Chapter 9:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 164

 

*Keely*

It was pure delight to wake up and not get assaulted with the sounds of kids running around and Leigh complaining.  Sure I had to go to work, but this time I was the nine o’clock checker and Kirsten’s lucky self got to be there at eight.  I walked in and got a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a cup of chocolate milk.

“It’s all expired, isn’t it,” I said to Kirsten.  That’s how things work here.  You get to take home free stuff sometimes, but only after its expired and we’ve gotten credited for it. 

“Not the milk.  It expired tomorrow.”

“Oh, well, that makes it better.”  It might have been an all expired breakfast but it was still tasty.  My day went considerably better than yesterday, minus the bag of noodles ripping open.  Until I had time to get the broom, I crunched a noodle every time I moved my feet. 

After work, I was more than happy to go to my grandparents house.  In preparation for me going to college and still living at home, they’d installed wireless internet so I could come over here and do homework.  They spoil me rotten, so I might take them up on that.  I think they were happy that I was sticking around and that Ry was back for the time being.  All the other grandkids had headed for the hills the moment they reached college.  I just wasn’t that type.

Kirsten went in to nap and I headed out to the corral.  Rosie had the other horses under control.  She was calmly munching on some of the orchard grass hay my grandpa had tossed out in the bunk.  His horses are snobs and don’t eat it, because it would be cheaper for us to buy them that.  Nope, during the winter they refuse to eat anything but alfalfa. 

“Want to go for a ride?” I asked her.  She bobbed her head up and down.  Maybe she understood me, maybe she was just showing her approval for the grass.  Maybe there was a fly.  No matter what, it made me smile.

“I would love to go for a ride.”

I jumped and spun around.  “Tate.  You gave me a heart attack.”

“Sorry.”  He didn’t look sorry at all.  “It’s not every day I hear a girl talking to a horse instead of me.”

“You’ll get used to it,” I said.  “I used to have this shirt when I was eight that said I’d rather whisper to horses than talk to boys.  It was my favorite.”

“Yeah, I think that’s the picture Ry had of you in his dorm.”  He raised his eyebrow.  “You were fifteen or sixteen if I’m good at guessing ages.”

I laughed.  “You caught me.  I outgrew my first one, which I did get when I was eight.  I loved it so much that my dad got it for me again.  My grandparents got me the sweatshirt version.”  Maybe that was why guys didn’t talk to me during high school.  Nah.

“It took you until you were fifteen to outgrow a shirt that you got when you were eight?”

“Well, I… no.. it… do you want to go riding with me?  I assume you’re out here because Ry is doing something boring.”

“I’d love to go and you’re not getting me to drop the question.”

I scoped over the horses in the corral.  Peg, short for Pegasus, would do nicely for Tate.  That had been Ry’s naming skills at work.  Peg wasn’t even white.  And I’m pretty sure he couldn’t fly.  But we can’t all have such mastering at naming things.  I handed Tate Ro’s bridle, and Peg’s saddle blanket and bridle.  Then I grabbed Ro’s halter and had to remember which one was Peg’s.  Luckily my grandpa has his shed fastidiously organized.  There was a black P on the peg where Peg’s halter was hanging.  “Make me carry it all,” Tate joked.

I shot him a smile over my shoulder and then raised on my tiptoes to grab the saddle hanging over the much stronger peg.  It took me a few minutes to slide it off but I managed.  Tate looked mildly panicked when I turned around.

“What’s your problem?” I asked him, carrying the saddle out.It was a little heavier than what I’m used to, I’ll give it that much.

“Why am I carrying the light stuff and dainty little you has the saddle?  This goes against the guy code.”

I put the smile down and brushed my hair out of my face.  “Well, if you’re going to be hanging around me much, you’d better get used to the guy code being broken.  I don’t feel that it applies to me.”

“Ah.  You’re one of those.”

“What?” I asked, taking Peg’s halter from him.  Purple.  Grandpa’s compromise to me wanting to get him a pink one. “You can put those down by the saddle.  I’m going to need you to hold the gate.”

Tate obeyed.  He held the gate closed while I maneuvered around the horses.  Peg saw me coming and swung his head away.  “That doesn’t work with me, buddy,” I said to him, stepping to the other side.

“What?” Tate asked.

I mentally cursed myself.  “I was talking to the horses.  I do that a lot.”

“I think it’s cute,” he said.  Oh goodie.  First I was kiddo, now I’m cute.  Damn.  Another one lost to the Friend zone.  “Besides, I heard your grandpa talking to them this morning.  Ry did for a second.  I think it might be in your genetics.”

“I like that excuse,” I said, tightening the strap on Peg.  “I’m so going to use that.”

Tate dutifully held the gate open and I led Peg out, skillfully blocking off the other horses.  Ro almost got through, probably afraid that I wasn’t going to take her.  “Patience,” I said to her.

“A virtue seldom found in women and never in men,” Tate said.  At my look he flushed.  “It’s just something that my grandma used to say to me.  Apparently it applies to horses too.”

“Probably just ours.  We don’t treat them like horses.  They’re part of the family.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that.”  Tate held out his hand for Peg to sniff.  “Hey, bud.”

“This is Peg,” I said to him, bringing over the saddle blanket. 

“Peg?” 

“Ask Ry.”  I had Peg saddled and ready to go within five minutes.  He’s about twelve or thirteen, so he’s pretty mellowed out.  I call him my gentleman.  His manners, horsewise, are definitely the best.

I grabbed Ro’s halter and snapped it to her over the gate.  She had her head over the gate, glaring at Peg.  “Be good,” I said to her as I swung the gate out.  I held on to her rope with one hand and shut the gate with the other.  I tied her to the fence a few feet away from Peg so I could keep an eye on both of them. 

“Aren’t you going to use a saddle?” Tate asked, standing next to Peg.

“I probably should,” I admitted.“But I trust Ro and I’ve been riding practically since I could walk.”

“And you’ve done worse,” Tate guessed.

“Probably but those incidents will never be brought up in the fear that my parents will kill me.”

I clasped Ro’s bridle and put the reins around her neck.  “Need a boost?” Tate asked.

“Not necessary,” I said.  My dad had long ago set a bet that I would never be able to simply pull myself up when I wasn’t using a saddle.  So far I have always had to use a boost.  But he made it a challenge.  I really hated losing challenges, especially the imaginary ones in my head.

I can’t manage to get enough strength to hoist myself up.  “I lied,” I admitted.  “I need a boost.”

In my experience, most people giving the boost just kneel down and I step on their knee or hands to get the lift, however they choose to get set up.  That wasn’t how Tate worked.  He grabbed me around the waist and just lifted me up.  I got the right leg over and got myself set up.  I wasn’t the most graceful but hey, I hadn’t been expecting that.  “Thanks,” I mumbled.

Tate untied Peg, and got his reins set up.  Peg kindly held still while Tate got his foot in the stirrup and then pulled himself up.  “All set?” I asked.  He’d been riding out here a couple of times so I wasn’t really worried about it.  He might be a city boy but he was a natural. 

“Yep.”

Going horseback riding is always calming for me. Especially on a day like this.  There was just a nice breeze, the sky was without a single cloud, and it was cooler than normal for the end of May, making it perfectly decent.  I’d tossed my workshirt in the back of my car, so I was just in a tank top and my jeans, and sneakers.  It wasn’t like I was trying to dazzle anyone with my good looks.

I snuck a peek at Tate.  He had his face slightly turned up to the sun, enjoying the feel of it.  He must have sensed me staring because he glanced over at me.“So, are you ready for college?” he asked.

I sighed.  I’d been getting that question a lot lately, mostly from myself.  “I think so,” I replied.  “I know that if my siblings can do it, I definitely can.  Living at home will help me, I think.  Everyone else thinks I’m crazy.”

“You’re just a different type of person,” Tate said.  “You and Ry are alike in that way.  You’re both very family oriented.  He hated college because he missed everything back here.  He made it one year, just to say he could.”

“I can’t even do that,” I said, mildly disgusted with myself.

“No, you just know yourself and your limits.  There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to lose everything here.”

I smiled at him.  “Thanks, Tate.  It’s good to be understood by someone who’s not crazy.”

We talked a little bit more, taking about a forty minute ride.  We cut across the dam above the pond and headed back for my grandparents.  It was about time for my nap.

I dozed for awhile, then came upstairs to help cook dinner.  My grandpa is the big cook and he enjoys watching Kirsten and I at work.  I am definitely the newbie in the kitchen compared to them.  Kirsten watches those cooking shows all the time, and her mom is big on cooking.  I’m pretty much their assistant.  I chop and stir what they tell me to chop and stir. 

I had to wake up again early the next morning.  To get me an extra fifteen minutes of sleep, I just pulled my hair back in a ponytail, opting to shower tonight and wash my hair.  Tomorrow we were leaving for the Fitz fest anyway. 

Sunday mornings are pretty boring.  There’s like a three minute rush of people coming in after breakfast supplies.  Then at ten there’s an after church rush.  Depending on the day, it gets busy at one, one thirty.  Since today was so gorgeous and everyone had better things to do than come to Super Foods, it was fairly ridiculously slow.  The manager was working in the deli, since our deli worker for the morning had called in. 

She came up to get me at about ten thirty.  “If you need help, call her up,” she instructed the other checker.

“Oh, thank you,” I said to her.  “That girl was driving me nuts.”

“I figured she was leaving all the working up to you, so this way, you’re both earning your paychecks.”  Ah, the dangers of turning eighteen and working at a grocery store.  Once we hit eighteen, we could legally handle the meat slicer.  That meant working in the deli.  So far I’ve been spared, mostly because I’d threatened to eat every potato wedge we had on the premises.  It looks like my deli-free life was coming to an end.

I was surprised to see Evan already in the deli, apron and latex gloves on.  He did not look happy.  “Get an apron and gloves.  I’ve got a list of everything you need to get out of the bakery freezer.”  I obeyed, groaning on the inside.  We were doing the bakery stocking up for the week.  That meant donuts and rolls and bread.It meant a lot of work.

Fortunately I just got to read what box and how many of them we needed, help Evan spot it in the freezer, then he’d do all the heavy work and rearranging.  Once we had everything, we, and I mean he, pushed the cart of frozen, unbaked goods to the deli. 

The manager would tell us how to set up the pans, then we’d lay out however many donuts or rolls or whatever on the baking pan.  It was a giant version of a cookie sheet.  Cookies are the extent of my baking.  I got the emergency, dumbed down explanation of how to run the scale so I could ring up the potato wedges and macaroni salad.  Okay, so our deli offers more than that, but those are the popular items.  Being around the smell of fried chicken was really making me hungry. 

I was sent out to restock the bakery items that come preboxed, like these nasty little snack cakes.  Then I got to mark down all the expired stuff.  By the time I finished that I was just in time to help Evan frost the donuts that the manager had made… whenever.  I asked no questions, I just did what I was told.

“Okay,” the manager said.  “You two are free to go.”

I headed back up front and let the other checker go on break.  She was not a happy camper.  I know that I would have been ticked to be checking by myself but she was ticked because she’d actually had to do something other than text and complain.  I’d been keeping an eye on the activity in the store, we hadn’t been that busy.  So instead of excusing her bitchy mood, I turned mine up a notch or two.

Kirsten walked in, early, bless her.  “How has it been?” she asked.

“So wonderful I cannot even begin to describe it,” I said to her.My best friend knows sarcasm when she hears it.  She snorted and went back to clock in.

I saw the Jolester coming.  I made a face and prayed that I would be gone before he got up here.  I wasn’t but at least he went to the other girl’s lane.  I started checking out a big cart, so Kirsten stood next to me, bagging the groceries.  She’d slide the bags down to Evan, who was impatiently waiting for the second shift of carryouts to arrive. 

I was chatting with Kirsten as the check ran through, printing out a receipt even though the customer was already out at her car, holding the trunk open for Evan.  Then Creeper Joe was tossing his bag of groceries on my checkstand, thrusting a sign at me.  “You mind telling me how you got 2.99 from 2 for 5?”he demanded.

I bristled, not appreciating the tone.  I opened his sack and retrieved the receipt.  His ice cream had rang up at 2.99.  Whether he’d gotten the right kind was yet to be determined.  I looked at the sign.  “This is for butter pecan.  You got country vanilla.”

“I just grabbed a sign,” he said rudely.  Again, I was not appreciating the tone.

“Well, it would be more helpful if you grabbed the right sign,” Kirsten retorted. 

I would have just given him the forty nine cents back right there but he’d paid with foodstamps.  We weren’t allowed to refund cash back to things bought with food stamps.  We’d had problems with people buying food, then bringing them back for a refund.  Oh, and since I just got the money back that the state will only pay for food, I’m gonna use it to buy cigarettes and beer since they won’t be able to tell.  “Do I need to call Deena up since it’s foodstamps?”  I asked. 

The question had clearly been addressed to Kirsten.  “I don’t care what you have to do, I want my money back.”  I spared Creeper Joe a ticked glance and grabbed the phone.

I called Deena up, as Kirsten took the sign back.  I was busy combing through the ad, looking for the ice cream.  The computer usually doesn’t make mistakes on vanilla ice cream.  If the butter pecan was in the system, you can pretty much guarantee that the vanilla is.  I saw the picture and saw the mistake.  I wasn’t going to be the one to tell him that the signs could not have possibly been in front of that ice cream.  The store brand’s premium tubs were on sale, in white box shapes with lids.  He’d bought the regular store brand, in brown boxes. 

He continued to tell me off.  Apparently this disaster was all my fault.  Forty nine cents.  Yep, it was all part of my plot to cushion my retirement fund.  Watch me.  I rip you off forty nine cents at a time.  By this time Kirsten was back, and Deena could hear him flipping out.  I was just silently staring at him.  “So what seems to be the problem?” Deena asked. Again the question was clearly not directed at Joe.

But he answered anyway.  “Your checkers appear to be confused.  This ice cream is supposed to be two for five and it rang up 2.99.  I want my money back.”

Your forty nine cents, I corrected mentally.  Jerk.  I handed Deena the ad, pointing at the ice cream. 

“First of all,”  Deena began, spotting the problem immediately, “the checkers are not responsible for what gets logged in to the computer as being on sale or not.  The full extent of their job is scanning these items and putting them in a bag.  The managers are the ones responsible for putting prices in.  Occasionally we miss things.”

“So the checkers get the shaft.  That doesn’t seem fair.”  And just when we thought he was going to listen to reason, he went off again.  “I don’t understand how anyone could not know that the vanilla was going to on sale.”

“Which brings me to my second point.  This is the ice cream that is on sale,” she pointed at the picture.  “That is not what you got.”

“The signs were right in front of them.  Maybe if you people would do your jobs…”

“Again, that’s not the responsibility of the people up here.  That would be the carry outs.”

We all knew that the sign hadn’t been in front of the ice cream.  Creepy Joe was just intent on being a jerk.  And if I’d been hoping for an apology for ripping my head off in front of the rest of the customers, I wasn’t about to get one.  He grabbed his bag and stormed out.  “Have a nice day,” I called after him, none too sincerely.

“You can log off,” Kirsten said to me.  “And be free.”

“Where’s Tanya?” my morning checker asked.  “It’s five after.”

At that moment, the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect really, the phone rang, the caller ID listing that it was Tanya’s home phone.  I answered the phone.  “Super Foods, how may I help you?”

“This is Tanya.”  There was a pause for a dramatic cough and sniffle.  “I’m sick.  I don’t think I can make it in.”

“Hang on,” I said, handing the phone to Deena.

I turned to the other checker.  Silently we rock-paper-scissor-ed and I lost.  Normally I’m the champ but I was still pissed off about the Joe incident.  She quickly logged off her register and made a dash for it.  I silently logged on to her computer. 

Deena hung up the phone, already looking annoyed.  “Well, Tanya isn’t coming in.  Apparently she’s sick.”

“She’s trying too hard,” I said.  “Clearly she was lying on her bed, trying to make it sound like she was sick.”

“Now I get to go back and find someone to come in on a Sunday afternoon.”

“Don’t bother,” I said glumly.  “I’ve got it.”

Considering I was pulling an involuntary double, things didn’t go too bad.  My boss had to come in to cover for Deena, since she had a wake to go to.  She’s also a part time caterer and it pays better.  He doesn’t want to lose her as the cake maker so he tries to give her what she wants.  That meant hiding my cell phone and not reading magazines when it got slow.

To make things completely better, he came up to tell Kirsten and I something, when Tanya’s mom came in.  “How’s Tanya?” Kirsten asked.

“Fine.  It’s really nice of you to cover for her so that she can go strawberry picking with us.”

I slammed the container of hand sanitizer down and turned to glare at my boss.  “Oh really?” he said calmly, shooting me a warning look.  “She called in and said that she was sick.”

“Oh… well…” she grabbed her bags and scooted out of there. 

“This is ridiculous,” I said.  “She’d better hope that she sees me first, or I will break her knees.”

“She won’t be able to check then,” my boss said, heading back to the back.  “Remember to face Aisle one.”

“Get her a goddamn chair,” I mumbled.  “She sits on her ass up here anyway.”

I faced the first aisle per orders and even dusted the entire liquor section.  So that area is barely the size of a large bathroom but still.  It’s a lot of dust and breakable things.  I moseyed back to my checkstand and took a sip of Monster.  I know energy drinks are bad for you, but I just wanted to laugh.  Give it thirty minutes to hit my system, and things seem funny. 

“Heads up,”Kirsten said to me.  In walked the two boys most notorious around town for their sticky fingers. 

“I’m on it,” I said.  I nonchalantly kept an eye on them, pretending to straighten things out at the ends of aisles that they were in, facing, putting something back.  If they intended to steal something, my constant presence wouldn’t allow it.

“Mission accomplished,” I said when they were out of the store.

“I doubt it,” Kirsten sighed.  “There was a lot of stuff that wasn’t blue on that screen.”

“Oh no.”  It makes sense if you know that their mom is most notorious for her penny pinching.  She doesn’t buy anything unless it’s on sale. 

By five, with one hour left to closing time, I was ready to leave.  I’d swept the floor and I was checking while Kirsten mopped.  Around five the place pretty much dies anyway, everyone at home relaxing.  I wanted to be one of those people.

At five forty five, the penny pincher arrived.  She dumped two paper bags on my check stand and handed me the receipt.  “I don’t want anything that’s in these bags,” she announced.  The Lieutenant Sarcasm in me responded to her Captain Obvious.  But I tamped it down.  She would complain to everyone if I was rude.  “Unless they are on sale.  In which case, they didn’t ring up right and I want my money back.”  If it was ice cream, I was going to scream.

“Okay, let me just take a look.”  Behind her back Kirsten rolled her eyes.  There was ice cream on her receipt but it had rang up at the correct price.  The problem was the thirty bucks of cereal she’d bought. 

I pulled out my ad again, Kirsten putting her mop away to come stand by me for assistance.  “This is for the ten to fourteen ounce cereals,” I said.  I checked the ones in her bag.  “These are eighteen.”

“Then I want the right size.”

“I’ll get  it,” Kirsten said, taking the four boxes that rang up incorrectly. 

I called up my boss.  We can only refund back ten dollars worth of something before the computer assumes we’re stealing.  Twenty two dollars was just unspeakable.  She was returning the four boxes Kirsten was replacing and two boxes of chex mix.  “I don’t want them if they’re not on sale.”  Could have fooled me.

“What do you need, Keely?” my boss asked me. 

“I need you to override this,” I explained.  “It’s over ten.”

“What rang up wrong?” 

“Nothing,” I said.  “It was the wrong size of cereal.  Then she didn’t want these two.  Kirsten’s bringing back up the one’s she wants.”  Kirsten appeared next to me and handed me the box.  She started to bag the others.

“I only want two boxes,” the lady said.  “If they’re that small of boxes.” 

I obeyed her command and Kirsten went to go put the other boxes back.  We still owed her sixteen dollars and some change.

“Okay, now what about my coupons?” 

“You didn’t give me coupons,” I said.

“I know.  I used coupons on the first transaction.  Aren’t you going to take those off?”  She looked at me like I was trying to rip her off.  I was getting tired of that look.

“Those were already taken off,” I said.

“I know.  But on the first one.  Not this one.”

“We can’t take them off again.”

“But I returned the cereal.  I didn’t get those.  I want the coupons off for the ones that I am buying now.”

I looked helplessly at my boss.  He was clearly trying to understand what this crazy lady was trying to get at.  I silently handed him the first receipt and stepped out of the way of the computer.  I now had ten minutes left.  Kirsten was back at her check stand, checking out the stragglers who’d just realized that we closed at six on Sundays, not nine like usual.  I really wanted to go help her but I didn’t want to abandon my boss.  He might throw something at her or strangle her and I would miss it.  There’s got to be a little rage in there somewhere. 

He tried to explain it.  She tried to show him math written on the bottom of her ad.  “Let me go work it out on the calculator,” he said finally.

“I’m so sorry,” she said to me.  “I just don’t understand math.”

“I understand,” I said.  “I’m bad at math too.”  But good enough to know that you were standing here arguing over two dollars worth of coupons when you were already getting sixteen dollars back. In other words, I wanted her out. 

I helped Kirsten out, bagging the groceries, mostly so I wouldn’t have to talk to the penny pincher.  I carried out and came back in, joining in for the explanation of how the coupons had already been taken off the cereal and we couldn’t do it again.  She still didn’t understand but I think she could tell we were all getting a little frustrated.  It being five past closing can do that to a person.  I handed her the sixteen dollars and change.  She took that, every receipt involved, and the piece of paper that my boss had sketched the transactions out on. 

“Ten to one she brings it back in tomorrow to say we did something wrong,” I said to Kirsten.

“That was absolutely ridiculous,” Kirsten agreed.  “Does she realize she threw a fit about two dollars?”

“I get that every penny counts and all that jazz,” I said, “but how could you not understand it?  Coupons don’t magically disappear if we refund you back the cereal.”

“You’re a better person than I am,” Kirsten said.  “I would have left at two and let someone else deal with Tanya calling in.  I would have told Joe to stick the ice cream where the sun don’t shine.  And I would have taken that cereal and dumped it over that lady’s head.”

“By then I would have had to resweep,” I sighed, clocking out.  “Thank god we’re on vacation for a week.”

“From this place.  But not the hell that Leigh is sure to put us through.”

 

*Tate*

“You’re late,” Ry called teasingly when his sister and Kirsten opened the door.

“Shut up,” Keely called, not in the cheerful tone she normally used.  She went downstairs without another word.

“What happened to her?” Ry asked.

“She just pulled a double because the other afternoon checker lied about being sick.  We have proof that she lied.  Her mom blew it.  Then the Jolester freaked out on her for something that wasn’t even her fault.  Then another lady came in and took thirty minutes of explanation about the cereal that she’d bought and how we couldn’t take off her coupons twice.  It was a mess.”  Kirsten settled on the recliner.  “Hey, Gramps,” she called to the man in the kitchen.  “Need help cooking?”

“Nope, just gotta put the spaghetti in the oven to bake for about forty minutes.”

Everyone silently watched as Keely breezed past them for the garage door.  She’d changed in record time, in shorts and a t-shirt.  The sneakers she’d worn to work had been traded in for cowboy boots.  “Be back in thirty,” her grandpa called.

She just waved a hand over her head, pulling the door shut behind her.  Ten seconds later the garage door was going up.  The engine of the truck rolled over and then the truck backed out of the garage, heading down the driveway.

“She’s not going to be happy with the news Mom just called with,” Ry said, shaking his head.  “Seeing her mood, I think I’ll text it to her in the morning. Maybe leave a note.”

“What?” Kirsten asked, already sounding panicked.  Tate had to hide the smile.

“Leigh wants Josh to pick their wedding song by tomorrow.  She’s decided that he can ride down with the wedding planners, so you can all give your opinion.”

“I don’t think the wedding song is in the wedding planner’s job description.  That’s a couple decision.  But as long as I don’t have to ride with Leigh, I will be peachy.”

“Ry, is your sister down by the pond?” The spaghetti was in the oven, so his grandpa was in the living room with the rest of them.  His grandma had gone into the town on the other side after breadsticks.

Ry got to his feet and ambled over to the window.  “Yes.  She’s sitting on the dock in your lawn chair. I have no idea why.”

“She’s thinking,” Tate, Kirsten, and the girl-in-question’s grandpa answered.

“She says the breeze and the waves under the dock calm her down,” her grandpa continued.  “She just likes to be alone sometimes.”

The garage door opened and closed.  “I come bearing breadsticks,” was announced.  “Who took the truck?”

“Keely,” Ry answered his grandma.  “She’s at the pond.”

“Alone?”

“Yep.”

“She’s got something on her mind.”

“A bad day at work apparently,” Tate answered, having jumped to his feet to help carry in the bags.  “This looks like more than breadsticks.”

“Someone doesn’t like to stop on these little trips.”  A look was shot at her husband of forty five years.  “But he complains when he gets hungry.  So I always have to stock up on junk food for the car rides.”

Tate circled around the couch after he’d put the bags where he’d been instructed.  He glimpsed out the window and saw Keely lounging on the dock. He couldn’t see her face, but it seemed like she was relaxed, her legs sprawled out, arms resting on the armrests of the chair.  He couldn’t see her face, but he could bet that her eyes were closed, soaking in the summer air.  For a split second, he was jealous that she was down there, no sound but the fish jumping and the breeze rustling the grass.  Maybe that meant it was time for a getaway.


Submitted: April 25, 2012

© Copyright 2022 DMT. All rights reserved.

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