Morning's first light glimmered off polished aluminum siding, blinding the patrons as they approached the entranceway of Famous Harry's Airstream Diner. Seated just inside the diner, ten-year-old Selena mocked them as they shaded their eyes with one hand and reached for the door handle with the other hand-often missing the handle.
Irritated with her persistent mocking, Selena's great-grandmother Louise commanded, "Selena! Stop makin' fun of those folks." Louise softly slapped the table as she spoke for dramatic emphasis.
"Awww, Maw Maw. I was just havin' fun." Selena sat down in the diner booth seat with a sigh.
"Oh, I know, punkin. Our food should be here soon. Sure is a pretty day." Louise stared out of the diner window, daydreaming for a moment.
"It sure is." Selena nervously pulled and twirled her curly black hair. "Maw Maw? Can I ask you somethin'?"
"Wha...? Oh sure, you can ask me anything."
"Do you ever miss Paw Paw?"
"Yes I miss him dearly. I know you miss him, too." Louise grabbed a glass salt shaker with a silver top and began to spin it in a circle, vertically.
"How did you meet Paw Paw?"
"Ha-that's funny-strange you asked me that question here at Famous Harry's. We met in high school. I think I told you that story already of how we had lockers right next to each other. Anyway, we were so young and foolish but we were in love! We spent a lot of time after school right here in Famous Harry's-and in fact, this was our favorite booth. We wanted our friends to see us when they drove or walked by...we wanted the world to know we were in love."
Selena grabbed a glass pepper shaker with the silver top, and began to spin it in a circle, vertically. "Did Paw Paw ask you to marry him here, too?"
"This is how it went. One summer night in June, after school let out for the summer and the night before we graduated, Paw Paw and I sat down in this booth. I could tell he was nervous about something. He pulled the salt and pepper shakers toward him and spun them, just like we're doing now."
"Yes. He picked up the salt shaker, and he said, 'I am the salt, because I am a salt of the earth guy. Plus I eat tons of it on my burgers and fries.' Then he took up the pepper shaker. 'You are the pepper, because you are the spice of my life." A bunch of our friends from school poured into the diner. Immediately he got up from the table and knelt down on one knee."
"Like this, Maw Maw?"
"Yes, but right here, next to where I am sitting."
"What did Paw Paw say?"
"He looked me in the eye, and reached into his pocket and pulled out the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. Then as asked me, 'Louise Marie, will you do the honor of marrying me one year from today?'"
Selena acted it out, saying in a low voice, "Louise Marie, will you do the honor of marrying me one year from today?" She cleared her throat. "How did you answer him, Maw Maw?"
I looked around at all our friends. They were all staring at me, all-quiet, waitin' for me to answer. My best friend Elizabeth encouraged me, 'Come on Weezie!' Finally I answered Paw Paw. "Yes, yes, yes! I will marry you!" Then we laughed out loud together for about five minutes. We were so, so happy."
"Awww, Maw Maw. Please don't cry. You're makin' me cry."
Selena hugged Louise and wept as they remembered Paw Paw together.
"Oh, look what appeared while we were hugging."
"Our favorite breakfast, Maw Maw!"
"A stack of flapjacks and scrambled eggs on the side for two. But, why is there an extra plate?"
"I know, Maw Maw. It's in memory of Paw Paw."
"You are such a sweet girl Selena. I hope and pray some day when you grow up you will find yourself a good man just like Paw Paw."
"Maybe his name will be Harry?"
Louise smiled, beaming with pride. "That would be perfect, Selena. Then you could own and run this diner like we did all those years."
Selena pointed out the window into the sunlight. "Look who's coming!"
"Who is that? Someone you know from school?"
Selena hopped up and excitedly introduced her friend. "Maw Maw, this is Harold."
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