Last week, Gramps got Wil up early to share something with him in the garage. This week's snippet will be the official start of their journey...a huge surprise that Gramps has been hiding in the garage for years.
And it will be the first of many surprises that Gramps has in store for Wil...
The garage was smaller than most of the other garages in their neighborhood. But it was big enough to fit Wil’s crappy hatchback and some other vehicle that had been covered up by a blue tarp since Wil had moved in. He was never allowed to touch it or even know what was under it. The one time he tried peeking, Gramps went off on him so badly, Wil was afraid to ever go near it again. It just became some sort of mysterious relic like all of the other things in there.
Beside the vehicles were three wooden shelves packed with mason jars filled with different kinds of screws, nails, bolts and other things that Wil didn’t recognize or cared about. Under that was a small, double-doored tool bench. A car-jack, a crow bar, a few dirty rags and a few other tools were scattered across the top of the bench.
Wil frowned, then put his coffee down. “What’s going on, Gramps? What’s all of this?”
When he turned around, his grandfather was standing in front of the tarp. “When your daddy found out he was having a boy, he went out and found a special gift for ya. Guess he figured it could be something the two of you could work on together. Here. Gimme a hand with this thing, will ya?”
Gramps bent down and grabbed the bottom of the tarp with both hands, then pulled. Wil rushed over to help. His heart pounded. He wasn’t sure whether it was from excitement, curiosity or the joy of being given a part of his father.
The two men slowly pulled the tarp back, gently tugging around each crevice and part. When the vehicle was finally revealed, Wil stood staring at it with his mouth hung open, the tarp still clutched in his fists.
It was a classic pick up truck, with the most beautiful fire engine red paint job he’d ever seen. “Gramps? Is that a 1955 F-100?”
“Yep. Your dad got it for a steal from one of his buddies’ fathers. He was just gonna send it to the dump to get crushed. Your dad took it off his hands. He and a few friends worked on it the whole time your mom was pregnant.”
Wil walked around the front of the truck, running his hands over the body. “It has a school bus chassis body and grille. The tires are more modern and I have no idea how they got this back seat here but it’s…awesome!”
“Yeah, that took the longest. Guess he figured with another person coming along, he needed another seat!”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me about this? Or show it to me? You know how much I’m into cars.”
“Your dad didn’t want you to see it until you were old enough to help him work on it. Then, well, he passed on and I just moved it in here. Kept it polished, did things here and there, you know. Until I thought you were ready.”
Wil felt his throat tighten. “You mean…this is mine?”
“It’s your dad’s. But I think his plan was for you to have it once it was all fixed up. You took those automotive courses in school. I’m thinking you can help take over the maintenance for me on this thing. Besides, I ain’t traveling with you in that unreliable crappy thing you drive around in.”
The young man spun around to face his grandfather. “You mean, we’re going to drive this on that road trip you want to take? For real?”
Gramps nodded. “Here’s the deal, son. You help me get that old truck up to snuff in the next two weeks, and we’ll drive it. You got time with exams and classes being over now. Do it around your shifts at the drug store, now. No ditching anything else for that truck. Deal?”
“Freakin’ deal, old man!”
They both took on the same stance—legs apart, arms crossed—and stared at the old truck, sipping their coffee.
For the first time as long as he could remember, Wil actually felt good about his situation. He was happy living with Gramps, but didn’t feel like he really…belonged there. The two cared about each other, but had always kept each other at an arm’s length. Maybe it had been because his dad, the part that was supposed to connect the two men, was missing.
That day, they finally had a way to bond. And his dad was there too.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I hope you enjoyed this week's snippet. Be sure to visit the other amazing authors on the Sweet Saturday Sample list HERE. Until next time...