A new story by alumna Christine Fadden (fiction, ’09) appears online in Germ Magazine:
Martini’s was a small family-run grocery store, just a five-minute drive from Grandmom’s house. I hadn’t been in yet that summer, what with all my softball practices and games. When we got there, Mr. Martini greeted my grandmother with a hug. She had been his teacher in high school, and had known my mom and dad growing up.
“Special on cherries, Mrs. Carter,” he said. “All the way in the back.”
“Look at you,” he said to me. “You’re turning out to be just as beautiful as your mother.”
I smiled. Beautiful wasn’t a word directed at me too often.
“Same almond shaped eyes.”
Almond shaped? Was he saying that because he was a grocer?
“And why hasn’t she come to see me yet this summer?
“Mom and Dad aren’t here this summer,” I said. “Not yet.” I wasn’t about to tell Mr. Martini they were back in Delaware plotting their divorce.
He pursed his lips and nodded. “Bet your dad has some big exciting project going on, huh? Henry always had the big exciting projects, even in high school. Your mom thought that was pretty neat. Selling skyscrapers beats selling Gobstoppers and Pop Rocks, I suppose.”
We both looked up and down the candy counter.
My grandmother returned with cherries and a pint of Breyers Vanilla ice cream. Mr. Martini said something about how lucky she was to have such a lovely family and she thanked him and said, “Tootaloo.”
“Go on, Grandmom,” I said, “I’ll walk home.”