All Mine ~ A Short Story by Allen Kopp
As soon as the bowl was set in front of him, Wattie picked up the spoon and began eating; he wouldn’t stop until the ice cream was all gone. Vonda Kay sat across the table from him and regarded him critically, holding her spoon upright in her fist like a weapon at the ready.
“You gave him more than you gave me,” she said.
“No, I didn’t,” grandma said. “They were the same.”
“I should get more, since I’m older.”
“It doesn’t work that way. Age has nothing to do with it. You both get the same.”
Wattie looked at Vonda Kay—his stupid blue eyes, she thought—and smiled. A benign smile, but Vonda Kay saw malice in it and spite.
“You’re disgusting,” she said. “You eat like a pig.”
“Now, none of that,” grandma said. “He’s not bothering you.”
“He bothers me just by sitting there.”
After Wattie went outside to play, Vonda Kay turned to grandma and said, “Why does there need to be boys in the world?”
Grandma laughed. “Don’t ask me,” she said. “It wasn’t my idea.”
“I mean, don’t you wish all the boys in the world would just die?”
“Of course not! That’s not a nice thing to say. I’d be careful who I say things like that to, if I were you.”
“I’m not ever getting married.”
“The human race would die out if there wasn’t both,” grandma said. “If there was just girls in the world, nobody else would ever be born.”
“That sounds like an excellent idea to me,” Vonda Kay said.
She didn’t want Wattie to die, exactly, but she wished he would go away somewhere, be adopted by a nice family in another state where she would never have to see him again. She had thought about killing him, trying to make it look like an accident, but she didn’t think she would ever be able to go through with it. She was afraid everybody would find out and she would have to go to jail. She couldn’t stand to think about everybody at school talking about her and her not being there.
She often indulged herself in the fantasy of what her life would have been like as an only child, if Wattie had never been born. She could have had all the attention and all the love in the family. All the ice cream would have been hers to eat and not just half. The presents under the tree at Christmastime would have all belonged to her and nobody else. There wouldn’t have been any gushing about Wattie’s grades in school and his baseball scores and how cute he was with his blond hair and blue eyes. There wouldn’t have been any boy’s underpants in the laundry for her to have to fold and put away.
After lunch she was sitting in grandma’s rocker on the back porch with her book that she was supposed to write a book report on. She read a few pages until something caused her to look up. Wattie was playing down in the yard about fifty yards away with a limb. He was trying to break the limb into pieces by jumping on it.
She was going to go back to her book, but then she saw a man come up the alley that connected the back yard—and all the other back yards on the block—to the street. He was a dark man that she had never seen before. He approached Wattie and said something to him but she didn’t know what it was. Wattie looked back up the hill toward the house as if he was considering something and then he nodded his head. The dark man put his arm around Wattie’s shoulder and Wattie walked off with him back up the alley.
She watched until the two of them were out of sight and then she went back to her book. Hours later when grandma asked where Wattie was, Vonda Kay knew nothing; she hadn’t seen or heard a thing. The last time she saw him, he was sitting at the table stuffing ice cream into his mouth. What happened after that she had no way of knowing.
Copyright © 2013 by Allen Kopp