"First Date" - Your Story 56 Finalist

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"First Date" - Your Story 56 Finalist

Postby TiffanyLuckey » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:20 pm

First Date

“If you can guess what I have in my pocket, you can have it,” Earl said, then wiggled his eyebrows.

“Oh Earl,” Edna replied, “if you think I’d fall for that old trick, you’re out of your mind. Now hush,” she said, swatting the air. “This is the best part.” She turned back to the television and laughed as Lucy and Ethel stuffed chocolates into their mouths.

“Sure you don’t want to know?” Earl said, shuffling closer to the edge of the couch, his wallet chain clinking against the walker’s metal frame with each step. Edna’s reply was to pick up the remote and turn the already loud television up even more.

“Here’s a hint for ya’.” He grinned as his gnarled index finger lightly poked her shoulder, making her jump and look up at him. “It’s good for glaucoma.” Earl broke his gaze. ”And your other troubles. Plus, it’s mighty better than chocolate.”

Edna muted the television and watched Earl. He stood beside her, leaning as he held onto the walker with one hand as the other dug deep into his front pocket. He pulled something out and held a closed fist toward her.

Her rheumy eyes met his. She sighed. “If I guess, will you go away?”

“Sure. Guess.” he said. “But I think you’ll like it.”

“Knowing you, it’s laxatives tucked into chocolate. Everyone knows what you did to poor Fred.”

“It’s not, and Fred had it coming. Tried to cheat at bingo. Again.” Earl muttered something else under his breath.

Edna rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she said. “Salt water taffy?”

“Guess again.”

“Butterscotch. Arrowroot cookies. I give up.”

“Nope,” Earl opened his tremoring hand, revealing a small foil package.

“Open it,” he said. Edna’s brow furrowed. She hesitated, but reached for the tinfoil anyway. In her lap, she carefully opened the folds. A small paper cylinder lay there, rolled and twisted at one end.

Edna scrunched her nose and looked up at Earl. “Looks like one of my daddy’s old cigarettes,” she said.

“Close,” Earl replied, and winked.

“Earl Bagley!” Edna’s eyes widened. “Is that what I think it is?” Without waiting for an answer, she quickly closed the packet and shoved it toward Earl. Edna’s wrinkled hands closed his fingers around the packet and held on as tight as her arthritis would allow. She looked around. Leaning toward him, she stage whispered, “Mary Jane?”

Earl grinned. “Be quiet or everyone will want some.” He straightened, smiling again, appearing to enjoy her reaction.

“Just where did you get that? And what do you think will happen if they find you with some … contraband … like that?”

“Don’t worry, Darlin’.” Earl drawled, puffing out his chest. “I don’t mean to keep it for long, and they,” he paused, ”are where I got it.” Edna looked confused.

“Found it in the pocket of that funny-smelling orderly’s smock when he tossed it on my bed before he used my washroom. Doubt he’ll be filing a complaint.”

Edna took a moment to ponder the situation. ”So what now? What do you plan to do with it?”

“Well, I thought you and me could go sit out under that willow tree out back. There’s a right nice little bench there. And this time of day, not much traffic.” Earl looked at his watch. “Shift change in 10 minutes. You know there won’t be any staff out there for at least half an hour.”

Edna frowned and pursed her lips. Earl reached forward, placing a hand on her arm, “Would you care to join me, my dear? I’ve got a blanket and could sweeten the deal with a couple of fruit cups.”

Edna sat for a long moment, then removed his arm and reached for her cane. She slowly stood and turned to Earl. He noticed a sparkle in her eyes. ”I’ve never…” She stopped. “Good for Glaucoma? I’ve heard that. But what will it do to me?”

He shrugged. “Just make you feel happy and carefree for awhile.”

”I don’t know…” her voice trailed. She looked around again. “I’ve heard that it makes you hungry.” Edna bit her bottom lip.

”Some,” he said.

“Well,” she straightened, nodding her head, “it’s Thursday. ”
Now Earl looked confused. “It’s macaroni and cheese night, and I do love macaroni and cheese.” Edna smiled. “Wait right here.”

Her cane tapped on the linoleum as she walked around Earl and headed down the hall. “Chocolate is overrated. I’ll grab my sweater.”

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