Caitlin decided to go home. It was a long overdue vacation. If she could call it that. She traveled by train, thinking how scary the trip had been so long ago when she left home. Now, she could practically sleep through it.
Maybe being alone did her more good than she'd admit. And it was good to hang out with her mother at the farmer's markets and other little excursions she'd forgotten about that made where she grew up feel like home. She went to a parade and thought of old times. Of course, she was a bystander then just as she was now. Somehow she took in the fun of it and not the boredom.
She made cookies with her Mom. When she was little, they made sugar cookies now they were making healthy cookies that might prevent the flu. Caitlin didn't even question it. Besides, her mother had other worries. Her brother rejoined the Marines which it felt like they were all holding their breath about. He'd managed so well the past few years. He was stationed in Hawaii. Her parents visited him there and hoped he would be coming home, but he was back in the action again.
Caitlin could see her mother was hurt about the situation, but she wouldn't talk about it. No, they moved on. There were tea parties and barbecues in the back yard. Her mother wanted her to see everyone in the neighborhood. That included Edmond, but everyone called him Ed.
He was quite a charmer for a mentally challenged individual. Caitlin went to high school with him. He was the docile type in spite of being football player sized. His foster parents were African American. He on the other hand was fair and blue eyed and was always up for a game of basketball.
"You, haven't changed a bit!" Caitlin felt warm tears welling up in her eyes. How did he do it? He still loved Garth Brooks and was still the big huggable teddy bear he always was.
"You changed." As usual, he was clairvoyant as he always was even if he had a mind of a six year old. "What did you do to your hair?"
Caitlin couldn't help but laugh. Ed had a way of making everything happy. He was as happy go lucky as he ever was even if that meant getting ice cream or going to the library so he could check out Garth Brooks' CDs.
For the first time, she really wished he was just a regular guy. What would he be like if he wasn't just a little bit odd? He was still this little kid who wore Velcro sneakers. As she watched him show her his lay-up, down at the little park not a block away from her house, it suddenly occurred to her who he could be.
She squinted hard at the thought. Gavin made her think of Ed.