A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2016 Karen Lockhart
What was that song, “A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go....” so much for getting to the store before it got busy. Even though the lot wasn't that full, each car must have had four people in it.
Wendy retrieved a shopping cart while I availed myself of the ladies room. When I came out, she looked like she had been tapping her foot while she waited.
“Come on Aunt Ellen, after you get your mirror, there's stuff I want to look at.”
I just laughed at her, saying not to worry, Mr Walmart won't run out of what she wants. We made our way to the back of the store past the toys and auto sections to the home section. I was able to find the mirror I wanted, not too tall, with a wooden frame.
“Wendy, before I let you loose, I want to see if they have a combo tool set for around the house. I'm pretty good with tools, or I used to be.”
I actually found an inexpensive set of screwdrivers and wrenches for under $25, but they looked really cheap, I thought I'd try one of the big places, like Lowes or Home Depot. All this time Wendy was acting like she needed the loo.
“Okay, now to where you want to go, but first, we'll go by the ladies room. I'm thirsty, and there is a water bubbler there,” I smirked a little as I said this. “You can use the 'Ladies', while there.”
She caught my emphasis on 'Ladies', and smiled “I'll remember, Auntie Ginny, thanks.”
That taken care of, I followed her and the cart to the music section. as we went by the Play Station games, we wistfully looked at a few.
“If you can find a game for PCs, pick one out, it will keep you busy while we're at work.”
Wendy squealed and gave me a big hug. She abandoned the cart and ran over to the display. A clerk from the electronics department came over and helped her find the computer games.
She ended up coming over to me with two; one was about building a city or something, the other was some kind of war game. Seeing the sparkle in her eyes, I gave her the okay to get both. Well, I think Ellen heard her shriek of joy from there.
“Aunt Ginny, you're the best! I can't believe it! Both of these, oh wow, thank you, thank you!”
The sales lady looked at Wendy's joy with a big smile, saying, “I wish my kids were that appreciative when I bought them something. You have a great daughter there, you must have brought her up correctly.”
I gave her my charge card and thanked her saying Wendy sort of raised herself, and I had nothing to do with it. When Wendy heard this, she started to giggle but stopped when I shook my head a little.
The mirror was included, freeing us from standing in line for twenty minutes. I gave her a quick hug and said I agreed with the saleslady, but all the accolades went to her, she's a great kid.
We loaded the Honda, and before we left the parking lot, I called Ellen to ask if she wanted lunch from KFC, or whatever they call themselves these days. She said to get her a five dollar chicken meal with fries, a biscuit, and a Dr Pepper.
I went to the drive-through and ordered Ellen's, the same for Wendy, and the chicken finger dinner for me. We all had Dr Peppers, mine a diet. As we headed down the Lynnway, the kid turned to me and asked if I was serious about teaching her to drive.
“Of course,” I said. “That way Ellen and I can relax while you drive us to wherever we want, just like a chauffeur.”
“Hey, wait a minute! A chauffeur? Does that mean both of you would ride in the back seat? Would I have to wear a stupid hat, and open doors for you guys? Then forget about it!”
I wish she had waited until we got back so Ellen could have heard this. As it was I laughed so hard, tears ran down my face. This of course made Wendy even more outraged.
“What's so funny?” she demanded.
“You are,” I answered, “We wouldn't do that to you. On second thoughts, the back seat may be safer for us old people when you drive.”
She was still fuming as we entered the office, Ellen looked at us and asked what was going on. Before I could answer, Wendy asked if Ellen would make her dress up with a stupid hat and hold doors for us.
Ellen looked at me, then back to Wendy, “Just what the heck has Ginny been teasing you about now? Wear a stupid hat? What are you talking about? Ginny, fill me in please.”
I was laughing so hard, just getting lunch out of the bag was hard. “I offered to teach this little wildcat how to drive, but said she would have to dress like a chauffeur when you and I were in the car with her. She objected.”
“Ginny don't tease the child, you know how gullible she is.”
That got her started again, “Child? Gullible? I'll have you know I'm neither, I'm almost seventeen, and lived on the street for two years!”
“Hush, dear, and eat your lunch, I can't wait to play that new game of yours,” I said.
She realized we were just having her on then, and stuck out her tongue at both of us, then sipped her soda.
“What new game?” Ellen asked.
Wendy got excited and told Ellen how I bought her two computer games while we were in the store. She hopped up, and ran out to my car, coming back with the electronics bag holding the games.
Ellen looked them over, shaking her head and saying the city building one interested her, but not the war game.
Wendy gobbled down the rest of her meal and grabbing her soda, headed for her computer with the war game. As Ellen and I finished at a more sedate speed, we could hear first cellophane tearing then the click of computer keys from the other room.
Ellen looked at me and asked how much I spent, and did I remember the mirror.
I smiled in assent, then said I wanted to get a small tool kit for the house. All I was able to find, I said, was a pair of pliers, and a couple of old screwdrivers. I felt on the way back from riding on Saturday we should stop at a Home Depot. Ellen suggested Sears in Peabody, that way we could eat at the Outback, just up Route 114.
Soon we heard Wendy calling us from the main room to see the games. First, we washed our hands, then sat beside her. The realism was fantastic eliciting 'ohs' and 'ahs' from Ellen and I. Somehow she knew immediately how to play, while it was going to take us a long time to figure it out.
“Wendy, you show Ellen first, I have to get back to work before Steve comes roaring in. Actually, if Steve comes in, don't let him see the game, otherwise, he would never leave, and be here every day playing it.”
With great patience, Wendy began to explain the war game to me. Evidently, only one person could play at a time on a computer, but on a Play Station, with controllers, you could have multiple players. Subtle she wasn't!
After a little while, I was picking up the game, and when Ellen said it was time to leave, I could not believe four hours went by so fast.
Wendy unplugged the laptop and slid the computer under her arm as we left, intending to play more at home. I was as happy with my mirror for the kitchen and couldn't wait to see if it worked out in the morning.
The news was full of the hit and run accident and showed the artist's sketch of Morales saying he was identified as the driver who hit the woman. Nothing was said about his name or the condition of the poor lady, only that she was walking her dog when hit, and that the dog was okay.
Speaking of the dog, I told Wendy to take care of Daisy before playing games and not to cut the dog's walk short either, I warned.
To give Wendy credit, she and Daisy stayed out over a half hour. She even had a little plastic bag with doggy poop for the rubbish barrel!
I decided sandwiches and tomato with salad would be great for our supper after the chicken we had for lunch. I got no arguments, especially after taking a chocolate cake out of the refrigerator!
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