Pimento

February 17, 2010

Audrey juggled grocery bags as she came into the kitchen. Evan helped her without hesitation.

Photo by Pam Wells ©2010

“Hi, Max,” she said, seeing Evan’s shorter and smilier friend at the table.

Max swallowed a mouthful of cheese sandwich. “Hey, Mrs. P.”

“Evan, did you see my note?” she asked. A yellow note was stuck on the left side of the refrigerator’s stainless steel door. It said, Remember dent.

“I certainly did,” Evan said. He watched his mom look again at the door, then back to him with a puzzled look on her face.

• • • • •

“Dude, you got a piece of paper?” Max asked, but Evan was out of the kitchen. Max opened Evan’s notebook. “Whoa. Who’s the chickalicious?”

Evan rushed toward him. “Nobody.”

“So nobody wrote—” Max read a heart-shaped note in falsetto— “‘You rock’.”

Evan grabbed it. “Your blood sugar’s low. You need food.”

They raced for the fridge, which hosted a number of sticky notes: Went to store… Eat later… Remember dent. Inside was a lack of teen-friendly foodstuffs. Their faces said Yuck.

• • • • •

Evan looked frantically through a box of family photos. He pulled out five, and Max added the one of toddler Evan in a Blues Brothers costume. Evan arranged them quickly and scanned them into his computer. A minute later he withdrew a neat collage from the printer.

• • • • •

The shop vac roared. The industrial black hose sucked up a few fridge magnets before clamping itself to the door. Evan yelled for Max to turn it off.

• • • • •

Max arranged fridge magnets around an old photo of Evan, Todd and Joe at a mountain cabin. He looked at Evan; Evan shook his head.

• • • • •

The sticky notes stuck to the counter. Evan rubbed the fridge door hard with a towel.

• • • • •

“I got it,” Max said. He stood in front of the sparse glass shelves. He took out cheddar cheese, jack cheese, dill pickles, mayonnaise and a little jar of pimento peppers.

“I’ll wait,” Evan said.

“What’s the matter, Ev? Don’tcha trust me?”

Max used the food processor with confidence. Evan tasted the cheesy spread and approved. There was enough for three sandwiches.

• • • • •

Evan stood at the open fridge as Max, who stood ten feet away, threw him the cheeses, pickles and mayo. Then Max threw the bread, which hit Evan in the back and fell to the floor. As Evan bent down to get it, the door closed, creating the opportunity for the flying pimentos to bang into the Remember dent sticky note on the righthand side of the door.

“Dooooooood,” Max said.

• • • • •

“Your mom’s home,” Max said as Audrey’s car came down the driveway. There was something in his voice besides simple observation.

“Okay, but you suck, man,” Evan said. “Her name is Danni, I met her at the park, we hang out, and that’s all.”

Max smiled.

• • • • •

Audrey put vegetables in the crisper. “Evan, did you see my note?” she asked.

“I certainly did.”

She looked again at the door. “Did you do this?”

“Do what?”

“The pictures. I love it.”

“Cool, well, it’s… Happy Valentine’s Day. Late.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Mrs. P,” Max said.

She left the kitchen, pleased, and then remembered something.

“You saw the note, right?” Her voice made Evan spin around. She plucked the note off the fridge door and reminded Evan of his dentist appointment. He’d better get going.

©2010 Pam Wells

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