Jack was twelve when his father died. He was sitting at the top of the stairs when the news came, and he heard the words “I’m sorry.” He didn’t need to hear any more. He knew what those words meant. His best friend Tommy Sheehan (whose father had died in a car accident) had told him all about it. And he knew their lives would soon change. Tommy Sheehan had told him that, too. Tommy used to live in a nice house with nice things his mother always fussed over. After his dad had died things had changed - for the worse. But Jack figured things really couldn’t get any worse for them. They didn’t live in a nice house and they hadn’t had much in the way of anything new in a long time. The pants he wore were already too short, the sneakers he had were too small, and he couldn’t remember the last time he or any of his brothers had gotten something other than hand-me-downs to go back to school with. No, the way Jack figured, things could only get better.