’ll make some lemonade.”
Peter and Rosemary dutifully carried their boxes into the back room. Other boxes were already stacked up in all corners, and bits of a futon were piled by one wall.
Peter set about rearranging some piles. Then he turned and walked straight into Rosemary, who put her arms around him and gave him a kiss that left him short of breath.
“Rosemary,” he whispered. He cleared his throat. “We’re in Theo’s apartment.”
“Yes,” she said, with a wild tinge to her smile. “His nice, quiet, private apartment.”
He coughed. “Yes,” he said. “
apartment. Which you called a dungeon.”
“It’s a private dungeon.”
“Rosemary, he’s in the next room.”
“We could send Theo out to pick up pizzas or something. Tell him we’ll put together some furniture and, when he’s gone, kiss and ... stuff.”
Peter’s eyebrows went up. “Won’t Theo be suspicious if nothing gets put together?”
“We could put his futon together and ... make use of it.”
He blanched and swallowed. “What’s gotten into you?”
She giggled and pressed close. “Just teasing Theo....A little,” she whispered. “Showing him his little sister isn’t so little anymore.”
Peter scowled. “
“Not just, silly!”
Peter grinned. Their lips met.
At the door, Theo cleared his throat. He stood, frowning at them, holding a tray with a pitcher of lemonade and three glasses. Peter jumped back so fast Rosemary staggered. She shot Peter a glare, then took the tray and poured out the lemonade. The three of them stood in the middle of Theo’s bedroom, drinking silently.
Finally, Theo set his drink aside. “Rosemary, could I ask you something?”
“Shoot,” she said as Peter took another swig of his lemonade.
“Are you and Peter having sex?” asked Theo.
Peter choked on his lemonade.
“Theo!” Rosemary stared at her brother in openmouthed
shock. “How dare you?”
“You have your hands on Peter right in front of me, and you ask how dare
Gagging, coughing, Peter barely managed to set his glass down on top of a stack of boxes. He leaned against the wall, clutching his chest.
Rosemary spluttered. “It’s none of your business.”
“Rosemary, you’re my little sister,” said Theo. “I need to know you’re being careful.”
“I don’t need to tell you about my love life,” Rosemary snapped.
been having sex,” said Theo.
“I didn’t say that!” shouted Rosemary.
Peter took deep breaths of air. He doubled over and began coughing again.
“Look, it’s a simple question,” Theo began.
“It’s a huge question!” yelled Rosemary. “You’re not my dad.”
“I’m your brother.”
“That’s not the same thing!”
“Look, you’ve been getting pretty serious,” said Theo. “I mean, you two have been serious for years, but there’s serious, and then there’s
. Where did you two go after the prom?”
Rosemary reddened. “Nowhere — I mean, around.”
“Look, Mom and Dad didn’t complain,” said Rosemary. “So we were a couple of hours late. No big!
I called them and told them, and they said we could stay out a bit later. If they had a problem with what we were doing, they would have told me.”
“Your parents think the world of you and trust you to make your own decisions,” said Theo. “But they’re in their fifties, and I’m twenty-four. I have a better memory of what kids your age get up to.”
“So, why were
two hours late coming back after
prom?” asked Rosemary.
“None of your business.”
“Aha!” Theo shot back.
Rosemary reddened and clenched her fists.
Wheezing, thumping his chest, Peter got his breath back. “Theo,” he gasped. “Rosemary and I, we —”
“Don’t answer him,” snapped Rosemary. “It doesn’t matter if we do or not. We’re mature enough to decide —”
mature,” said Theo. “Not really. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, either. You’re both barely out of high school, and yet I hear you two talking about marriage.”