Give and Take

“Remember this?” Becky broke the silence, holding up a photo. She had been sitting on the end of the couch, a box from the closet on her lap.

I nodded, “Hubert’s cottage. We rented it for the summer. Your mother and her friend Doris came along.”

“Lois, not Doris,” she said.

“Right, they stayed a month.”

“Two weeks,” she said.

“Really? Seemed longer.”

She swivelled her head a quarter turn and gave me the eye, “Don’t start.”

“I’m not,” I assured her, “remember that party across the lake at the Parkers?”

“Palmers.”

“Right. Their son was a doctor,” I said, into full windup mode now.

She was quiet for a few seconds. “Dentist,” she said, her voice just a little clipped.

I decided not to ruin the mood any further and ducked back into the book I’d been reading. I could her muttering as she dug through the box.

“I thought I threw this out,” she said, a chapter and a half later, “remember Mark and his friend Peter?”

I looked up, slightly peeved at the interruption, to see a handbill. My friend had spent a year trying to kick start a musical career. “His name was Dieter.”

“Right. He played the guitar.”

“Dobro.” What was she thinking? Becky had always been a big fan of bluegrass.

“Oh, right. Remember the gig at The Castle?”

“Cassell’s.” I had lost the thread of the chapter by this point.

“He wrote that lovely song. What was it called, the one with the duelling fiddles?”

“Payback.” It slipped from my lips before I could stop.

“That’s right,” she said and went off to the other room. ©

——–

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