Sunday, April 22, 2012

Aunt Clara Part Six

It was almost daylight by the time Yvonne finally won the game of rummy. We were all yawning and I was really glad it was Sunday morning. I didn't have to open the shoe shop. Announcing that she was hungry, Yvonne stood up, threw her arms back, and yawned and smiled at the same time. Aunt Clara looked at her and said, "Come give me a hug, then you and your papa stop and get a bite to eat. Then you go home and rest. It's been a long night, huh? Long, and fun!"
Bzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzz. It was Yvonne's cell phone. If I call Yvonne's cell a song plays, it's Alberta Hunter singing "My Castle's Rockin". If my wife Teresa calls Yvonne a voice says "Mom". But if it's an unknown caller, there is a buzzing sound. She looked at the screen on her phone and gave a quizzical look. "Hmm," she said, "It's only three numbers, hmm."
"What are they?" Aunt Clara asked. Bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz. Yvonne said, "Three, four, six." Grinning just a little, Aunt Clara said, "Well, it's my half-brother Jack. Go ahead and answer it, but push the speaker button...please."
Yvonne answered, "Hello?" A voice, my Great Uncle Jack, said, "Hello yourself there, young lady. This is your late, great, and I mean really great, Uncle Jack. Jack is the name, gamblin's my game."
"Well," Yvonne said, "How did you get my number? How do you know it?"
"What do you mean how did I get your number?! I've got your number young lady! How do I know it?! Ha ha ha ha ha. I'm dead! Hell, I know everything! Everything I need to know, anyway! So there!"
Yvonne said, " did you call me instead of Aunt Clara?"
"Because I could!" Jack said, rather loudly. "I talk to Clara all the time. She said you're interesting so I just thought I'd give you a ring...okay?!"
"Alright," Yvonne replied. She was smiling, and Aunt Clara was grinning. 
There was a long pause. Then the voice of Great, great uncle Jack Thomas. "You play poker?" 
"Well, no, but..."
"Well!" said Jack, "You wanna learn how? I can show you!"
Yvonne replied with enthusiasm, "Sure!"
"Okay," Jack said, "But I'm not gonna teach you too good you know. I don't want you beating me like you did Clara and your dad! We'll play penny ante, see, with a one dollar pot limit. I don't want to take all your money! Just most of it! Now, let me talk to your Aunt Clara, okay? ...Please? Good night young lady!" Yvonne handed her cell phone to Aunt Clara, who promptly turned the speaker off. She put the phone to her ear. "Hello Jack." Then a pause. "Yes," she said, "I think that's fine. You're taking a chance, you know, but it's fine with me." Another pause. "Yes, you're right, life is full of chances and sometimes we've got to take them. Yes Jack, I know, Jack's your name and gambling's your game. Yes...I love you too, Jack, and we'll see you here next Saturday night. Okay, see you then."
Aunt Clara pushed a button on the phone and handed it back to Yvonne saying, "I love these cell phones." She spun in her amazing wheelchair and began moving away, towards the other side of the room. "Good night...or good morning...whatever it is. Love you both..." Her voice becoming fainter now, "See you here next Saturday night." The chair reached the far wall and slowly spun around, facing Yvonne and I. It was empty now as we stood gazing and smiling. We walked out the back door of the shoe shop through the alley and across the street to the car. Yvonne said sleepily, "Mmm, biscuits and gravy sounds real good to me." "Me too," I replied. 

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