The nighttime darkness felt more oppressive with low clouds mourning mistily. Fog slowly crept up the windows. Kids used the condensation on the glass as a blank canvas for cartoon characters and practicing autographs. Giggles and mindless chatter warmed the cooling van.
Cars were lined up like soldiers in the parking lot. There were a lot of people out for a late dinner on a Thursday night. Lights glowing from inside the Panda Express weren’t inviting enough to compete with the crowds next door at the new hamburger joint. It was going to be a long wait.
A sudden knock on the window surprised her. The figure outside was even more surprising. His head was cocked sideways, eyes bugged out wide as dinner plates in a wild way. Instinctively her eyes widened crazily in response to his. Only then did she realize this was not her husband making silly faces at the window.
“Aren’t you coming out?” he asked as he opened the passenger door.
It was a little early for The Bogeyman to reenter her life. His inevitable visit was coming up soon coinciding with her husband’s business trip. His premature arrival caught her off guard. Yet her gut told her this wasn’t The Bogeyman. She should know this person.
When the door opened her mind retrieved the vital identity from her memory. “No!” Her defenses hadn’t lowered yet.
“Oh, you have kids in here.”
The rest of the conversation was short and blurry. The man with a name to match his face walked away. About five minutes later her husband came to the window carrying a drink – 1/3 Diet Coke and 2/3 caffeine free Diet Coke.
“Did you send Jeff out here to scare the pants off me?” she demanded.
“No, did he come out here? By the way Kathy says hi.”
“Wait, no . . . it’s Sheila!” snapping his fingers. “She’s here with her boys.”
Apparently it was a ward reunion at the new shopping center after the Strengthening Marriage class. The family drove home when the food came. And it was delicious.