Thursday, May 17, 2018

what's a boy to do

Brick stayed with Gran Betty during the whole ordeal with the birth of his sister.  He really didn't know what to do with himself now.

"Well, you'll be helping with the baby." His grandmother said.

"I dunno." He couldn't see himself up to it. Yeah, he'd told Lily from time to time how he was going to be the best big brother ever. But now that she was here, he just wanted to leave his parents alone with it. "The best thing I can do now is just stay out of the way."

"Stay out of the way?" His grandmother winced, annoyed with him. "You, have to be there. You have to get to know her, you know."

Brick almost rolled his eyes. He went to wash dishes so she wouldn't hound him about doing nothing.

He wanted to tell his grandmother, he would, but he couldn't even make the effort to say the words. Funny, how the body knew how to stay stationary in times like these. He thought about it a good long while until the dishes were rinsed. Brick stared at the clean dishes in the rack. He nursed his bottom lip, going to the next step, grabbing a dish towel and drying them. He looked over his shoulder and saw Gran in a pout.

"What?" Was she going to nag him more?

"Let's get ready and go to your house." She began to box some cold dishes she had ready for meals that were in the fridge.

Brick helped.

"I have your Uncle Dewey's graduation party to think about." She mentioned someone would have to stake out a picnic area at the park down by the river.

"Why can't you just have it here?" Brick winced. "You know, the last time I was there, I saw these guys arguing at the campsite." Brick told her he almost called 911, but Lily told him to wait, a bit longer and the guys sped off in their pickup trucks.

Finally, she gave him a nod. Maybe he was right.

"I don't want your uncle to get shot." She told him she'd worried about this for a very long time.

Brick wanted to laugh, but she was serious. She talked about the gun violence in their little town. She was always good at scaring the life out of you.

"You, don't talk this way to Dewey, do you?" He wanted to know.

She shrugged. She probably had, from time to time.

"It's amazing he turned out to be so calm." Brick told her.

"Well, he's lived with me for a very long time." She sighed after they were done, taking food to the back seat of her little economy car. They finally buckled in after Brick loaded his duffle bag.

"Oh, Gran, nobody knows you, like I do." He promised as she started the car.

"Well, you really listen." She told him.

He nodded. He guessed it was true. They'd spent plenty of time together. She was the one who taught him his colors and farm animals and even how to write his name. She'd read to him since birth and smiled at him, always.

"And, here you go again, getting mixed up with that Ed and his son." Brick told her she never listened to him.

She pursed her lips as if he best mind his own business.

"What? You don't like him?" She wanted to know.

"He's all right." Brick shrugged. "I guess I just miss it when it was just you and me."

His gran almost laughed.

"You're impossible." She told him as she parked in the driveway. "You'll get married someday and never recall this conversation."

"Don't say that." Brick winced. "You know, I love you."

"I love you, too." She assured him. They went to take the food to the kitchen.

Brick went to set the air conditioning to cool. It was getting muggy. Gordy his step-dad would bring home his mom and baby Elisabeth this afternoon.

"You think Mom will love this baby?" Brick finally asked.

"Why wouldn't she?" His grandmother looked at him as if he were the worst.

"It's just, I don't remember-"

She cut him short, telling him his mother was there for him when he was a baby. How could he forget?

"It's not that." He pressed his lips tight, thinking how miserable his mother was. "She cried a lot, you know."

"That had nothing to do with you." His grandmother promised.

He nodded, knowing things were different now. She with a loving husband who wanted to take care of them.

"Oh, Brick." His grandmother gave him a hug. After all, he was her first grandchild. "You know, its gonna be fine."

He squeezed her tight. It was hard getting used to new and better things.

"What if..what if you get married and move away?" Brick looked up at her.

"You know, I'm not the marrying kind." She smiled.

Brick's body shook with laughter. Now he knew where his mother got all her likeness from. Maybe he got it from Gran Betty, too.

"Well, I want to get married, some day." He looked up at her. "I imagine Dewey wants to get married, too." He thought she should join them on this quest.

She smiled and patted down his unruly hair.

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