Continued from “Going Postal, I,” “Going Postal, II,” “Going Postal, III,” “Going Postal, IV,” “Going Postal, V,” “Going Postal, VI,” “Going Postal, VII,” “Going Postal, VIII,” “Going Postal, IX,” “Going Postal, X,” “Going Postal, XI,” and “Going Postal, XII,”
Not much happened anymore outside little Charli‘s window. Not much happened in the house, either, now that her big brother and daddy and mommy stayed home. Now, they all played all day like she did, but also not like she did.
“Go away!” her brother, Jer, snapped when she tried to watch his screen.
“I’m busy; not now,” was Daddy’s answer every time he worked on the computer.
“Why don’t you go play with your toys, or with that letters game you like so much?” Mommy said, also watching a screen.
Charli didn’t understand why Jer kept his headphones on, why Daddy gave his computer a mad face, or why Mommy sighed as she played on her phone and sat in the empty hair-cutting room. No carpool drove up and honked. Daddy didn’t have ‘at work.’ Mommies didn’t come get a haircut from her mommy.
Even Santa didn’t always come. Instead of the nice man with white hair, Charli sometimes saw a scary man with scary eyes holding the smile-presents as he climbed their front steps. She never saw when he dropped the boxes on the porch because she hid behind the blue curtains until it was safe.
The smile-boxes were the same, and there were more of them. She didn’t know why Daddy wanted so many; if they were food like Santa told her, why did they need so much? Mommy still got food from the store; Charli just didn’t get to go with her anymore.
“Oh, I don’t go into the grocery store,” Mom had told her when she asked. “They shop for me and bring it out to the car. If you came along, you’d sit in the car and that wouldn’t be fun for you.”
Charli thought about that explanation as Mommy helped put her shoes on. “Why are we going to the store today?” she asked.
“Because,” Mommy said, pulling on the shoe straps, “I need to get our groceries. Daddy went to the post office. Jer wanted to go with Dad.”
“Why did Daddy go to the post office?”
“Because they didn’t deliver some of our packages.”
“Why didn’t they deliver our packages?”
“We don’t know, Honey. No one’s answering the phone.” Mommy sat back and smiled her tired smile. “No more questions. Let’s get in the car.”
They walked through the house to the car in the garage. Charli waited for Mommy to buckle her in her Big Girl Seat, then waited for Mommy to buckle her own seat belt. She watched Mommy’s face scrunch and her eyes move while the car went backwards. Mommy turned back to look where she was driving. Charli looked out her window.
The world outside the car window wasn’t fun, like the house window wasn’t fun. She twisted around and waved buh-bye when Mommy turned onto The Busy Street. Just before she turned on her game, Charli saw Santa park his truck by her house.
The scary man was with him.
Continued to “Going Postal, XIV.”
©2020 Chelsea Owens