NFG Season Two - The Silver Locket

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Description: Chevy has a few things to take care of before she can join the Odyssey.

"C'mon, Momma, you ready to go?"

The screen door shudders and squeaks, slamming against its weathered doorframe. Grinning ear-to-ear, Chevy makes her way through the old country farmhouse -- home sweet home.

"You keep draggin' your feet, you're gonna miss out on the sales!"

Chevy's boots clomp up the stairs to the second floor.

For the past few weeks, she'd usually find her mother sleeping in -- but not today. Gerrie isn't in the bedroom, but frozen in place by the window of the front guest room. Her hand clasps to her mouth. Her gaze locks upon a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 -- the restored classic that her daughter had parked in the driveway just a few moments prior. With a fresh coat of Astro Blue and twin stripes of Classic White, it looks like it had just rolled off the showroom floor. Or just as if it has been peeled from the pages of her very own memories.

When she finally musters the words, a shocked Gerrie starts: "Where in the world did you--?"

A relieved Chevy leans her elbow against the doorframe, a proud smile on her face. "I'll tell you 'long the way. Don't want you to miss out."

- - -

The throaty roar of the classic carbureted engine is music to their ears.

"I cain't believe it's true, Chevy. It looks just as purty as when your Paw and Grandpaw picked me up for the prom."

It's not the same car, of course. For one, Ocracoke's salt air is unkind to vehicles. For another, Rick and Gerrie had sold the car to make ends meet. More likely than not, the car had been stripped down for spare parts. But the new car -- the one Chevy had been covertly working to restore the past few weeks -- looks perfectly pristine on the outside. Maybe even -better- than new.

"Oh good! I was worried you wouldn't like it...! But, well, I still got some work to do." Chevy laughs softly. "Mr Abigail was a lifesaver, he gave me the chassis and the engine -- done cut years off my search! And of course Daym tracked down the rest for me..."

As the daughter prattles on about her work on the car, the mother reaches out to the stereo. It's clearly an aftermarket addition, all-digital with segmented LEDs and soft-touch controls. One finger traces over the buttons. Seemingly without warning, the display suddenly flares to life, and the song "When the Levee Breaks" begins to play over the car speakers.

Interrupted in mid-thought, Chevy races her fingers to the volume controls to quiet the music.

"You changed some things though," insists Gerrie, "I don't remember this."

Chevy sighs. "I know, Momma, this was a head unit I had lyin' around. I got Dev lookin' into a model with Bluetooth that looks vintage. Then I can finish cinchin' this dash together..."

Gerrie folds her hands atop the purse seated on her lap. A teasing smile crosses her lips. "And, where did you find these seat cushions, anyway? Am I gonna have to check my dress for mold or mildew?"

Chevy seems to be in on the teasing, responding with her own fair share of sass: "Momma, that's offsides, you know dang well I warn't gonna invite you to sit in a car that ain't clean."

Gerrie makes an exaggerated sigh as she unbuttons her purse and begins to rummage around. "I know, sweetie, I'm just pickin'. I know how hard y'all worked on this. It looks fantastic -- Rick, your Paw, he'd be so proud of you. ... I still think it's still missin' something though..."

"I know, Momma -- I wanted to get the interior all spic-an'-span before I left for Turkiye but I done run out of time..."

"It looks fine, sweetheart. You're gonna do great."

The hayseed draws in her breath, forging a smile. "Thanks, momma. I'm really lookin' forward to it." Her brow creases with concern. "... But it might be longer afore I can come back this time."

Gerrie raises the back of her hand to her forehead, leaning back with a melodramatic sigh: "Oh, I know... Once a girl meets a guy she just ain't got time for her momma no more..."

Red-faced, Chevy shakes her head vigorously. "Momma it ain't like that! I'll call you every week, just like last time, promise!" Laughing slightly, she adds: "You'd like him, momma, I know it."

Gerrie grins, giving her daughter's knee a comforting pat. She finds what she's looking for -- and reaches up to the mirror.

Exasperated by the seemingly non-stop mothering, Chevy glances at the mirror with dread. With controlled calm, she begins, "Now, Momma, I love ya but don't go messin' with my mirrors while I'm--"

As Gerrie pulls her hands away, a locket drops from the mirror, suspended by a length of silver chain. The locket is unfolded to show a portrait of another proud Chevrolet owner: Chevy's grandfather. Two decades prior, the same locket had been hanging from her dad's rear-view mirror.

The younger Beaumont draws in her breath with a chastened smile, as she wheels the car into the Piggly Wiggly parking lot.

Gerrie rests her hands on her purse again, expectantly. "Well... How about that?"

Chevy pulls the car to a stop, nodding with approval. One hand drapes over the locket, pulling it close so she can get a closer look.

"Yeah. Now it's perfect, Momma."

Log created on 11:00:03 02/08/2024 by Chevy, and last modified on 04:30:32 02/09/2024.