Thursday, May 30, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (88)

(a novel continued)

“Listen, how about I take my girls out to the A and W for burgers tonight?” John said.
Mary nodded and Minnie entirely approved. She liked cooking, but sometimes she liked not cooking even better.
Mary spent the rest of the afternoon in her room.
“I think this time she's out for good,” Minnie said. She told John about the wrong number which wasn’t really a wrong number. “Should we even try to get her stuff?” 
“We’ll have to deal with that when Mary wants to deal with it.” John said.
When it was time to go for supper and John was already out in the car waiting for his girls, Minnie took one look at Mary and realized she was dreading something. “Don't you want to go? We can order in, or Dad can just pick up some chicken.”
“It’s okay,” Mary said, “I might as well get this over with.”
“You mean facing people?”
“Yeah, that. You have no idea Mom.”
Minnie put her arm around Mary. “We’re here for you.”
In the orange and brown padded booth at the restaurant they each ordered root beer, and a combination of papa, mama or cheeseburger with fries. “I haven’t been in here for absolute ages,” Mary said. It hasn't changed a bit. She was sitting on the inside of the booth beside Minnie, across from John. A middle-aged couple stopped at the table. “Great talk you gave Minnie. Wow, what an experience. You certainly have me looking into the scripture to see what it says about heaven,” the woman said. 
Minnie knew this woman from church, but couldn’t come up with her name.
“So, do you think there is a possibility that you just have one very active imagination?” the man said.
John laughed. “That she does, Paul, but I’ve noticed big changes in her since the experience. For one thing she doesn’t worry anymore. That itself is a miracle.”
The couple looked past Minnie over to Mary. They stared. 
Minnie felt she had to say something, “Sorry, we should do some introductions here. This is our daughter Mary.” She stopped. What else could she say?  This is Paul and his wife? These are people from church? She decided to give John’s foot a kick under the table so he could pick up where she had left off. Obviously he knew this couple better than she did. He knew a good many people better than she did as he met many of them at the nursery when they bought mostly flowers in the spring and trees in the fall and odds and sods between. He had also been an elder in the church for a number of terms which gave him the opportunity to meet people in their homes on a regular basis as part of the church’s imitative to stay connected.
John looked at Minnie in puzzlement. She frowned and moved her eyes from Mary to the couple.
“Oh....Mary this is Mr. and Mrs. VanderPol from church. They moved here from Sarnia a few years back,” John said.
Minnie blushed.
“Pleased to meet you.” Mary nodded at the couple.
They nodded back and moved on.
“Sorry," Minnie confessed, "I could not remember that woman’s name. Edith? Etna? Ellie?”

“Not even close.” John said. “It’s Maria, but she does have a sister Edith who kind of looks like her.”

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