Things You Remember
"Heather, come on, you have to see this!" Donny ran up, shouting. Then the seven year old boy pulled his nine year old sister to the back of the store.
Andrea, age five, followed along.
"Kids! Stay around. We're leaving right after -" Zack, 35, father of the brood, watched them disappear from the front check out.
"That'll be $17.84 with tax," Tom, the salesman said, after he hit the buttons on the cash register.
Tom liked to show off his dental work. He smiled as he placed the pump and rubber horn in a plastic bag with Lynbrook Bicycle Shop's logo on it. He continued to smile after he voided the sale and redid it because Faye, wife and mother, with no age offered, replaced the rubber horn with a handlebar bell.
"Kids! We're leaving now!" Zack shouted.
"Heather! Danny! Andrea!" Faye chimed in.
No kids reported for duty.
Faye headed to the back, Zack followed, Tom trailed close behind. Zack was anxious to get back to their Sunday ride. He needed to pedal off some of the extra calories from Saturday night. He looked at Faye's figure and wondered how she managed to avoid the excess baggage that clung so easily to him.
The adults arrived at the object of the children's fascination: a two-seater go-kart.
Donny sat on the driver's side, playing with the steering wheel. His blue eyes were lit up and dancing over the freckles on his cheeks. Heather sat next to him, the little mother, with Andrea in her lap. Heather had her long brown hair tied back in a pony tail, her brown eyes trained ahead, while her pug nose crinkled. Andrea was a replica of Heather when she was four years younger. Both looked like clones of their mother.
"Kids, we're going." Faye tapped Donny on the back.
Donny was oblivious, making engine noises, steering around imaginary curves. Heather and Andrea were passengers in the same fantasy. When Donny leaned into a turn, they leaned along with him.
"Girls!" Faye tapped Heather's back.
It was like their mother wasn't there.
"KIDS!" That snapped them out of their daydream. "We're leaving."
"OH MOM!" A sullen chorus. Little Andrea climbed out, followed by Heather, and then Donny. They moped and whined toward the front door. Faye got halfway down the aisle before she made an about-face and marched back to the rear of the store.
He looked up, startled, from the go-kart seat.
"Oh … hi, honey."
Tom jerked his head around in mid-pitch.
Donny climbed into the go kart and sat next to his father. Father looked over at son, son looked over at Father, and they smiled at each other. Zack put his arm around Donny.
"Zack, you're not thinking of buying one of those dangerous things, are you?" Faye asked with her opinion of the idea evident in every word.
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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.