A NOTE BEFORE READING: I began sharing weekly excerpts from my novel, The Somebody Who, on June 26th. If you want to begin at the beginning, go here. If you want to read the book in its entirety, head over to Amazon and purchase a copy. (There’s a button on the left that will take you there).
“My God, those our huge!” Evelyn exclaims, studying the line-up of five pumpkins that Joy has placed on the kitchen counter.
“Aren’t they great?” Joy enthuses in response. “I was surprised the lot had so many good ones left.”
“Can I reimburse you?” Evelyn asks, already heading for her purse.
“Nah. I stole ‘em.”
“You what?” asks Davy of his daughter.
“I’m just kidding, Dad. You know you taught me better than that.”
“Well, of course,” Davy says, nodding. “So… what do we do—what is the next thing?”
“We’re going to carve them after lunch!”
“Are we? Are we what?”
“We’re going to carve them!”
“But I don’t know—I don’t know …”
“It’ll be okay, Dad. I’m actually kind of curious to see what you’ll come up with.”
Evelyn, having crossed the room and therefore standing somewhat outside of the dialogue between father and daughter, is touched and amused by what she is witnessing. Joy is treating her Dad as she always had. And Davy seems to be warming up to this person he thinks he doesn’t know.
After finishing her sandwich and taking her plate to the sink, Joy looks at her mother with a mischievous glance. “Okay, so now, I have to show you the other thing I bought while I was out.”
Evelyn, still savoring the last few bites of chicken salad on rye, nods her head in a way that says bring it on.
Joy dashes off to the family room and returns with a shopping bag. She places the bag on the stool next to Evelyn and trills “Ta-da!” as she extracts a Halloween costume.
“Superman?” Evelyn asks, not yet following her daughter’s course of thought.
“It’s for Dad,” Joy explains. “I thought he could wear it Saturday night while handing out candy.”
“Ooh, I’m not sure about giving your Dad that assignment. He might scare the kids.”
“Not if he’s dressed like Superman!”
Evelyn stands at the kitchen window, watching Joy and Davy as they begin to carve pumpkins on the backyard patio’s table.
“I’m proud of Joy,” Claudia says, having approached Evelyn’s side and briefly observing the activities on the other side of the window.
“So am I, for all kinds of reasons. But tell me your reasons.”
“She trusts him with a knife,” Claudia replies, shrugging.
“Davy’s an artist. For him, that’s a tool; not a weapon.”
“I don’t think Marilyn would give him a knife,” Claudia states, immediately sorry that she let out this comment.
“Well,” Evelyn responds, herself shrugging, “that would be Marilyn’s loss.”
Evelyn returns to observing the creation of jack-o-lanterns, as Claudia, relieved by her employer’s cool response, resumes her search for the best pumpkin pie recipe in Evelyn’s collection of cookbooks.
When Evelyn steps outside later that night, she studies the line-up of jack-o-lanterns, and doing so reaffirms her belief that Davy is still present in some way.
Earlier that evening, she had been on the receiving end of a presentation of Davy’s and Joy’s carved creations. And she was too busy absorbing her daughter’s helpful love to study the two jack-o-lanterns that Davy had carved.
Now, she looks at those two. And she turns them ninety degrees to the right so that the porch light will illuminate them.
“Oh my God,” she says. And tears well up in her eyes. Because what she sees in front of her are two familiar faces. One is she. The other is Joy.
* * *
to be continued on December 4th .
In the meantime, if you want to read a short piece about the back story, click here.