by LVDIII on August 23rd, 2006
Phwap. A snowball glanced off the back of my head. I turned around to see Molly standing with another snowball in hand ready to throw. Thwack. She hit me in the center of the chest.
“Oh,” I said, “so that’s how you’re going to be?”
I grabbed some snow from the pile alongside the driveway and quickly packed a snowball and threw it towards Molly who was now running and giggling her way across the front yard. Swish. I missed her completely.
“Nice throw,” said Molly as she packed another snowball together. Thump. She hit me in the knee.
I gathered up some more snow and started to chase her. She ran across the street over towards my front yard. She tried to jump over the snow pile left on the side of the street by the plow, but her foot caught the top of it. She flew over and disappeared from view.
I quickly ran to her to make sure that she was ok. Splat. As I crested the snow drift, she nailed my forehead with another snowball. She lay on her back in the snow giggling.
“All right, that’s it. I’ll give you something to laugh about.”
I jumped down from my lofty perch on the mound of snow to where Molly lie. I began to tickle her.
“Think you’re clever do you?”
“Yeah,” she said between laughs.
“You think you’re funny, don’t ya?”
I tickled her for another couple of seconds, let her catch her breath for a second and then tickled her some more.
“You’re evil,” she said smiling.
I stopped tickling her and her giggling gradually subsided. We stared into each other’s eyes, her chestnut eyes looking deep into mine. I sensed at this point I should lean down and kiss her, but being full of insecurity and self-doubt, I could only continue to stare into her lovely eyes.
“Lucius!” yelled my mother out the front door. She did not see Molly and I behind the snow fort Scooter and I had built.
The spell was broken. I sighed, knowing in my gut that for a shy thirteen year old boy, opportunities like that are rare as ambergris. I stood and helped Molly up.
“Right here,” I said to my mother.
“Oh. Oh, hello Molly.”
“Hi Mrs. Van Dyke.”
“I’ve got to go get your dad.”
“It’s not five-thirty yet,” I said with some aggravation.
“Don’t give me a hassle Lucius. Come inside and watch your brother.”
“He’s old enough to watch himself.”
“Lucius,” she said in a you’re getting on my last nerve tone.
“Can Molly come in?” I asked hopefully.
“Today’s not a good day Lucius. Goodbye Molly. Tell your mom I said hello.”
“I will, Mrs. Van Dyke. Bye Lucius.”
I slouched my way back into the house and into the living room where Scooter was watching afternoon cartoons. A female black cat had just slipped underneath a freshly painted iron gate leaving a white stripe painted down her back. Pepe le Pew was immediately smitten, pursued her, all the while she desperately tried to get away this amorous and odorous fellow.
“I’ll be back in a little bit,” said my mother.
Twenty minutes later, I heard the car pull up the driveway. My mother came in without my father.
“Lucius, come give me some help please.”
I sighed heavily and pulled myself up from the couch where I had so comfortably been watching cartoons. I walked outside to the garage with my mother to see my father passed out in the passenger seat of the car. I opened the door and shook his arm. He wearily raised his head and looked at me.
“Lucius, m’boy, you’re old man’s not feelin’ well.”
I could smell his whiskey steeped breath as he spoke. He reached out his arm, looking for help getting out of the car. I supported him as he wobbled to his feet. He put his arms around mine and my mother’s shoulders, much like an injured football player being escorted of the field would. We eased him down the basement stairs to his office and deposited him on the green glider in the corner. The damp coolness of the basement always seemed to ease his hangovers.
My mother and I went back upstairs. I could tell that she was holding back tears, trying to appear strong in front of me.
“I’m going to go lie down for a while,” she said.
“I don’t know how much…” she started to say before reconsidering. She put her hand on my shoulder and then retreated upstairs.