Made it Work (Flash Fiction)

“Three quarters.”

Little Bobby slapped the wrench into the greasy palm. He sat on edge, waiting for the next request.

“Phillips,” beckoned the hand.

Bob was already holding it, anticipating the call. He smiled at getting the guess right. But the smile was short-lived as fresh memories crept back in. “Why were you and Mom yelling so much tonight?” It seemed an easy enough question, but he regretted it immediately.

The dirty hand held the screwdriver still, not retreating back under the car. For a moment, Bobby thought he would be told once again not to worry about it. His father surprised him. “The business is goin’ under, son. Your mom and I were yelling because we don’t know how to deal with it.”

“Does that mean we can’t be mechanics together when I get older?”

The silence was eternal. Bob thought to ask again until he saw the hand briefly clench into a fist. He feared he’d made his father angry. Nothing could be further from the truth. “It just means things change, son. We’ll still work on cars together, just not in a shop with our names on it.”

Time went on and Bob grew older. His father taught him well and the skills transferred forward. When Bob opened his own shop it was with his brother, but his father swung by to help out from time to time. When he did, the three of them always worked late into the night.

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