Pickup Truck

I was really looking forward to going to the circus that morning. Mom and Dad couldn't take me, so they got Grandpa to drive me there instead. The sky was thin and blue and full of clouds when the both of us jumped into his old pickup. We drove for a few minutes when he said he needed to stop into a place to say hello to some friends. The place had a big neon sign that read“O'Mally's". He stopped me before I could get out of the truck.

“You'll have to wait inside the truck for me," he said. "You can't go inside here.”

I didn't bother to ask why. Grandpa was just saying hi. He'd be out in a few minutes anyways, so no big deal. I rocked my feet back and forth and hummed as I stare out the front windshield, up at the big blue sky. Slowly it got thick, then it got yellow, and the clouds gradually disappeared. I heard the door open a bunch, but every time I looked I was disappointed because it wasn't Grandpa. A nice-looking lady in shorts and a t-shirt brought me out a can of pop and a bag of chips once. She said it was from Grandpa.

“How are you doing, sweety?” She smiled. Her front teeth were stained yellow and had purple blotches.

“I'm ok,” I mumbled.

I asked her to open the pop for me since I wasn't good at it yet. She did and she left and I guzzled down the pop before I started in on the chips, which turned out to be really salty and made me thirsty. I kinda wished she would bring me out another pop, but she never did. I stayed thirsty until I fell asleep. When I woke up the sky had turned black and the stars had come out. I rubbed my eyes and heard the door open and I looked back to see Grandpa stumbling out. He slowly made his way over to the truck, then suddenly bent over to grab something and coughed several times. He stood back up, wiped something off his chin and got inside. He looked over at me and smiled and his eyes were red and when he breathed he smelled like that liquid Mom had poured on my knee when I scraped it, only a lot warmer. It hurt a lot when she poured it on me.

I didn't say anything to him when he drove me home. I was kinda sad. He parked outside the house and walked me to the doorway, only he leaned on me a lot until we got there, which hurt my shoulder. He knocked on the door and Mom smiled when she opened it and stopped smiling as soon as she saw Grandpa. She didn't ask him how the circus went, which was kinda odd since she knew we were going there and didn't know about the stop Grandpa made. She shut the door on Grandpa and took me upstairs and tucked me in and said she'd be back in a moment. While I waited for her to come back I thought about Grandpa's eyes and how different they looked, how lower, like when the sun came down and hit the ground and kept going until I couldn't see it anymore.