Friday, May 30, 2008

The Second Installment

Here it is, folks! Hope you enjoy!


Christine threw her purse over her shoulder after they left the restaurant, and Amy came up next to her as they walked up the street. They both lived in the neighborhood, just a short walk away.

“I don’t know,” Amy said as a cool breeze rushed through their hair. “He was kind of cute…”

“Cute?” Christine verified, “Maybe in a puppy dog sort of way. Cute because he’d be like a pet… He’s too young for you.” A taxi was rushing up the street, but slowed down as it passed them in case they needed a ride. They both ignored the cabbie and he sped away.

“So what?” Amy retorted. “It’s not like I’m seeing anyone else, and I’m not looking for anything serious. Just a little bit of fun… Especially since summer is coming along now…”

“Well, I guess it’s too bad he didn’t ask you out then.”

“What’s he gonna do, Christine? Write his phone number on the receipt? That would have been pathetic. I would have lost all interest if he would’ve done something ridiculous like that…”

“Excuse me, then… If he’s gonna be you’re little man-pet, maybe you should just go ask HIM out then.” Christine dared her friend.

“What is this? High school?” Amy shook her head at Christine’s condescension, but after a moment of thought, she raised it in suspicion as she said, “Maybe I will just ask him out. He’d probably never do it if I was sitting at one of his tables.”

Christine shrugged, and pulled her purse back up onto her shoulder to keep it from slipping. “Maybe you could go in and hang out at the bar. Maybe he sticks around for a drink after work,” she speculated. “That is, as long as he’s old enough to drink…”

“Oh shut up,” Amy laughed as she slapped her friend on the arm. “You stole his pen, by the way…”

“What?” Christine checked to make sure she had heard correctly.

“You stole his pen,” Amy repeated. “When you signed the credit card slip, you threw his pen right into your purse.”

“Oh,” Christine said awkwardly, “Why didn’t you say something?”

Amy gave her friend a very serious look and told her, “I didn’t want to draw attention to your petty theft…”

They stopped walking for a moment and stared at each other before Amy couldn’t hold in her laughter any longer, and they regained their stride as Christine took her turn slapping her friend on the arm.

“You’re ridiculous,” she said. “Would you like it? To have as a little token of your friend? Maybe you could take it in there and give it back to him… That could be your in!” Christine poked Amy in her side as they walked.

“Now THAT would be ridiculous!” Amy insisted, and she joked aloud in a prissy voice, “Excuse me, waiter… My friend accidentally took your pen earlier, you wanna get a drink sometime?”

They both laughed as another taxi flew up the street, and they came to a stop as they walked up to Christine’s condo.

“Well, dear,” Amy said, “Thanks for dinner. Tell that gorgeous little boy of yours I said hello.”

“Which one?” Christine asked, “My husband or my son?”

Amy giggled and shrugged before she said, “Take your pick.”

They said good night to each other, and Amy continued walking up the street to her apartment as Christine walked up the steps to her second floor unit.

Before she even had the door closed behind her, she heard her son yell, “Mommy!” And in an instant his little bare feet were pounding across the wood floors of their living room as he came to greet her with his arms spread as far apart as possible.

“Hey buddy!” She said through a laugh as he buried his face in her stomach and wrapped his arms around her. She reached behind them to close the door and lock it before she returned his hug. “What are you guys doin’ in here?”

He tilted his head up, and didn’t pull away from her to say, “Dad was just helping me study for my spelling test tomorrow, but now it’s almost time for bed.” She felt his chin bounce against her belly button as he spoke.

“Well,” she said with a grunt as she picked him up, “you’ve got that right. I’d say it’s about to be past your bedtime, actually.” She started to carry him across the living room towards the kitchen, where the light was on and she knew her husband would be sitting at the table.

“I know, but this is a big test! It’s my last one for first grade!”

“I know it is, Max! You’re getting so big, almost too big for mommy to carry you around the house…” And she turned the corner into the kitchen to see her husband where she thought he’d be, smiling at them.

“How was dinner?” He asked as Christine set their son down, and he took his place back at the table.

“It was good. Amy was crushin’ on the nice, young waiter a little, but we had fun. Oh, which reminds me…” She knelt down by Max’s chair and said, “Miss Amy said to say hello to you, to both of you actually…”

Her husband just smiled and shook his head. “I’m glad you had fun,” he said, “but I’m sure it wasn’t as much fun as we had working on Max’s spelling words, right bud?”

“Right!” Max jumped in his chair.

“Are you all ready for your big test tomorrow then?” Christine asked her son, and was a little surprised to see his expression drop.

“I think so,” he said cautiously. “I mean, we studied all the words over and over, I’m just still a little nervous. Miss Beardsley said it’s going to be the biggest test of the year, since it’s our last one…”

“Oh buddy,” Christine put her hand on Max’s shoulder, and slung her purse off of her own. “It’s going to be fine, you’ll see.”

“Like you said, Max,” her husband chimed in, “We studied all of the words, there’s nothing to worry about.”

“You know what?” Christine said with a twinkle in her eye, and Max looked up to meet her gaze. “I’m going to give you my lucky pen!”

His smile popped back to life as he said, “Really?”

“Uh huh,” Christine reassured him. “I’ve got it right in here,” and she set her purse down on the ground in front of her to fish out the pen she had accidentally taken from the restaurant.

“Here ya go,” she said as she held it up in front of him, and he took it carefully out of her hands like she was handing him some sort of precious, ancient relic.

“Wow,” he said slowly, “Thanks Mom!”

“No problem, bud,” she said while she ruffled his hair. “Now, I think it’s time to get ready for bed. We can go through those words one more time in the morning if you want.”

“No way!” He shouted while he leapt to his feet to run off towards the bathroom. “Now that I have the lucky pen, I’m gonna ace that test!” They heard his last words echo from down the hall, and they looked at each other and laughed.

Before either of them spoke though, the phone rang, and Christine grabbed it instinctively.

“Hello? Oh, hi Amy… Did you get home okay?... Yeah, can I call you back in a few?... We’re just putting Max to bed... Okay, talk to you in a bit.” And she hung it up just as abruptly.

“There a problem?” Her husband asked casually.

“No, just said she has to tell me something. She sounded kind of excited though, or maybe just like she couldn’t keep from laughing. I’ll call her back once Max is down.”

He just smiled, and put his arm around her, and they walked down the hallway side by side to go make sure their son was brushing his teeth.


Stay tuned!

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