May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
She said she’d only be gone a moment, and to wait in the car like good girls. She hadn’t specifically said there’d be a treat, but both girls remember the rare surprises, so, though neither has yet mentioned it to the other, both are hopeful.
The older of the two has wound down her window – she’s even unbuckled her seatbelt. Her sister said that it wasn’t a good idea, that their mother had said to sit there and behave themselves, and besides, what if a policeman came past? The older girl is shrugging, past caring. She knows that policemen don’t really take unattended children away, no matter what her mother might say and her sister might believe. Instead, she is leaning out of the window and pointing at a dog on the pavement opposite. The dog is tied to a rail outside the post office; every time someone approaches its ears prick up, only to fall, deflated, when it becomes apparent that this person or that person is not its owner, come to move the day along to a more dog-friendly location.
The older girl is saying that the younger girl should look at the dog, that it is just like her friend Ellie’s dog, but the younger girl would rather sit quietly and continue to wonder to herself just how long a minute might be – or was it a moment that her mum said she’d be gone for this time? Either way, the clock on the dashboard has moved from 26 to 45 and she wishes that her sister would be quiet and sit still. Their mother is surely testing them, and the better their behaviour, the sooner she will come back.