When Michelle phoned home to say she and her friend had arrived safely in Montreal late the previous evening, but she had “scratched and dented the van,” we were not quite as pleased. There had been a little altercation with a cement wall in a parking lot. “The door still works,” had been Michelle’s observation to her dad over the phone.
“‘The door still works’ sounds like more than a scratch,” noted Marty after he got off the phone.
Four days later when they pulled into the driveway, I happened to be standing at the front window, looking out. (This was precisely ten minutes from the time Amanda phoned to say they were ten minutes away.) It was a long scratch.
Amanda, who we hadn’t seen for two months, and Michelle, who had suffered a sleepless night before the phone call, hopped out of the van. What were they wearing? Were they smiling? I don’t know. For as Amanda so observantly observed, “You looked at the van before you looked at me.”