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by Edward Bloor
Tangerine Part 2, Chapter 17 Summary
Sunday, November 5 Mr. Donnelly calls Mr. Fisher and invites the whole family over to meet some football bigwigs from the University of Florida. Mrs. Fisher is mad that Mr. Donnelly hasn't returned her calls about taking down those extra lightning rods, but Mr. Fisher tells her to let it go for tonight. As they walk to Mr. Donnelly's house, they're attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes, and run the rest of the way, screaming and slapping themselves. LOL! Erik is already there, of course, acting all fake and polite. Mr. Donnelly is a great host, chatting with each of them, and even telling Paul about his soccer coach's track career. Betty Bright was a champion hurdler, back when she was in high school. She was so good, she made the Olympic team in 1978. But in her preliminary race at the Pan American Games, she was hit in the eye by a competitor going over the first hurdle. (There's really something about eyes in this book.) She finished fourth because of it, and didn't get to move on to the finals. When the Olympics rolled around in Moscow two years later, the US boycotted them, so she lost her chance again. But, Mr. Donnelly tells Paul, Coach Bright did get a full college scholarship out of it, and had a great amateur career. Just then, Erik and Mr. and Mrs. Fisher come over to say their goodbyes. Erik drives off with Arthur, and Paul walks home with his parents. They go in through the garage door—which starts to trigger another flashback for Paul. His mom starts playing back a voicemail message from his grandma, and that seals the deal—flashback time again! Paul is a kindergartner, standing in his garage in Huntsville, as his grandparents walk in, carrying overnight bags. Erik pops out to say hello, right as Paul's mom whispers to him that he shouldn't say anything bad to his grandparents. As they get closer to Paul, his grandma looks at him funny. His grandpa gets right to the point, asking him point blank what happened to his eyes. Paul's mom insists that he's going to be okay, and shepherds them inside to talk, leaving Paul and Erik outside, staring at each other.
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