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Mike Reyes, 12 Oct '12

“Honey I need you to go to the store and buy some milk and eggs.” the mother tells her 7-year-old boy.
“All we have is .25 cents left and since your father left us, I don’t know how I’ll pay the rent next month. Your little brother and sister are hungry and there is nothing to feed them. I also can’t leave you here to take care of them while I go to the store, so that leaves you to be the man of the house”.
On the table is a set of papers that were sent to her by her husbands’ lawyer. Dated April 23, 1957.
There is a note attached that tells her to sign where the x’s have been placed. As she gives her son the last of all the money to her name, she repeats her order to him.
“Remember, a carton of milk and a carton of eggs, I’m sure that this will cover the cost and if any of the items are on sale, there could be a couple of cents change. I don’t want you to dilly dally on the way to the store; you run all the way; you don’t talk to anyone even if you know them and you run all the way home, you understand me my love?”

The little boy just nods his head while he puts his jacket on.
As she sends her little man to run his errand, she sits at the table and goes over the papers she needs to sign. She pays particular attention to the expense sheet, rent=$12.00 month, utilities $2.50 month, groceries $2.75 week.
Tears begin to run down her cheeks, that scumbag left us in this town alone, knowing that we could not reach out to anyone, who do we know here? No one! He brought us here on purpose, to leave us here where we can’t be helped by family or friends.
The thoughts just won’t stop. Her mind is constantly working overtime on her dilemma, with no solution to consider.

The little boy is jogging his way to the store. He has made the trip before with the new friends he had made since his father moved them to this town. The two busy streets that have to be crossed can be scary, but this little guy is not scared of anything, after all he is the man of the house.
As he maneuvers the busy streets, he spots the market where his shopping will be done and slows his jog on the sidewalk. As the cars whiz by him he hears jingling sounds coming from the middle of the street. He slows to a walk, listening for the exact place of the cachinging. He spots a paper bag in the middle of the street but the cars are speeding by really fast shaking the bag causing the noise. Knowing he can’t reach the bag he hastens to the store.

“I want a carton of milk and a carton of eggs” he tells the grocer.
“Well I hope you have money” the merchant replies. “Things aren’t free you know”.
“I have a whole quarter” the little boy quips and shows him his fortune.
The merchant instructs the box girl on what to bring from the stocked shelves in the back of the store and soon the little boy is on his way with his groceries and .04 cents change in his pocket.

As the boy leaves the store he clutches the carton of milk and carton of eggs and pretends to hold a football and runs like a halfback dodging imaginary tacklers to get back home. Just then, he hears the jingling noise again and comes to a screeching halt. Before, the bag was in the far lane, now it has made its way to the near lane, but it is still in the middle of the lane and there are a few cars coming towards the boy. As the boy eyes the bag the last car that goes by moves the bag closer to him as the cars air movement shoves it closer to the sidewalk. The boy looks to his left, no cars are in sight, he makes the decision to go for the bag.

Out into the street he runs and picks up the bag, but a penny falls out of it. He picks it up and drops it. Now he eyes a car barreling down on him. He looks at the penny, picks it up with sure hands and runs back to the sidewalk. The car that he saw, slows down and the driver yells at him.
“Stay off the streets kid!” At that the driver speeds up and is gone.

Finally the boy arrives home and with an excited voice tells the mother of his adventure and of the bag in the street. The mother is fit to be tied on hearing what he had done, but mutters to herself;
“My fault, my fault I should not have sent him” and hugs him tightly.
She opens the grocery bag and checks the milk and eggs, milk carton is good and the eggs are not broken, now for the curious street bag with the jingling noise. As she looks over the bag she notices a hole in it and she also sees coins inside. She tears the hole bigger until the bag is wide open, inside she finds two quarters, two dimes, three pennies, three dollars bills, a five dollar bill and a ten dollar bill and a receipt, change from a twenty dollar bill. She thinks about her situation, she thinks about what to do with this money, it’s not hers to spend, at the very least it belongs to her little boy, but?

A month later the mother is walking the papers to the lawyers office. She gets stuck in the middle crosswalk between lanes when a convertible stops to make a left turn. With her back to the car she overhears the following conversation between the two woman occupants;
“Last month my husband wanted to get frisky with me so I sent him to the store to by some prophylactics. I told him I did not want to get pregnant. He had gotten paid the night before and we had an extra twenty to play with, so what happens, he put the bag of rubbers and the change in the back seat and rushes home, the bag went flying and all was lost, and now I’m in the family way, call me momma; again!"
As the mother turns to face the car, the light changes and off go the two woman, little did they know.

Comments · 2

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  • Mike Reyes said...

    This story is part fiction and part non-fiction, the non-fiction is the kid and the bag of money. The era is correct.

    • Posted 7 years ago
  • Metta H said...

    This is very interesting.

    • Posted 7 years ago