I hope that everyone who celebrates is having a fantastic Easter. In between preparing for our feast later, I just finished wrapping up this fun little Easter story for all of you.
“Did you hide them all?” Trisha whispered.
“Yeah, I hid them all. ” Sam whispered back.
“Did you hide them good?”
“Course I did. What do you think I am? Some kind of idiot?”
She thought it best not to answer that. She didn’t think he was an idiot, but she knew he wasn’t nearly as smart as she was.
“Where the hell are all my eggs?” The hollering came from the kitchen.
“Come on.” Sam took her hand and pulled her down the hall towards the kitchen.
“Those were supposed to be for Easter breakfast,” Momma was muttering with her head stuffed deep in the refrigerator.
Trisha’s face grew solemn, but Sam was still brimming with excitement. Momma slammed the refrigerator. When they slammed the refrigerator, Momma took away snacks. If they slammed it, then they could only drink tap water between meals.
Trisha knew they were in trouble. She took a deep breath and stepped into the kitchen. Sam hurried in behind her. He nudged her with his elbow.
“Do you two know something about our Easter breakfast hopping away?”
Trisha opened her mouth to confess. Sam burst into laughter.
“Ha, ha. Hop away. Because it’s Easter. You’re so funny, Momma.”
“Out with it,” Momma demanded, not fooled by his overacting.
“Well,” Trisha began.
“About that ‘hopping away’,” her brother interrupted.
She looked at him sideways. She wasn’t on board with anything he was about to do. She made faces, grunted, and shook her head trying to stop him. He ignored her entirely.
“The Easter Bunny was here a little while ago,” Sam continued.
Momma’s eyebrows knitted together. “Go, on,” she encouraged him.
“He took those eggs, and he hid them. Like he used to hide our baskets and eggs full of coins and candy when we were younger.”
A wicked glint crossed his eyes then, and Trisha understood what was happening. He was seeking revenge for all those hunts of Easter’s past. All the groggy mornings he’d been dragged out of bed to hunt for his basket, put on his Sunday best for church, and then egg hunts everywhere.
There’d been the hunts at church. The same kids always seemed to find the most. Sam hadn’t been one of them. After church, they’d always gone over to Aunty Georgia’s house. Uncle Foster had always hidden too many eggs, but he’d been generous and filled many of them with money and only some with chocolate. There had been a handful with jelly beans in them every year, too.
Trisha had loved those Easter egg hunts. Spending time with her cousins and filling her coin purse up. She’d loved her fancy Easter dresses with fancy shoes and purses to match. Momma would always do her hair up really fancy, too.
“Trisha, you’re my reasonable child.” Momma turned pleading eyes on her. “Tell me where my eggs are.”
“I would if I could, Momma. You know that. But he hasn’t told me where they are. I just know what he’s done with them.”
“What’s he done with them?”
“You heard him. He’s hidden them like the Easter Bunny.”
Momma smacked his arm. “You go get them. All of them. You bring them right on back here to me, and we’ll forget this ever happened.” She smacked his arm again.
“No,” Sam said.
“What do you mean, ‘no’?”
“I mean, no. I mean, you’re gonna have to hunt for them yourself.”
“I’ll help you, Momma. How many of them are there?”
“I had five dozen eggs in there when I went to bed last night.”
“Five dozen?” Trisha was surprised. “Are you expecting a crowd for breakfast?”
“As a matter of fact, I am. The ladies are coming over before church. I was going to feed them breakfast before we head on over to the church to serve our Lord at Easter service.”
Momma walked out of the kitchen, assumedly to begin hunting for sixty missing eggs.
“Earlier, you asked me if I thought you were an idiot,” Trisha said to her brother. “The answer is, no, I don’t think you’re an idiot. I know you’re one.”
She followed her mother into the living room. She was ripping cushions from the furniture and muttering a string of oaths upon her wayward son’s head. Trisha drew aside the curtains and found an egg. Room by room they collected eggs. Some were cracked. A few were broken.
When the doorbell rang, Momma and Trisha were still in their bathrobes. They’d found nearly four dozen eggs.
“Oh, no!” Momma exclaimed, patting her wild hair. “That’ll be Gladys. She’s always early.”
“You run on back and get in the shower,” Trisha said while she attempted to smooth out her own crazy bedhead. “I’ll explain everything to Gladys.”
“Everything?” Momma choked out.
“Yes, Momma. I’m going to explain to Gladys what an idiot brother I have.”
She watched as Momma disappeared down the hallway. The doorbell rang again.
“Coming.” She tried to sound cheerful.
Gladys was waiting impatiently outside the door. Her foot was tapping while she checked her watch.
“Gladys,” Trisha greeted the older woman.
“Trisha.” Gladys’ nose curled up as she took the young lady in.
“I’m so sorry you had to wait,” Trisha began. “Please, come in.”
She ushered the woman into the darkened living room. She drew back and tied up the curtains, letting in the sunlight. The room was still in shambles.
“Is everything alright here?” Gladys’ face had softened from one of disgust to one of concern.
“You are not going to believe what my brother did,” Trisha began.
As she spilled everything, Gladys pulled her phone from her handbag. Her fingers were furiously texting. Without waiting for an invitation, she showed herself to the kitchen. She took Momma’s spare apron off the hook and donned it. She was tying a bow behind her waist as she counted the eggs on the table.
“Throw away those cracked ones,” she told Trisha. “Where’s that idiot brother of yours?”
Trisha tossed the eggs in the trash and went in search of her brother. She found him in his room. He was dressed for church and playing a game on his computer.
“Gladys wants to see you in the kitchen,” she informed her brother. “Don’t make her wait. I’m going to take a shower and get ready for church.”
He grunted but said nothing.
“You’re a real asshole sometimes,” she said as she walked out of the room leaving the door open.
Trisha hurried through her shower. She fixed her hair and slid into her dress just as the doorbell rang. She hurried to answer it, but Sam was already there. Instead, she headed into the kitchen.
Gladys was there. She’d rolled up her sleeves. She had bacon sizzling in Momma’s good frying pan. The griddle was heating up, and she was whisking together a bowl of pancake batter.
“What can I do?” Trisha pushed up her sleeves.
“Excuse me,” she heard from behind her as Lydia passed her carrying a dozen eggs.
“I’ve got those eggs you asked me for,” Lydia told Gladys as she entered the kitchen.
Behind Trisha, the doorbell rang again. One by one, Momma’s church ladies arrived at the door. Trisha excused herself to put on her makeup and finish getting ready.
She hurried, wanting to be available to help in any capacity needed. When she returned from down the hall, she found Momma standing in the living room crying. She rushed to embrace her.
“What is it, Momma? Is everything okay?”
As she looked around, Trisha realized that the living room was put back in order. She could hear the sound of ladies chatting from the large dining room. With her arms still around Momma, they went in.
The table was laden with an Easter breakfast fit for a king. Momma’s crying turned into sobs. Gladys rushed to her side.
“Now, Bernadette, there will be none of that.” She handed Momma a handkerchief as she guided her to the head of the table.
Everyone had full bellies and a light heart when they left for church a couple hours later.
Love Sick: Stories is out now
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