"Oh, Oliver, don't be a wimp," Phillip taunted, giving his friend a beckoning glance.

Oliver hesitated. He knew he couldn't sneak out of his house, and even if he did, his mother would be- well, she'd be furious. But, this new vehicle Phillip had been working on sounded very cool...

Oliver made a split decision. "No one will know?"

Phillip grinned. "Not a soul." Oliver had a bad feeling, but it wasn't as strong as the excitement rustling around in his stomach.
"Lets do it!"

Oliver was set to meet Phillip at 10 p.m. that night.

All he needed was his mother in bed by then.

"So, mom... Pretty busy day tomorrow, I suppose?" His mother turned to look at him with a sideways glance.

"Why do you suppose that?" She asked, turning back to the stove to continue preparing breakfast for her son. Oliver flushed. He looked up at his mother's back and said with the sweetest smile he could make, "well, don't you have practice in the morning?" Practice for what, he wasn't sure. He had overheard his mother on the phone earlier saying something about a final rehearsal for one thing or another.

"Well, I do have practice for the Orchestra concert early on the morrow," his mother said thoughtfully. "Well, Ollie, thanks for reminding me."

Oliver couldn't believe his luck. He decided to test his luck a bit more. "Mother, you would certainly want to be in your very best condition for tomorrow's rehearsal, right?"

"Well, of course, sweetie."

"Then a good nights' sleep is what you'd need, I reckon?" Oliver questioned, trying hard as ever to keep the excitement from giving him away. His mother turned around, frying pan in hand, looking thoughtful.

"I'd suppose so," she answered with a smile. "Since when are you so excited for me to be prepared for orchestra practice?"

Oliver froze. "Um, well," he started shakily. "I just..." he faltered.

"Don't be shy now, sweetie. What is it?" His mother asked delicately.

"I just can't wait to see you play, and I want it to be excellent!" Oliver exclaimed, his voice escalating with relief by the end of it. His mother looked surprised.

"Well, I hope you'll come see if we make the cut." She answered with a small smile, dumping the eggs on his plate. "Now, Ollie, you'd better hurry if you're going to catch the bus," she instructed, looking out the window. Oliver's eyes widened. He picked up his fork, scarfed down his eggs, chugged his milk and ran out the door, picking up his backpack on the way.

"Bye, Mom! Love you!" He yelled behind him as the screen door shut, his throat scalded from the hot eggs. His mother chuckled.

"Bye, my darling!" She answered with a laugh. "Love you, too."