Reconstructing Charlie

Tension at the dinner table made me nervous. Usually pleasant conversation flowed between Aunt and Uncle so I watched, waited and another delicious meal, chicken sliced thin with mushrooms and lemon sauce, brow rice and broccoli. WOW. Uncle cleared his throat. “Sorry I’m such a bear tonight. A new client, nasty bit of business. Digging in with forced energy, he said, “Charlie, did you make the track team? ” “Yes.” I left out the part where I almost ran into the next county obsessed with dear Old Dad’s image chasing me. And are the team members pleasant? You’re a newcomer and they’re bound to be annoyed. “Annoyed isn’t a strong enough word to express the -uh, hostility in the air when I out ran Lori, their number one.” “Hmm.” she said. “Well I always say, they’ll have to get over themselves. You’re here to stay.” Robert served apple cobbler for dessert, compliments of Mrs. Appleton. “Did my mother go to Randolph High School?” I caught the exchanged glance between my favorite people. Aunt Eleanor touched a long gold chain at her neck like the one mom gave me. “She did. As I told you, Elizabeth marched to a different beat. She did get up to mischief often.” Uncle Stuart said, ” I bailed her out often. There were tears, she promised to conform and then she met your father. He played the g uitar. She disappered.”Taking me by the arm, my dear uncle said, “Lets visit Lord and Lady. Time for fun.”

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