Republished for For Fandango’s Flashback Friday
First Published May 6th, 2009
Every Saturday Gavin Valentine goes five doors down from his house and buys something called a Cinnamon Splash and he walks back home, slowly with the ice cold drink in his hand.
He does that even on the days it snows.
Just before he gets home he sets his ice cold drink on a bench and watches for hours at a time to see who will move his Cinnamon Splash with the whip cream topping and the dusting of white chocolate curls from it’s place on the bench.
Sometimes he worries about his little cup of cinnamon and whip cream- will it be tossed behind the bench into the bushes, which has become a graveyard of sorts for Gavin Valentine’s plastic cups with the gold stars stamped along their rims? Will it end up in the trash can? Under the wheels of a bus or a fast moving car?
He wonders for hours and hours at a time five doors down from the shop that sells him his Cinnamon Splash.
But when the weather is nice, Gavin sits on the steps across the street from the bench, on the steps of a Church with his hands clenched together and watches his cup and wonders what cruel fate it will meet on that particular day.
It can’t be easy, Gavin always think to himself, to be a little cup of something sweet and fluffy and defenseless- just sitting there as the world goes by you- and when it does stop it’s pretty much a fact that something awful is going to happen to you.
Gavin thought that was just not fair.
So on one nice warm Saturday Gavin went five doors down and bought his drink, he walked back up the street and this time he left his cup on the steps of the church across the street and he took the seat on the bench and waited.
People walked by, they jogged by, they rode by on scooters and in cars and some even glided by on shoes with little wheels embedded in their soles.
And hours and hours later a man and a woman stopped right in front of Gavin and started to talk. Their backsides inches away from Gavin’s face-which made him a little angry because it’s not like there was not a lot of sidewalk to stand on.
Then the woman looked up and around and then she looked down and asked Gavin- without really seeing him- if the buses stopped here on Saturdays and Gavin said yes, but he wasn’t sure exactly which ones did.
” Yeah, thanks for the help Buddy ” the man said with his butt in Gavin’s face.
There was a little breeze as the cars started to fly- like they always did at that time of day- and as they did Gavin could hear the plastic cups in the bushes rattling together like a handful of small brittle bones all the way from across the street.
Gavin Valentine stood up as the man and woman turned away from him and just as they looked up the street and started to talk about finding a cab-Gavin reached out
and pushed them off of the curb.