This is a work of fiction.
“Wow!” Freckles said, looking out at the diving board and ocean.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll find it.” A man’s deep voice came from the entrance.
Lisa had been smiling, but now she looked angry.
Adelle said to Lisa, “Sounds like you’ve got more important things to do than watch some kid bellyflop.”
Before Lisa could answer, a man swaggered into the room.
“Greg,” Lisa said. “How are you?”
“Just dandy. How about you? Who the [blank] are all these kids?”
“Hi,” Adelle said in a syrupy tone. “I’m Adelle, and these boys and Roger, Simon, and Sam.”
“Sammy’s with us,” I said, gesturing at him to come. I sensed that Freckles had lost his chance to dive, and I decided that it was time for us to leave.
Lisa wouldn’t be killed for another couple of hours, and while I wanted to save her, I didn’t want the kids there, espeically if there was nothing we could do and we all just had to watch her die.
Greg said, “I need a drink.” He smiled at Adelle. “What’s she got?”
“Let’s go,” I said.
“But I want to dive,” Freckles said.
Adelle said, “But nobody wants to see you dive, so quit whining.”
“That’s enough,” Lisa said. She looked at Adelle. “I think it’s time for you, Roger, and Simon to leave.”
“Hey,” Simon said, “we didn’t do anything.”
“Greg, are there any parts for me and my boys in your next movie?” Adelle said, seeming not to mind that she’d just been asked to leave a party that hadn’t really gotten started yet.
“Lots,” he said, and fished in his pocket and handed her a business card. “Call me on Monday and we can talk auditions.”
“Thanks.” She turned to her sons and said, “Let’s go.”
Sammy stood up and staggered toward her.
Curly intercepted him and guided him over to us.
As soon as he came close, I smelled beer.
The can was still in his hands and I took it.
I said a quick goodbye and thank-you to Lisa, and then Curly and I got Lydia, Freckles, and Sammy out of that house.
We were just about at the van when it happened.
A blue car came to a stop nearby, and a man got out.
Although the sun was mostly gone, the area was brightly-lit, and I recognized him; he was the man who would later be accused of killing Lisa.
Sammy saw him and said, “You’re the one.”
He looked at my grandson and said, “What?”
Sammy stepped closer and jabbed a finger at him.
“You. Somebody like you killed my dad. People like you, criminals, should get the [blank] out of America. Let’s make America great again, huh, Curly?”
Curly looked uncomfortable and afraid.
The man backed away from Sammy until he was up against the driver’s side door of his car.
“You scared?” Sammy shouted. “You wanna fight? I’ll kill you like you killed my dad! I’ll kill you and spit on you.”
The man opened his door, jumped in, gunned the engine, and peeled rubber out of there.
Sammy cursed after the disappearing tail lights.
“Shut up,” Curly whispered.
“Make America great again!” Sammy hollered. “Isn’t that right? Isn’t that what your shirt says? C’mon, tell Gwamma!”
“Can we go home?” Freckles said.
“Yes,” I said, and went and unlocked the van. “Everybody in.”
Still laughing and cursing, Sammy got into the back.
“Grandma?” Curly said once I’d started to drive.
“I never wore the shirt.”
“Where is it now?”
“Probably at home in my room.”
“Ish a good shirt,” Sammy said. “If you don’t wannit, can I have it?”
“No,” I said. “As soon as we find it, I’m going to cut it up and throw out the pieces.”
Nobody said anything for about five minutes, and I asked if anybody wanted the radio on.
“Sammy’s asleep,” Curly said. “Grandma?”
“Do you believe me about the shirt?”
“Yes, I do.”
About ten minutes later, a phone rang.
It wasn’t mine.
“It’s in Sammy’s pocket,” Curly said. He got the ringing phone and handed it to me.
“Hello,” I said.
“Is Sam there?” Adelle said.
“Yes, but he’s sleeping. He told me to thank you and Roger and Simon for a good time and the beer.”
“Tell him you’re welcome and thanks for the smokes.”
“I will. He’s sound asleep. That one beer must have really hit the spot.”
She laughed and said, “Naw, we’ve got a couple of 6-packs in the car. We’re going to go and find another party. Tell Sam he’s welcome to join us.”
“Where is it at?”
She told me the name of the bar she was going to.
“Thanks. I don’t think Sam can make it, but I know he’ll appreciate the invitation. Oh, no! My GPS isn’t working. Is that bar close to our hotel?”
Quickly, I turned the GPS off before it could make an announcement.
“Yeah, about five blocks. Where are you now?”
I told her.
“I’ll wait for you. My car’s red.”
“That’s okay. You’re a little less old-fashioned than I thought.”
We said goodbye, and she ended the call.
“Grandma?” Curly asked uncertainly.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m even more old-fashioned than she originally thought. Nobody, and I mean nobody, messes with my grandkids and gets away with it. Not in this time or at any other.”
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