A Hole in My Ceiling Is Leaking by Colin Kelly

Toby and Rafe thought they’d fixed the hole in Toby’s ceiling;
but sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out all that great.

There is a prequel to this story that is at
A Hole in My Ceiling on Codey’s World

We thought that we’d solved the problem that was created when Rafe came to my house and showed me the target pistol his dad had just bought for him. He’d thought it was unloaded. Then he’d accidentally squeezed the trigger and shot a hole in the ceiling in my bedroom.

Yeah, turned out the target pistol was loaded.

I’ll tell you, it really scared the crap out of us when the gun went off. When I finally got my hearing back and Rafe stopped crying, I figured the hole was a problem, because when my mom got home she would see it and then sure as crap Rafe and I’d be in real trouble. Make that, sure as crap I’d be in real trouble.

Then it started raining and a little water dripped into my bedroom through the hole in the ceiling. The bullet that had made the hole in the ceiling in my bedroom had gone all the way through into the roof of our house.

Oh! My! God! I was so glad that my mom wasn’t home!

Rafe was freaked that he’d be blamed for the hole. So, we had to come up with a way of hiding the hole in my ceiling. And we had to do it before my mom came into my room and saw the hole.

So, how did we fix the problem? First, it stopped raining. Then, Rafe’s dad provided the solution. Of course, he didn’t know anything about his part of the solution that Rafe had come up with.

Rafe said his dad had bought some stuff he saw advertised on TV that would seal holes. So Rafe went to his house and got it, and that’s what we used. We filled the hole in my bedroom ceiling and it seemed to work great. We filled the hole in the roof but we had to do it from underneath because there was no way for us to climb up on top of our roof. I dropped the pull-down stairs in the hall and we climbed into the attic. We sealed up as much as we could and it looked good.

All we needed was a little rain to test it out.

Rafe took his gun and the sealant home and never told his dad what happened. He thought that was better than the alternative. He wasn’t supposed to have brought the gun to show me before they went to the shooting range where he would learn how to use it.

My mom never noticed the ceiling in my bedroom. That was a good thing; we’d been worried because the place where we’d patched the hole was a little whiter than the rest of the ceiling.

Two weeks later we got what we needed to test that it wouldn’t leak. It started raining, and it rained a lot. I kept looking at my ceiling and never saw any water leaking or staining the ceiling.

I wanted to go up into the attic and make sure the roof wasn’t leaking. But either I was at school or when I was home either Mom or Dad was around all the time. So there was no way for me to climb into the attic unobserved. But as far as I could tell, there wasn’t any sign of a leak.

When I realized that, I took a big breath and let it out slowly. Cool! Our fix had worked.

It was a Friday and Rafe and I went to school. We were looking forward to the weekend. If it wasn’t raining on Saturday we were planning to go for a walk to see what the local streams were like. Maybe even go fishing. Yeah, yeah, everyone says fish don’t bite right after a rainstorm. But my dad and I went fishing a couple times after the rain stopped and we each caught some fish. I even caught most of them. So, if I was able to catch fish after a rain, why wouldn’t that happen again? Especially since I’d found a way to make the fish bite.

Saturday morning I got up and looked out my window. No rain! Just a few clouds floating around in the sky. I got up, took a quick shower and brushed my teeth and did the other usual etceteras, then dressed for going fishing. Before going down to breakfast I called Rafe; he said fishing was a great idea, and he’d get ready. We decided to get together at his house since the river was closer to his house than mine.

I went down for breakfast and had my usual: cereal with fruit — sliced bananas — and toast with peanut butter and homemade jam — apricot.

“So Toby, what are you doing today?” my dad asked.

“Rafe and I are going fishing.”

Dad grinned. “Even though it’s just after a rainstorm?”

“Yup. I’m thinkin’ that the ‘Toby luck’ will hold up and we’ll each catch enough for both families to have a nice fresh fish dinner.”

“I’ll make sure we have something I can heat up if the fish aren’t biting,” Mom said.

Dad grinned. “Good idea.”

“I’ll prove that you non-believers are wrong. Now, I’m gonna get my rod and reel and my tackle box and head to Rafe’s house.”

“Why isn’t he coming here?” Mom asked.

“He lives closer to the river than we do. His house is on the way.”

“Oh. You’ll have your cellphone with you, right?”

“I always have my cellphone with me.”

“And the battery is fully charged?” Jeez, she’s always asking me these things that always have the same answers!

“Of course. I always put it on the charging station when I go to bed.” I pulled it out of my pocket and showed her the lock screen. “See, the battery is still at 100% even though I used it to call Rafe this morning.”

“Alright. What about lunch? Do you plan on taking something with you?”

“Rafe’s mom is making tuna salad sandwiches. Rafe and I both like them.” My mom hates the canned tuna that you use to make tuna salad sandwiches. She says it stinks up the kitchen. I think her nose is too sensitive.

“Alright. Better her making them than me,” Mom said.

“Are you saying that you would have made tuna salad sandwiches for us?”

“No! Absolutely not. I meant I’d make sandwiches for you and Rafe. If I made them then you would’ve had peanut butter or cheese sandwiches.”

“Can I say that I’m glad….” Mom interrupted me, “No, you can’t! Just scoot. Go fishing. Bring home our dinner. That’s at least three good-size fish.”

“Got it! See ya!” I started for the garage to get my fishing stuff, but Dad interrupted me.

“What time are you going to be home?” he asked.

“No later than… maybe… three o’clock?”

“Okay. You have your fishing license?”

“Uh-huh. Right here.” I had it in a plastic holder on a lanyard hanging from my neck; I pulled it out to show my dad. “Rafe carries his the same way.”

Finally, I actually got to the garage and grabbed my fishing stuff: rod and reel; my collapsable fishing net to help land fish; and my tackle box that had everything I’d need, including a little gardening kind of shovel to dig up worms.

Rafe wouldn’t touch a worm. He said they made him feel like a murderer. So he always used lures. I didn’t mind baiting a hook with a worm. They were just worms! And using worms was what gave me luck fishing after a rainstorm. That was what I called ‘Toby’s luck.’

I also brought a big plastic tarp that we could sit on so our pants wouldn’t get wet or muddy. I’d wash it off with a hose when I got home.

I walked to Rafe’s house and, as usual, walked right in and said “Hi, Mrs. Emerson,” to his mom. Rafe came bounding down the stairs. “You ready, Toby?”

I held up my rod and tackle box. “You know it!”

“Let’s rumble!” Rafe said, then he said, “Bye, Mom!” and I said, “Goodbye, Mrs. Emerson.” When I first met Rafe she told me to just use Emerson because it was easier to say than ‘Mrs. Fellows-Emerson’. Rafe’s full name was Rupert Albert Fellows-Emerson, which is why he wanted us to call him Rafe. Get it?

Rafe had his fishing stuff at the front door, including a cooler bag with our lunch and a six-pack of Cokes.

We walked to the Yuba River. It’s just outside of Marysville; that’s the town where we live. Down Sampson Street to where it dead-ends, take the path to Levee Road, cross Levee Road, walk across a field to some woods, walk through the woods, and you’re at the bank of the Yuba River. A good spot to go fishing. We set up at the edge of the river.

If my mom saw where we were sitting she’d be all ‘You could fall in and drown!’ and tell us we shouldn’t go fishing there. But Rafe and I were both real good swimmers so there wouldn’t be a problem if we fell in. But we never fell in, ever. Well, except sometimes in the summer when we’d want to go swimming there, and anyway, we wouldn’t fall in, we’d jump in.

I spread my tarp on the bank, and we prepared our rods and reels. I found a slightly muddy spot nearby that looked like good earthworm hunting grounds. I used the little shovel and dug around in the muck, doing it carefully so I wouldn’t cut and kill any of the earthworms. They work better on the hook if they’re wiggling — that attracts the fish.

Rafe put a lure on his hook and cast way out towards the center of the river. That was on purpose, to encourage any fish out there to swim toward the bank. The bank where we were sitting.

The water was cold, and the fish were hungry. I caught the first fish, and after I caught my second I was able to talk Rafe into letting me bait his hook with earthworms. That way we’d both be successful.

Needless to say, we caught some nice-sized fish. Six bass, one bullhead catfish, and even four steelhead trout which I hadn’t expected.

I don’t like catfish, and Rafe had caught it anyway, so I didn’t mind him keeping the bullhead. We split the rest, three bass and two steelhead trout each. And after stopping at Rafe’s house to show off our fishing prowess, I got home by two o’clock. Dad said since I’d caught the fish he’d clean them. Cool! Cleaning fish is way below the bottom of my list of things I like to do. Mom cooked the fish I caught and we had enough for our dinner and a couple bass left over.


So, everything was going fine. The hole in my ceiling was dealt with, or as Rafe liked to say, ‘one and done’.

After breakfast Sunday I was outside reading a story for my English 1 class. After reading it, I’d have to write a commentary about it. You know, what was it about; what I liked and didn’t like about the story; did the author get his or her point across and what was that point; how did it end; was it easy to read; did it keep my attention; stuff like that.

My folks were inside doing whatever parents do on a Sunday morning.

Like I said, everything was going fine until I heard my mom talking loud; real loud. I had no idea what was going on. Following a major rule for teens I stayed right where I was doing what I had been doing, showing no interest in what was happening in the house.

After a short time, maybe ten minutes, Dad opened the back door and saw me sitting there. I’d heard the door open but had ignored it.

“Toby, can you come in and give me a hand?”

“Sure.” I stood up, put my book down on the chair, and followed Dad into the house. He led me into Mom’s ‘crafts’ room. It was right below my bedroom. Mom did hobby things and sewing and sometimes did drawing and painting in that room.

One of her drawings was pinned to the wall with a couple push-pins in the upper corners. It was a pencil sketch of California Poppies. Mom was looking at the drawing, and when Dad and I walked in she turned and looked at me.

“Did you leave your window open when it was raining?” She asked.

‘Oh, crap!’ I thought. “Uh, no,” I said, “it was closed tight.” That was true, it had been.

“This drywall is wet,” Dad said. “Water leaked in here.”

“The water damaged my drawing,” Mom said. “It’s stained. It’s ruined.” She really didn’t have to tell me that. I could see that it had dark colored water stains with my own two eyes.

I figured it was time to fess up.

“I think maybe I know what caused this,” I said. “But to explain it, I have to have Rafe come over. Is that okay?”

“You want Rafe to come over!?” Mom wasn’t happy about that.

“Yes. He needs to be here.”

“Go ahead and call him,” Dad said. Mom gave him a ‘look’ like she wanted an answer right now and without Rafe around, but Dad must have given her a look that stopped her from yelling about it.

“I’m going to go outside and call him, then when he gets here I need to talk to him some more. Then we’ll come in.” I looked at Dad. “Okay?” He nodded a ‘yes’ and Mom didn’t say anything.

After about fifteen minutes Rafe and his dad arrived. I was glad that his dad came with him.

“Hello, Toby,” Mr. Emerson said. “Rafe told me about your little excitement a couple weeks ago.”

“Yeah. I haven’t told my folks yet. I wanted Rafe to be here so he could tell them that what I was saying about the hole in my ceiling and in the roof was true.”

“Well, I’m here and he told me all about it. Shall we go inside and talk to your folks?”


My folks were in the living room and said hello to Mr. Emerson.

“Hi, Jeff. Hi, Rafe,” my dad said. “Hello Mr. Emerson,” my mom said. She always has to be formal and almost always ignored my friends. Weird.

“Hello, Sean. And you too, Barbara,” Mr. Emerson said. “Hi, Mr. Collins. Hi, Mrs. Collins,” Rafe said. He was always polite.

We all sat down.

“So, Toby, what’s the story here?” my dad asked.

“Let me tell you, and if I forget something Rafe can remind me. Okay?”

“Yes. Go ahead,” Dad said.

So I did. I started with how Rafe’s dad bought him a target pistol so he could learn how to shoot. How they were going to the shooting range in a couple days where he’d learn how to safely handle a gun and how to load and unload it and shoot at a target and so on and so on. Then I said how Rafe was so excited about the gun that as soon as he got it, he brought it over to show me, and he said it wasn’t loaded, that his dad hadn’t even bought any bullets, and how they’d buy them at the shooting range. Anyway, Rafe had wanted me to hold it, but I wouldn’t. I don’t like guns so I’d said maybe some other time.

So I continued with how Rafe accidentally pulled the trigger and that the gun fired a bullet into my ceiling. It had been loaded after all, and Rafe hadn’t known that.

Mr. Emerson interrupted, “Toby is correct, the gun was supposed to be unloaded. It’s my error for not double-checking it. Since I’m a deputy sheriff I should know to always check a gun myself. But I trusted the seller and I was wrong to believe him when he said it wasn’t loaded. Go ahead, Toby.”

“So, I was worried about the rain coming in since it had rained that morning. Rafe said his dad had some sealer and that it was real good, that he’d used it to seal a hole in their garage roof.

“So, he went home and brought the sealer back. The color was white. We fixed the hole in the ceiling in my bedroom first. To do it, we went up into the attic and filled the hole from where it went through my ceiling then through the attic floor, and all around where the hole was, then Rafe smoothed it out from inside my bedroom. We brought in the ladder from the garage so he could reach my ceiling.

“Then we went back into the attic and looked at the hole in the bottom of the roof. Since we didn’t have any way to get on the outside of the roof we decided to seal it from underneath. I didn’t see any light shining through so we filled the hole then put two layers of the sealer on the wood around the hole and let it dry between each layer.

“Then we waited for it to rain. And it finally rained a lot last week. I didn’t see any leak in my bedroom ceiling. I thought the sealer had taken care of the problem. I guess it didn’t.”

“Both of you should have told me and Rafe’s dad when it happened,” Dad said, staring at me and Rafe.

“I didn’t want Rafe to get in trouble even though firing the gun in the house was an accident and it wasn’t his fault because he was told that the gun wasn’t loaded.”

“You’re the one who’s in trouble,” Mom said. She was glaring at me; not a good sign.

“So show us where you patched the ceiling,” Dad said.

I went upstairs into my bedroom followed by Rafe, my dad, Rafe’s dad, and my mom. I walked between the bed and the wall that has a window. I opened the blinds so there was enough light to see the ceiling. I pointed to where the hole had been.

“It’s right there. It’s hard to see. The hole wasn’t very big.”

“I don’t see where the hole was,” Mr. Emerson said.

“Neither do I,” my dad said.

“We covered the area around the hole with the sealant and it looks a little lighter than the rest of the ceiling,” Rafe said. “If you come over here you should be able to see the difference.”

I moved out of the way and Rafe moved toward the head of the bed. Our dads walked between the bed and the wall. They looked up at the ceiling. Rafe pointed at where the hole had been.

“I think I see where they’re talking about,” my dad said. He pointed at the ceiling. “What I see is an area where it looks like the white color is a little lighter, but I don’t see a hole.”

“Neither do I,” Rafe’s dad said. “If the boys patched a bullet hole they sure did a good job doing it.”

“I agree,” my dad said.

“Can I show you what we did in the attic?” I asked.

“Yes, let’s take a look at that.”

I led my dad, Rafe’s dad, and Rafe into the hall. My mom didn’t come with us. As I walked out of my bedroom I saw her walk around to the side of my bed and stare up at the ceiling.

Dad reached up and grabbed the cord for the pull-down stairs. I climbed into the attic first and turned on the light. Our dads came up next followed by Rafe. I realized that we should have a flashlight, then remembered that my phone had a flashlight. I pulled it out of my pocket and turned on the flashlight app. I pointed it at the floor where we’d patched the hole.

I said, “See where it’s white on the wood here on the attic floor? That’s where we sealed the hole that was in my ceiling. We put two coatings of sealant on it.”

“Yes, I see that,” Rafe’s dad said. He squatted and rubbed his hand on the wood all around where it was white from the sealer and the unsealed wood a foot or two beyond. “None of this is damp. Feel that, Sean.”

My dad squatted and felt around. “It’s dry. If any water had gotten in here from the rain the past few days this would be damp.”

Then I pointed my cellphone flashlight at the attic ceiling. It looked dry to me, but my dad and Rafe’s dad checked it. It ended up with the same result as the attic floor: it was dry.

“If it had leaked through the roof it would show moisture on the wood,” my dad said.

“I agree,” Rafe’s dad said.

“What we need to do is go outside and check the roof. I want to see if the bullet exited through the shingles,” Dad said.

“Let’s get a roofer to do that,” Rafe’s dad said. “I’ll pay the cost since it was my son who fired the gun and because I hadn’t checked to be certain it was unloaded.”

“First, let’s find out how much it costs,” Dad said. “I’ll call the roofer that installed my new roof a couple years ago.”

Rafe’s dad replied, “Okay, let’s start that way.”

“Let’s go down to the living room. I think we need to have a talk with our boys about gun safety,” Dad said. “Both Toby and Rafe.”

We all sat down in the living room, me and Rafe on the sofa and our dads on two armchairs. Mom came in and I scooted over toward Rafe so she could sit on the sofa, too.

“I have some questions,” my mom said. “Why was Rafe given the gun before he was trained to use it? Why did he shoot the gun in Toby’s bedroom? Why is the roof leaking into my crafts room?”

“I should answer the first question,” Rafe’s dad said. “I’m a deputy sheriff and I think it’s important that kids — my kid, especially — know about guns and how to handle them safely including how to determine if a gun is loaded, and how dangerous they can be….”

“Dangerous?” my mom interrupted. “I’m surprised that’s one of the things you want to teach him. How’s that fit with teaching him how to shoot a gun? You didn’t say that part, but what Toby said about you buying the gun for Rafe was for him to learn how to shoot.”

“Teaching why guns are dangerous is the most important thing I can teach Rafe, Barbara. Teaching Rafe how to handle a gun safely is the second most important thing I can teach him, and that includes teaching him how to safely shoot a gun.

“And if I’d checked to make sure the gun wasn’t loaded — even with only one bullet, which was the case — Rafe having the gun before we went to the shooting range would have been okay. Because I didn’t check, it wasn’t okay. But that’s hindsight.”

Mom just looked at him and didn’t say anything.

“I can’t say teaching all of those things are right for every kid,” he continued. “For example, Toby said he doesn’t like guns. So I think he should learn about why guns are dangerous. That’s important for all kids, I think. But he doesn’t have to learn anything more about guns, including shooting.

“There was one other thing I was about to add to the list. That’s what to do if someone has a gun at school, a school shooter. That part includes how to lock a classroom, how to find a safe place and hide, and how to determine when it’s safe to escape from the building. Those are things every kid needs to learn. Knowing about how to shoot a gun means Rafe will have better knowledge about what a shooter is capable of doing.”

He looked at my dad then at me and Rafe.

“Barbara, your second question was, why did Rafe shoot the gun in Toby’s bedroom. That’s for Rafe and Toby to answer.”

“Let me tell that,” I said. So I told the story about what happened when Rafe stretched and his finger was on the trigger. Then I asked Rafe to tell the rest.

He said he’d showed me the gun and was holding it, then he yawned and stretched his arms up and accidentally pulled the trigger and it fired because there was a bullet in the gun. He repeated that he didn’t know it was loaded.

Then Rafe’s dad picked up from there. “Like I said, the reason there was a bullet in the gun was because I didn’t check it after I bought it. I went to a gun show in Daly City to look for guns for the sheriff’s department and bought the target pistol for Rafe from a reputable dealer, one who has a well-known store in Sacramento.

“Barbara, your third question was, why is the roof leaking into your crafts room. I can’t answer that. The patching the boys did was effective, and there’s no water leaking into the attic or into Toby’s bedroom. And there was no sign that it had been leaking. Sean is going to call the roofer that installed your roof and have him come and inspect the top of the roof and see if a leak caused by the bullet is getting into your wall.”

This started a lot of adult discussion that had nothing to do with me or Rafe. After about five minutes I whispered to him, “This is terminal boredom.” Rafe nodded and rolled his eyes.

I put up my hand like if I was at school. “Excuse me, if you don’t need us anymore, may we be excused?”

Mom glared at me, but Dad answered. “Yes, we’ll let you know when Rafe’s dad is ready to leave.”

We got up and hurried — but didn’t run — upstairs to my bedroom. We both flopped across my bed.

“Well, what do you think?” I asked.

“Our dads don’t seem very upset.”

“True that! My mom’s upset, but so far it looks like what we did isn’t why the drywall downstairs in her crafts room is getting wet. You know, that wall is directly below the wall next to my bed.”

I twisted around and got up on that side, then got on my knees. I looked at Rafe. “I’m going to see if my wall is damp. I’d think it would be if the water’s coming from the roof and running down the inside of the wall in my bedroom and then into the wall in my mom’s crafts room.”

“That makes sense,” Rafe said. “Need help?”

“Sure. Why don’t you get up to the head of the bed and start checking the bottom of the wall and the carpet where it meets the outside wall?” I pointed to where the corner of the wall that was near the head of my bed. “I’ll do the part starting at the opposite corner near the foot of my bed. We can work toward the middle.”

It took about ten minutes to check the entire length of the wall, pushing our fingers into the edge of the carpet and checking the wall to see if it was wet or showing any sign that it had been wet.

“It’s all dry as a bone,” Rafe said as we met at the middle of the wall.

“Me, too. I suppose the water could be coming from inside the wall and finally getting the drywall in my mom’s crafts room wet.”

“Maybe she left her window open.”

“There’s no window on that wall in her crafts room.”

“How about your window? Could the leak be coming from it?”

“It’s closed.”

“Shouldn’t you check it?”

“Okay. Good idea.”

I got up and opened my window, which had been closed tight and the lock latched. I felt the sill on the inside and on the outside of the window, and then the drywall around the sides and bottom of the window. They were dry, and there weren’t any signs of water stains.

“It’s not my window. So that means either the problem is the bullet went through the shingles on the top of the roof and somehow it’s leaking down the side of the house into the wall in my mom’s crafts room, but not into the wall in my bedroom. Or, it’s leaking from somewhere else and it isn’t the bullet that caused it.”

“We’ve gotta wait for the roof guy to come and see if he can find where the problem is,” Rafe said.

“Did you finish your homework?” I asked.

“No. I have a whole bunch of algebra problems to solve.”

“I already finished my geometry problems. Now I have to write a commentary on a story I read in English 1.”

“I had the same thing in my English 1 class, and I did it already.”

“I hate to say it, but we need to do our homework so we can turn it in tomorrow. You want to do yours here, or head home to do it?”

Rafe thought for a few seconds. “I better go home. I don’t have my algebra book and the notes I took about which problems we were assigned to solve.”

“Okay. I’ll see you in the morning.”

We hugged, I checked the door to my room to make sure there was no one lurking in the hall, and then we kissed.

Rafe left and I got started on my homework.


Tuesday afternoon the roof guy came to see if he could figure out why my mom’s crafts room wall was getting wet. He had a real long ladder that he used to climb up and a real long hose he used to pour water on the roof and check if there was any place on our roof where it was leaking. He let the water run for a long time while he’d climbed down and went into our attic to check for a leak. Then he turned off the water and went back up onto the roof and did some stuff and was there a long time.

When he was finished with the roof he talked to my dad, and I listened in.

“I checked all the shingles in that part of your roof. There aren’t any that have a hole in them. I didn’t find any shingles that were out of place, and there’s no sign of any leak inside. Whoever did that patching did an okay job. I pulled up the shingles in that area and checked. The underlayment was penetrated by this,” he held a bullet in his hand and gave it to Dad. “That could have caused a leak into your attic, but there’s no sign of it now. I put in an additional sheet of underlayment and sealed it in place, then reinstalled the shingles. There shouldn’t be any leaks now. If there are within thirty days, give me a call and if it’s the same place the fix won’t cost anything.

“However, I don’t think that’s the cause of the leak in the room on the first floor. I think it’s the exterior siding on that wall. That’s not my line of business, but I took a look at it and some of the siding boards have wood rot, so I suggest you call a builder or siding contractor to check it out.”

“Do you have any companies that you know of that do siding repair?” Dad asked.

“Sure.” He gave my dad the name of the contractor he said that he’d used for siding repair on his house. My dad paid him for the roof repair, and then he left.

“How much did it cost to repair the roof?” I asked.



“That fixed the bullet hole problem, but he said that’s not what is causing the problem in your mother’s crafts room.” Then he told me what the roofer told him might be causing the leak.

“I’m glad about that, but Mom’s not going to be happy until the leak is fixed.”

“That’s why I’m going to call the contractor he recommended and see what they’ll charge to check the siding and repair or replace what might be causing the leak. I’m going to do that right now.”

That turned out to be a lot bigger deal. Not only did some of the siding boards on that side of the house have wood rot, the new ones had to be painted to match the color of the rest of the house which took a couple tries. The insulation in the wall had mold so it had to be removed, the mold cleaned out, and new insulation installed. Then the drywall on that wall in Mom’s crafts room had to be replaced and the entire wall painted. The whole thing took a week and a half. When it was finished, Mom was very happy. That wall looked a lot better than it had been to start with. I decided I shouldn’t ask how much it cost!

So, the problem in Mom’s crafts room wasn’t caused by the bullet in my ceiling. If Rafe and I hadn’t said anything (in other words, a lie of omission about the bullet hole) no one would have been the wiser. But someday in the future the roof might have started to leak, so it was a good thing to have it checked and taken care of right away.

Mr. Emerson insisted on paying for the roof repair.

He and the sheriff came to our school and did a safety check. They made a lot of recommendations. Some were implemented (like updating and publishing the school’s security and safety measures and emergency procedures, distributing them to every student, teacher, and administrator, and mailing them to the home of every student; installing new more secure locks on classroom doors that automatically locked as soon as they were closed so no one could open the door from the outside without a key; creating a safe zone in each classroom; and giving school safety assemblies at the start of each semester). Some were put off until the school district had the money to do them. The list included: replacing all of the classroom doors with steel doors that were bullet-resistant and had bullet-resistant windows; hiring an additional school safety officer; and installing high-definition security cameras inside and outside the buildings).

I’m still not interested in guns. Rafe went ahead and learned how to load and shoot his target pistol, but even though he tried to get me to go with him I said, “Sorry, I’m really not interested in guns.” They still totally spook me!

Of course, we’re still best friends. We still go fishing. His mom still makes us tuna salad sandwiches and they are delicious. I still put worms on his hooks because he won’t touch worms. We still make sure no one’s around who can see us when we kiss.

And if I look carefully I can still see where the bullet hole was in my bedroom ceiling. How many kids my age can say that?


The End

A big thanks to Cole Parker for editing ‘A Hole in My Ceiling Is Leaking’.

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This story and the included image are Copyright © 2018-2023 by Colin Kelly (colinian); the original image of the California Poppies is Copyright © by bokasana | AdobeStock File #209875150; the original image of the water leak is Copyright © by trainman111 | AdobeStock File #145001920. They cannot be reproduced without express written consent. Codey's World web site has written permission to publish this story and has licensed use of these imaged. No other rights are granted.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don’t want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren’t supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!