Standing with his hands in his pockets, he teased a section of the driveway with his toes, clearing the space. Two hand prints marked the driveway. His neat and clear, Chris’ scrunched, almost indiscernible as a hand. Their names and the date had been inscribed beneath, but it wasn’t their mother’s writing. “Christopher and Kyle June 5th, 1983.”
Kyle barely remembered that day. Their dad, so proud of the new house, had driven them over when the concrete was poured. The men let him make the prints and scratch the names in the concrete, laughing as the baby protested.
He snapped a photo of it with his cellphone. “We were happy then, weren’t we? Or did I just think that because I was five?”
He didn’t realize he’d spoken aloud except a elderly lady who was walking her dog, stopped to respond.
“You aren’t Mike and Amy’s boy, are you?”
“Yeah,” he grinned. “I’m Kyle, the older one.”
“I thought you looked familiar. How’s Amy doing?”
“She’s good. Mrs. Chambers, isn’t it?”
“Yes, what a good memory!”
“How could I forget the lady who made the best chocolate chip cookies in town?”
“Oh, you were always such a flatterer! Is Amy thinking of rebuilding?”
“No, Mrs. Chambers. She’s living in Tampa now. The insurance wouldn’t cover rebuilding.”
“The buggers screwed me over too. Luckily, my damage wasn’t as bad as hers. Whatever happened to you and your brother?”
He gave her the five minute rundown on his life and Chris’.
“Oh, I remember your wife. You lived with Amy for awhile.”
“She was a pretty thing. Delicate though. How is she?”
“She passed a few months ago.”
“I’m so sorry! So young. Such a tragedy. Well, I’d better let you go. Tell Amy I said hello.”
“I sure will. Do you still make chocolate chip cookies?”
“I buy Famous Amos now. My arthritis is too bad.”
“It’s a pity. They were the best ever.” He hugged her carefully, wary of fragile bones, and got back in his car.
Mrs. Chambers waved to him as he drove away. He knew he should do something about that property. Like everything, his mother left it to others to decide. If nothing else, the debris needed to be cleared. It was completely unsafe the way it was now.
The remainder of his trip to Miami was spent in memories. He couldn’t say they were fond, but they weren’t all bad. Some of them were even pretty good. Once their mother got on her feet and their financial situation improved, life had been better than decent. Prior to seven years old, his memories were pretty shaky. He couldn’t remember much before his accident, just flashes. Most of the major events he remembered were because someone had told him. Yet another reason why he didn’t remember his father. No one, especially not his mother, had reminded him.
He wondered if he had grandparents on that side of the family. His father had never taken the boys to see them and they had never visited. He assumed they were dead, but no one ever said. A little over an hour later, he pulled up at their hotel and checked in. Chris wasn’t there yet, but his cellphone rang five minutes later. Chris let him know that he’d just pulled into the parking lot.
Kyle met his younger brother in the lobby, hugging him tightly. Chris rabbit punched him in the ribs to get him to let go.
“Chill, bro. Everyone’s gonna think we’re fags.”
“Don’t be paranoid. Who cares?”
“If some hot chick is checking me out, I don’t want her getting the wrong idea.”
“Most of the women here are close to a hundred. I don’t think you need to worry. Unless you’re into older women.”
“Older, not ancient.” He checked in and they rode up in the elevator together. “So, what’s the big mystery? Between you and Mom, I’ve gotten exactly no details. I get this command phone call to be here to meet our father, like I even have the leisure to take time off, and no one tells me anything.”
“Come in and get settled and we’ll talk about it.”
© Dellani Oakes