#10 Build-Up to a Gigantic Drama at Ye Old Coffee Shoppe Involving “the Killer” and Me, Isabel Scheherazade, 10-year old blogger and story-catcher who’s trying to figure it out. Please read and make a comment; that’ll help me with the figuring.
Here’s the scene.
We’re at the coffee shop for our weekly treat. We set ourselves up at one of the little wire tables with a glass top. It’s off in a corner away from the counter so we can linger and the boys can be–well, so the boys can be boys, as Mimi likes to say when she’s not quite sure about how strict to be with them. (I have a feeling she and Pop will figure it out though, sooner than later, as I like to say. 🙂 )
Mimi tells Sam maybe it’s not a good idea to teeter on his chair. (“Maybe?” Really, Mimi?) Clyde moves his chair around on the flagstones so it WILL teeter like Sam’s. I’m taking a break from scooping froth because it’s still too hot.
I look up when the door swings open, and what I see makes it feel like the air is sucked out of Ye Old Coffee Shoppe.
It’s him. The guy. The one who ran the red light. I know it’s him for sure because I saw his picture in the paper the day after he killed my parents. Black curly hair, one big eyebrow, whiskers, a faded jean jacket, work pants, and boots.
I watch him order coffee. Belle asks him to repeat what he said. Figures he would be a mumbler.
I see that he’s dusty. Looks like drywall dust, I think. How the heck do I know about DRYWALL DUST? I ask myself, and a scene from the Way-Back Seat of my memory emerges like magic.
This guy looks like DAD looked that time he fixed the wall in my bedroom–before he painted the rainbows and Mom did the constellations. I play the memory out in my head while I stare at him dumping sugar. He takes a long time ripping sugar packets. Four of them. That’s a lot of sugar, Mister, I think. While he’s ripping, the rest of him doesn’t move. My image of Dad and the drywall dust comes clearer, like a fog’s blown away from it.
At the end of the bedroom project, Dad is covered head to toe with white. He looks like someone with ghost make-up.
Mom and I laugh at him. (It’s just the three of us at this point in our lives; the twins haven’t been born yet.) Dad chases us around and makes hooohooo noises. Dad was so fun.
This guy must be on a coffee break. I’d read that he has two jobs–a shelf-stocker in a grocery store at night and a builder during the day. Maybe this is why he looks exhausted. Today he must have been putting up walls.
I watch him carry the coffee to a table. He pulls out the chair and sits down. He cradles the cardboard cup. He doesn’t sip. He stares. Suddenly, he puts the cup down in the middle of the table and puts his head in his hands.
I glance at Mimi to see if she’s noticing either the guy or me, but she’s busy supervising teetering.
I push my chair back, stand up, and go over to his table.
Can’t finish this right now. Heart’s pounding too much.
(sketches by Ryan Grimaldi Pickard)