The light hung low, and it felt almost like night when the the old sedan turned just the right way under the still lush canopies of August. Caleb could feel the end of summer rushing at him.
It was a unique sensation, like the combination of Sunday night and Christmas Eve, knowing the good times were just about over, but also that new ones were just about to begin. The mix of dread and excitement always began building around the end of June. After the Fourth of July for sure.
This year, though, impending change colored the entire summer — Caleb would start high school in the morning. There would be football games and tough classes and after-school practices.
By next summer, he would be driving.
All that could wait. For the few remaining minutes on the drive home from Grandma’s house, Caleb would just sit in the back seat reading a comic book, holding onto childhood a little while longer.
The car stopped at a T in the road, and the basketball in the trunk rolled forward, bounced against the back of Caleb’s seat. When they didn’t move after a few seconds, Caleb looked up to find his father watching him in the rearview mirror.
“Which way should we go, boy?” Dad asked.
Caleb was confused. He wasn’t great with directions, but he knew the road to the left took them home.
Right led to the state park.
“Rob, it’s late,” Caleb’s mother said from the front passenger seat. “You have work in the morning, and Caleb has school.”
Caleb flashed his eyes back to his father’s
“That’s right,” Dad said, snapping his fingers as if remembering something important. “In the morning. Summer’s not over until morning.”
Then … he turned right.