Excerpt from After All These Years

   
     The kitchen opened out onto a screened porch, and it was the porch door that Curry had heard bang a moment before. She distinguished just one other set of footsteps besides her son's. That was surprising. Unless he was with his girlfriend, Huck tended to travel in a pack.
     She glanced up at the mass of shadows that appeared in the door. Following Huck was a man, taller than he, with broad shoulders and rather shaggy brown hair and eyes of a surprising blue—
     Curry's hand flew to her throat. It was Tom. After all these years, suddenly, out of nowhere, Tom.
     "Hello, Curry." His voice was deep, with a low tremor charged by memories.
     Oh, Tom.
     But years of training, of growing up along with two boys who had detested "mush" with every fiber of their beings, checked Curry's impulse to hurl herself into his arms. She stood up slowly. "Well, I'll be crumbed and deep-fried. Is that really you?"
     "No, but it's close enough."
     "What are you doing here?"
     "Fixing up Dad's house."
     "It sure needs it."
     He looked wonderful, tall with a good solid build to him. And so familiar. Different, of course, older, but still...just wonderful.
     Curry should have followed that impulse; she should have run to him, letting him swing her off her feet, nearly cracking her ribs as he hugged her, his shoulders solid beneath her hands, and then he would have set her down so she could turn her face up for his kiss. She should have let him know how it was to see him again, how for an instant the world had stopped and it was early spring again with the wild strawberries and purple milkweed blooming by the side of the road and the meadowlarks singing in the cottonwoods.
     But it was too late now, the moment for such rapture was gone, and she introduced Bonnie to him. "And this is Tom Winchester," she finished. "We ate sand out of the same sandbox."
     With a warm smile, Tom shook Bonnie's hand. "More than that, Curry," he said over his shoulder. "I told you where babies come from."
     "You did? I don't remember."
     "That's good. I had it wrong."
     "Have you figured it out yet?" Bonnie laughed.
     "Just barely. My daughter's fifteen, and believe me, sometimes I haven't the faintest idea where she came from."
     "You have a fifteen-year-old girl?" Huck looked interested. Very interested. In fact, fifteen-year-old girls were the third most interesting thing in Huck's life, eclipsed only by basketball and sixteen-year-old girls.
 
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