Jeanne Lupton: Candy
I get invited to visit Candy for a weekend. She used to live next door. Daddy drives me there. I get carsick but only once. We have a paper bag for it.
Candy’s house has a big yard, flowers. Candy runs out the front door, hugs me. She shows me her lacey blue room upstairs. A crystal castle, a Japanese tea set for the fairies, a china cocker spaniel.
Candy! Guess who’s here! Candy’s mother calls her.
Candy runs downstairs. I come too. Candy squealing. It’s her aunt. Her favorite aunt. From college. For the weekend. A surprise. Candy jumps up and down.
In a little while, up in Candy’s room, the aunt takes off her shirt. She lies down on her stomach on Candy’s bed. She undoes her bra with her bare back says Candy Candy rub my back. Hands her a bottle of lotion. Candy is so happy to rub her aunt’s back. I see this is what Candy and her aunt do. It’s like Mother and my baby sister. They are so happy together. Mother doesn’t like touching. Mother doesn’t take off her top in front of me except only one side when my new sister sucks her bosom. I saw that. Mother was my mother. Now she loves my sister. Candy sits on her aunt’s bottom and rubs and rubs her aunt’s back. It’s boring. Now the aunt asks me to rub her back. I had colic. I cried instead.
I go into the hall, I find the bathroom, I go in and stand behind the door. Between the open door and the wall. Not crying. Not hiding. I wait.
I hear Candy and her aunt go downstairs. Then Candy’s mother calls me. I do not answer. I hear her come up the stairs, down the hall, into the bathroom. Looking behind the door. Here I am. She finds me.
What are you doing here?
Is something wrong?
Well come on downstairs.
I’ll go home now.
We’ll see. Come on downstairs. I have a nice surprise for you.
Then in the kitchen Candy’s mother fixes Candy and me – just us – just Candy and me — floats. I never had a float before. With ginger ale. Like when I had the mumps. And with coffee ice cream. Which I never even heard of before. The best, creamy and dark-tasting. Better than chocolate. I can’t wait to tell Mother. Mother and Daddy drink coffee. The coffee ice cream float is foamy on top. It tickles my nose. It is just delicious. We eat our floats from tall glasses with long spoons.
Then Candy and me go out in the back yard and play on her swings. We swing high up almost into the big summer trees. The aunt goes out with her friends. Candy’s father takes me home on Sunday. I am only carsick once, and I have the paper bag for it.