It was three o’clock on a crisp October afternoon. It was raining off and on all day long and at the moment it was down pouring. A woman stood in the middle of her driveway wearing her white raincoat. It was buttoned up to her neck, her hood hunched over her head covering most of her face. Her hands were shoved into her pockets due to the chill in the air, her knees bending up and down trying to keep warm.
Every so often she would lift her chin in order to see over the hood of her coat. She looked to the left and to the right whenever she heard a car pass by. However, the car never was the black pick-up truck that she was expecting. Every couple of minutes, she would take her phone out of her pocket to check the time.
Water droplets covered the screen after being out of her pocket for a brief moment. She wiped the screen on her jeans before putting her phone back into her pocket. It was 3:10. She had been waiting outside in the rain for ten minutes now.
Of course, the weather was terrible. There was bound to be traffic out at that time. People were probably driving more slowly on the roads than usual due to all the puddles. Plus, she didn’t know where this truck was coming from. It could have been ten minutes away or it could have been an hour away. However, it would have been nice if she was told it was an hour away. Then she would go back inside for a little while.
She was told that she was going to be picked up around three in the afternoon, so that was why she was standing out in the pouring rain at that time. She rocked back and forth trying to keep warm, fog emerging out of her mouth with each breath.
She turned around and looked at the front door. Her teenage son stood in the doorway with his arms folded against his chest. He wasn’t wearing a jacket or even a sweatshirt. He wore a t-shirt with shorts and his feet were bare. He didn’t expect to go very far, but he was standing outside on the front porch.
“I’m sure he’ll beep the horn when he gets here. Or, maybe he’ll even be a gentleman and get out of the car and come up to the door to ring the bell.”
“He’ll be here soon, Don.” The woman raised her voice competing with the distance and the rain.
“He’s already ten minutes late and you’re going to get sick waiting for him. Just come inside and get warmed up. He’s not going to want you sitting in his front seat if you’re wet and soggy.” Don countered.
“If he minded a soggy date then he wouldn’t be this late.” She replied. “The weather is bad, I’m sure he’s just running into some traffic.”
“Mom,” Don sounded exasperated.
“Doesn’t he work on Thursdays? I think he works on Thursdays, if I remember correctly. He might be stuck at work if that’s the case.”
“If that was the case, then he should have the decency to pick up a phone and call.” Don stated.
“Maybe he did. Did the house phone ring at all, Don?” she took out her cell phone and checked the screen. It was 3:20. “I don’t have any recent calls on my phone.”
“No, no one called. Just come back inside, will you?”
“He’ll be here soon!”
Don sighed and went back into the house. His mother stayed outside in the middle of the driveway. She looked up when she thought she heard another car, but it was only the trees blowing in the harsh winds. Her hood flew off her head. She closed her eyes and turned her head in the opposite direction so the wind wasn’t blowing in her face as she tried to put her hood back on.
She jumped when she felt a dry blanket drape over her shoulders. She turned around with a smile and then it faded all too quickly.
“Oh, sorry. I thought you were…”
“Dad, I know.” Don sighed finishing her sentence. “Mom, I don’t think he’s coming. He’s cancelled on you three times and now he’s not even bothering to do that.”
“You don’t actually think he’s standing me up, do you?” his mother looked her son in the eye.
Don checked his wrist watch. “He’s 25 minutes late. I don’t think he’s coming, Mom.”
“But when I spoke to him on the phone last time he said that he might be ready to move back in.” she stared down at the ground tears forming in her eyes.
Don wrapped an arm over his mother’s shoulders and steered her away from the street and back towards the front door of their house. “I know… why don’t we go back inside and talk about it? I’ll make you a cup of tea to get you warmed back up.”
“But what if he comes while we’re inside? I don’t want him to think that I forgot about our start over date.” His mother sniffled, but willingly walked back up the driveway with her son.
“If he actually shows up I think he should apologize for being so late and making you wait outside in the cold rain.” Don explained.
He opened the front door and allowed his mother to enter first. He helped her off with her jacket and sat her down on the couch.
“Let me make you some tea.”
“If he shows up, you’re not going to turn your father away, will you?” she asked before Don could leave the living room.
Don hesitated to respond. He knew his father was never going to give his family another chance. He knew his father wasn’t even going to show up. If he did, Don would have to gather all his strength and will power not to kick his father out.
Finally he sighed and shook his head. “No, Mom. I won’t kick him out for you.”