What reminded Andy of Rob in the mall during the Christmas season in Tears of a Tiger?

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Rob and Andy had been best friends since seventh grade.  They would always spend the day at the mall together, and the Christmas season was no different.  Andy tells Dr. Carruthers, his psychiatrist, that the two of them would walk into an expensive clothing store, and the clerks would immediately alert on them because they were black.  

"The salespeople started to follow you around as soon as you hit the door, and they never take their eyes off you, like you gonna steal somethin' with the Bells of St. Mary's connected to it." (pg 72)

Then they would ask the saleslady if they could  try on an expensive coat, and the saleslady had to allow them to try it on because they might be able to buy it. They they would say that they had to get their father's credit card, and they would leave the store.

"....I know they thought we were scopin' them for a robbery...." (pg 73)

After that the two of them would go sit on Santa's lap.  Just as they were about to snap their picture with Santa, they would pull Santa's beard down and say real loud,

"Why, you're not Santa --- you're just some old white dude!" (pg 74)

They then would quickly leave the mall before the Santa people had a chance to call Security.

The Christmas after the accident, Andy went to the mall with Keisha.  Andy was feeling guilty about killing Rob in the automobile accident.  When he sees the Santa Claus display, it floods him with memories of Rob.

"I got real depressed.  I had to go home.  It just brought back too many memories." (pg 75)

Andy thinks Keisha is OK with how he reacted at the mall. She loves him, and so she understands that he is depressed.  But in her diary Keisha writes,

"Then we passed by the Santa Claus display and Andy started acting funny.  He said Santa reminded him of Rob.  I don't see how. Rob was six feet five and black and I've never seen a tall, skinny black Santa.  So Andy started getting depressed and he wouldn't talk and he just wasn't any fun.  I called Mom to pick us up." (pg 62)

Soon Keisha tires of listening to Andy's depressive thoughts. She is a teenager; she has moved on from the accident; and she wants to have fun! Andy can't move on.

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