It was summer. Liza was still little, maybe seven months old. We were having a family dinner on the front lawn like regular red-necks. (If we all get together there are 23 of us and we can't really all fit into the house and it's so nice to eat outside--that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. There are no derelict cars, abandoned in tall weeds. I promise. Perhaps we are only pseudo-red-necks.)
Taylor, Sharee, Austin and Bailey piled out of their car. All doors were slammed. No one looked back, as if a baby was there. They just came to the table for "how-de-do's" and hugs.
"Where's Liza?" I said.
Taylor looked at Sharee and Sharee looked at Taylor. All the blood drained out of both their faces. Their eyes widened. I could see the whites all around their pupils.
"Oh, no. We left her at home, in the carport," one of them said in a horrified whisper. They both turned toward the car. One was fumbling with the keys. The other stumbled in haste, "Hurry," they said in unison.
I will never forgive them. Never.
They stopped, they leaned against each other, laughing hysterically.
Hysterical laughter is never, I repeat, never attractive. They laugh to this day. Not hysterically but in a kind of smirky sort of way. They think it is funny that I believed they would leave Liza in the carport. She, of course, was asleep in her car seat. In the car.
It wasn't funny. They owe me. Those unattractively hysterical laughing people owe me. They really do