Smacking lips meant happy sounds from a little boy at one end of the table. Matthew pushed his water glass away and grabbed the ketchup bottle. His brother and sister weren't watching. After all, his french fries needed more 'red stuff.'
In the restaurant he could hear the sounds of clinking glasses. "More water please," he heard people ask. Forks and knives were scraping and cutting pies and steaks. Even chairs kept moving around for a better spot at their tables.
He tipped the bottle over his plate, when a voice said suddenly, "Careful, not too much." Matthew jumped, almost dropping the Ketchup. How did daddy sneak over from mommy's table without him seeing?
"Make sure you eat up all the 'YUMMY' fries. Costs lots of money, you know." Matthew couldn't answer right now. His mouth was busy chewing. So he nodded his head up and down. Like a teeter-totter.
"Want me to eat some?" daddy asked. Matthew shook his head left, right. Left, right. Then daddy made a funny face and left.
Matthew's big sister was talking with her friend. And his brother Travis was busy munching a hamburger. "That's gross. Stop eating with your mouth open!" his sister shouted. Matthew thought it looked like fun. He tried it too.
Then mommy came out of nowhere, like a ghost. She looked about ten feet tall when she was upset. "What do you think you're doing, young man?" Matthew's eyes followed her foot stamping, Up and Down, Up and Down. Like a teeter-totter.
"Did you not hear what your sister just said?" He smiled and opened his mouth to show his food was all gone. Matthew was proud of the space between his two top teeth. It made him look like a hockey player. Just like his brother.
Today his family came to see Travis play goalie in a hockey tournament. But, his team lost 4-0. Now his brother was really sad.
The Irving Big Stop Restaurant began to get crowded. There were kids from many of the other teams and a whole pack of adults. Matthew slid off his seat. Pretty soon his legs would be long enough for his feet to touch the floor. Yes, he must do something to cheer up his brother.
"Watch you don't get stepped on," a waitress said hurrying by with trays of food. She was moving so quickly, Matthew wondered why she didn't trip. He carefully stepped around clumps of food on the floor. "People are so messy," he said shaking his head.
"How much for that gum?" he asked at the candy counter. He didn't have any money but he was curious. When the lady found out he was alone, she brought Matthew back to his table. "You're too young to be wandering around by yourself," she said.
"I want to get a present for my brother," he told her. The kind lady gave Matthew a hard candy. He tasted it to make sure his brother would like it. "Yummy." Maybe he should get him something else.
His sister said, "Don't go off on your own, anymore." Her stare almost burned holes through his ears. Travis was still eating his own plate of french fries. And he didn't take any of Matthews. "Can I have the rest of your hamburger?" he quietly asked.
"OK," Matthew said. He had eaten half anyways. "But don't touch my French fries," he said. When his brother and sister seemed busy, he left the table, again. This time he headed for the large windows overlooking the parking lot. He saw a smokestack poking out from a huge tractor trailer truck. It looked exactly like the model he received for Christmas last year.
Maybe he could buy a model like that for his brother, he thought. Or he could just let him play with his toys later at home.
Matthew wandered around the room. He stared at the cake display, his nose pressing on the glass. His mouth began to water. "Uummm!" he said. Maybe he should ask mommy to get Travis a nice cake like that for his birthday.
He was getting tired. Matthew decided it was time to return to his table. On the way he saw the different kinds of food being eaten, sandwiches, pie and ice cream. And French fries.
"French Fries?" Suddenly he remembered his food waiting for him. As he hurried back he thought he heard smacking sounds coming from his table. Was someone eating his French
fries? he wondered.
Daddy and mommy were in the middle of a whole crowd of people. "YUM, YUM, YUMMY!" they were saying. Everyone was making smacking sounds as they watched Matthew running.
His brother had his arms circled around Matthew's plate. He was guarding Matthew's French fries! And his smile showed off his missing teeth.
Matthew gave a hockey smile back.
- The End -
2011 Richard & Esther Provencher
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.