144/366 – Treat

Day 2 of 100 Word Prompts: Treat

Sam stretched out on the couch in the living room, enjoying the quiet of his little sister’s absence from the house. His father had taken her out for the day so they could have some ‘father-daughter’ bonding, whatever that meant. He sighed heavily as his mother walked into the room.

“So, what do you want to do today?” Sam’s mother asked. Her simple outfit of beige shorts and pink top gave her the look of every other soccer mom in the neighborhood.

“I don’t know,” Sam replied. “I don’t really feel like doing much of anything.”

“Do you want to call Joe and Finley? See if they want to hang out?” she asked.

“Nah. I think I’m just going to enjoy some quiet while Dad’s gone,” he replied, putting his hands behind his head.

“I think you should do something, though. Do you want to run out with me while I’m running some errands? We could stop at that little ice cream shop for a treat down by the beach,” she pressed.

Sam looked up at her and saw that hopeful look on her face that she had when she really wanted something. He groaned a little as he threw his legs over the side of the couch.

“Alright, I suppose fresh air wouldn’t hurt too much,” Sam said.

“There you go!” his mother replied. “You go get on some shorts, and I’ll get the car started, so the air conditioner can cool it off a bit before we leave.”

“Okay,” he replied. He stood as his mother went out of the front door. He plodded his way to his bedroom, where he changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top before slipping on some flip-flops. He stopped and looked in the mirror. The dark rings under his eyes seemed worse today than they were the day before. He glanced at his bed, longingly. He hadn’t been sleeping well the last week.

“Ready?” his mother called up the stairs, breaking his train of thought.

“Coming,” he called back as he walked out of the room and walked down the stairs.

“Do you want to get ice cream first, or should we get some errands done first?” she asked as he reached the bottom.

“Whatever works for you,” he replied with a shrug, “I’m just tagging along for the ride.”

“Don’t sound so excited about it,” she teased as she went out the door with him following.

The got in the car, and almost immediately, the questions began about how he was doing. He answered simply for all of them, avoiding more in-depth conversations about the nightmares he’d been experiencing as of late. This continued for nearly two hours while they stopped at the bank, the pharmacy, and the ice cream shop.

“Hi, Sam,” Evelyn Wallace said as he walked into the small shop.

Evelyn stood behind the ice cream case wearing her paper hat and striped uniform. Her makeup was minimal, as usual. Two small tables sat on either side of the door with chalkboards hanging above them, displaying the various flavors available for sale.

“Hey, Evelyn. I didn’t know you worked here,” Sam said as his mother trailed in behind him.

“Evelyn!” his mother nearly screamed, cutting off their conversation. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you! How are you? What have you been up to? How are your parents? Why don’t you come around as much anymore?”

“Hello, Mrs. Hall,” Evelyn said with a smile as she glanced at Sam.

Sam felt his cheeks grow hot. The last time he had seen Evelyn, he had told Evelyn how he felt about her, to which she hadn’t responded, and Sam took that as a worst-case scenario. He hadn’t been able to bring himself to call her since.

“What would you like today?” Evelyn asked Sam’s mother.

“Oh, I don’t know. I never know, to be honest. Sam, why don’t you order first?” she replied.

“O-okay,” Sam said, stepping forward to see the ice cream case better.

“How have you been?” Evelyn asked as Sam did his best to look at anything other than her.

“Good, I guess,” he replied.

“I think, maybe, we should talk soon?” she said.

“What’s there to talk about?” Sam replied, trying his best to harden his expression.

“I think I need to use the bathroom,” Sam’s mother interrupted. “Would you mind?”

“Not at all, Mrs. Hall. The bathroom is right through the door over there,” Evelyn replied, pointing to the door leading to the back.

“Thank you, dear,” Sam’s mother replied as she disappeared.

“I think we should talk about what you talked about the last time we saw each other,” Evelyn said as soon as Sam’s mother was gone. “When you told me that you wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend.”

“What’s left to say? I told you how I felt, and you didn’t say anything,” Sam replied, his attention entirely on her face.

“I’m sorry I didn’t say anything, but it was a lot to process in the moment. I didn’t think that me taking the time to think about it would make you not call me anymore or want to hang out,” Evelyn said. “I miss hanging out with you.”

“I feel like a fool,” Sam admitted. “I really like you, Evelyn.”

“I know,” Evelyn said, nodding. “I just think that maybe we should talk in a more private setting. Would you mind getting together after I get out of work?”

“I don’t know,” Sam replied. “I’m pretty tired already. I didn’t really want to go out today.”

“You do look like hell,” Evelyn agreed, “Are they back?”

Sam nodded.

“Sam! You should have called me! You know I can help with them,” Evelyn said. “Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, you know I care about you, and I’ll always help you.”

Sam felt tears threaten to cloud his vision. “I’m fine,” he said. “I don’t need help.”

“Sam, we both know that if they are back, you need to do something about them. I want to help you. Please, let me in again,” Evelyn said.

“It’s dangerous,” Sam said. “I can handle it. I just need some time is all.”

“Like you handled them before?” Evelyn said. “Whatever. I don’t care if you want me to come over after work or not, I’m coming over, and we’re going to deal with them again. Whatever it takes.”

“Fine. Whatever,” Sam replied with a shrug as his mother emerged from the back room.

“Everything okay, Sam? Did you figure out what you want for ice cream?” she asked as she came around to the front of the case.

“I don’t think I’m really in the mood for ice cream anymore,” Sam replied. “I think I just want to go home and take a nap.”

“Are you sure?” his mother pressed.

“Yeah, I’m sure, Mom,” he replied. “I’m just tired.”

“Okay, honey,” she said, turning to Evelyn. “I’m sorry, dear. I guess we won’t be getting any ice cream today.”

“That’s fine, Mrs. Hall. Sam and I were just talking. I’m going to stop over after work. I’ll bring you some double fudge swirl when I stop by later,” Evelyn replied, her best fake smile affixed.

“Oh, you’re coming over? That’s so nice to hear. We all miss having you around. Don’t we, Sam?” she said, nudging him with her elbow.

“Yeah, I guess,” Sam replied, dropping his gaze to the floor.

“Well, see you later, I guess,” his mother said, practically beaming at Evelyn before she opened the door and stepped outside.

“I’ll see you in a bit, Sam. Don’t do anything crazy. We can deal with this,” Evelyn said, suddenly serious. “I’ll see you around six.”

“Alright,” Sam said as he stepped outside and closed the door behind him.

“Let’s get you home,” Sam’s mother said. “Are you only tired? Should I go to the doctor instead?”

“No, I’ll be fine, Mom. I just need to be home,” he replied.

Sam climbed into the car and buckled himself. He glanced at the ice cream shop to see Evelyn in the window looking at him. He saw the tear roll down her cheek before she wiped it away. He felt a chill climb his spine as his mother started the car and pulled away from the curb.

“I’m sorry,” Sam muttered as the shop vanished. “I have to do this alone.”

“What’s that, honey?” his mother asked.

“Nothing, Mom. I was just talking to myself,” he replied as they turned out of the neighborhood and heading for the house.



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