Friday, April 13, 2007

Of Course There Are Monsters (Part 5)

Tim waited for quite a while before he got up off the creaky bed, snapped off the light, and closed the door. After whispering goodnight to them both, Julie listened through the crack in her own door as Tim murmured something to Mom, and she murmured something back, and Tim shuffled downstairs.

On Thanksgiving Day, Tim’s brother and sister came over for dinner. Aunt Barb brought a bald husband, two teenage daughters, and a dish of scalloped corn. Uncle Dave brought Tim’s mother, who had flown in from Orlando the previous night and was staying with him. Eric gazed wide-eyed at Dave, especially after his hero pulled out a detective badge and let the boy hold it. The girls played Chinese Checkers with Julie. Aunt Barb’s husband told a series of wretched jokes. For the first time in years, Julie smelled the possibility of a really happy family.

The turkey was flawless, the gravy was horrid, and for dessert Tim and Mom announced their engagement. Mom even mentioned the possibility of taking some time off from working, until she could find something part-time in the neighborhood. The old house would, of course, be home.

The only surprise for Julie was that it had taken so long for Mom to announce her decision. Julie was sure that, in the wee hours of Monday morning, her Mom had whispered, “Yes,” to Tim.

Julie knew the midnight monsters were real, and she was thankful. For they had devoured her mother’s last, lingering doubt.

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