The Boy in the Black Suit
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.
Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this “vivid, satisfying, and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption, and grace” (Kirkus Reviews) from the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award–winning author of When I Was the Greatest.
Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.
name is Love Brown, but most of you here know me as Lovey. I don’t really have a whole lot to say besides the fact that I loved my grams. She took care of me when my mom passed, and showed me how to be who I am today. How to be strong and independent when things get thick.” She paused and smiled wide. “I’m sure we could all share some special times we had with her. But for me, our favorite thing was to take pictures. I remember when she first taught me how to use a camera. I was probably six! She
pack the food up and waited with her outside for a cab. When the cab came we both got in with all the leftovers, some of which she gave to me. “So, where you live?” I asked. “Hmmm. I live alone now, and you seem nice but you could be a killer”—she joked, but was half-serious—“so how ’bout we drop you off first.” “But I also live alone and you might be a killer too,” I said. “Maybe,” she replied. She tried to turn away and look out the window before I caught her smile. As we pulled in front
gray, sprouting from the ground like weird teeth. Most tombstones look exactly alike, and even though I think my memory is pretty good, trying to find my mom’s grave without directions would’ve been like running around in one of those mirror mazes they have at Coney Island. The map said to follow the road straight, make the first left, then follow the path over the hill. As I walked, the wind picked up, blowing my suit jacket open and making my eyes water. Like I said, if this was nighttime,
camera and started attaching the lens to the body. “Candy Man is a trip, but the kids love him because he used to be a star.” She turned the lens until it clicked. “His real name is Martin. Used to play ball for the Knicks.” The Knicks? Sweet! I mean, well, kinda sweet. Not so sweet that he’s homeless now. But still. “So—what happened to him?” I asked Lovey. She lifted the camera to her face and pointed it toward me faster than I could tell her not to. Snap! The flash was blinding. She looked
starving and that omelette—the OMG Omelette—would’ve hit the spot, I couldn’t do it. Her writing, I could hear her voice . . . NO! I slid the notebook to the other side of the table like it was possessed, leaned back in my chair, and yanked the refrigerator door open. Bread. Butter. Half carton of eggs. Milk. Half an onion turning brown. Two Chinese food cartons, one with bits of fried rice stuck to the sides, a white plastic fork sprouting from the top, and the other with some sort of sauce