Short Story · Story

And the People Were Always ‘Good’

The bombs imploding on the sidewalk knocked me off my feet. I stood and shook the fresh made sand from my palms and walked into Mr. Tom’s Grocery.
“Hi George! How are you this fine day?”
I raised my voice above the thundering outside “Just fine Tom! How’s it going for you?”
“Pretty good. Anything I can get you?”
“Na, I’m good. Just picking up a few things for the wife.”
We were having company over that night and Judy wanted me to pick up a pork roast. So, I did. With the last twenty bucks I had, I bought a dinner’s fixings and walked home, tripping every so often on pieces of buildings.
I ran into Jeremy as he was headed to who knows where for who knows what and asked how he was doing, his hair was looking about 3 nights old and his eyes were a bit red around the corners. “Oh, good! How are you?”
“Good. Just heading home for dinner. Have a good night.”
“You too.”
I walked in the door and Judy was washing the laundry in the sink and hanging it in the windows on the curtain rods to dry. “Judy – get that laundry out of the windows before the neighbors get here!”
“But George, Cindy does this too – I see John’s work shirts hanging from the windows everyday, plus, Cindy’s been picking weeds from the ditch for her salads, they won’t care.”
“Well, I care. I don’t want them thinking we can’t afford to wash our laundy.”
Well, we can’t George.”
“I know – you think you have to tell me that? I just spent my last bill on this stinkin’ meal you want to host.”
“Just shut-up and go shave and shower- I’ll have it cleaned up before they get here. And I’ll have the dinner cooked all by myself and the kids cleaned up. I won’t embarress you. That’s all I’m worried about – making sure you look good to the neighbors.”
This is what marriage is made of, right? Oh, the little things.

“Hi Cindy! Hi John! Welcome, you are just in time, I’m just taking the roast out of the oven. George, will you take their coats?”
“Sure honey. How’s it going John? Cindy?”
“Oh, just fine. Been a long day.Glad to be able to sit down now.”
“Yeah, doing just fine. How are you today, George? Judy?”
“Good! It’s a beautiful day.”

The next morning our house had been bombed and Ellie and Caleb, our two chilren were hospitalized with serious injuries. Judy and I went to local Bed & Breakfast for coffee. “Hey, I heard about your home and your children this morning! I’m so sorry! How are you two?”
“We’re doing good. Thanks Sue. How are you?” Judy answered while drawing her coffee cup close and mixing in sugar and cream.
“I’m great. Business is booming.”
“That’s good. I suppose with all the bombings and job losses you’re getting a lot of customers.”
“Yep.”
“Great. Thanks for the coffee Sue!”
“Anytime.”

It being Sunday, Judy and I went Sunday School and were greeted by the pastor, “How are you two doing? I heard about your home, I’m so sorry. How are your children?”
“The kids are doing good. They’re at the hospital right now. We’re good too. How are you Pastor Tim?”
“Good! It’s a beautiful day! What nice weather the Lord has blessed us with!”

Judy and I nodded and walked in for morning worship.

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