The old yellow bus rolled down the highway.
The driver rounded a curve, slowed down and I could see the “stop” sign appear out of my window.
Seconds later, the doors opened and I bounded down the steps.
The doors creaked as they shut behind me, I waved to my friends and ran down the path toward my house.
I love Fridays.
Not only did it start the weekend, but it was also our family night.
As I unlocked the back door and tossed my book bag in the nearest chair, I checked the fridge for last-second messages from mom.
Nope, none today.
I pulled out a jar of peanut butter, grabbed a knife and pulled down the box of crackers from the snack cabinet. One pack was already open, so I decided to munch on those before mom and dad got home.
But, I made sure not to get a full belly.
After me, mom and dad spruced up a bit, we headed toward Pinetops.
Ms. Lucy’s awaited.
To this day, I don’t know how that sweet woman cooked chili, but I can tell you it was mouth-watering good and always the best part of my hamburger.
Dad always ate a hotdog.
Mom loved BLTs.
And we shared a big basket of fries.
Sometimes dad would splurge and we’d all get a scoop of ice cream.
Ms. Lucy always stopped by our table to make sure we were satisfied. More often than not, she’d sit down and share the latest gossip around town with mom and dad.
Dad usually gave me a quarter at this time.
I’d head to the front of the restaurant and made sure I stayed within eye-shot of mom and dad. Before long, I was either playing Pac-Man or frantically pushing the flipper buttons on the pinball machine.
Soon, dad would tap me on the shoulder and tell me it’s time to go.
I’d run back to hug Ms. Lucy and give her a big ‘ole peck on the cheek.
She’d squeeze me tight and tell me to behave myself.
I promised I would.
We climbed into mom’s car and before the short 20-minute ride home ended, I had fallen asleep.
There’s nothing like a good burger, sweet chili, ice cream, games and a hug to satisfy an eight-year-old.
Is it Friday yet?
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.