TEENIE ALEXANDER HAD NEVER held hands with a boy before, but the way that Devlin had clasped her hand as they ran down the beach? It had felt like, well, there really isn’t a way to describe the way that she felt. Out of the corner of her eye she looked at him shyly. He was just cute, but it was more than that. He was so smart. The way that he knew about The Wave, and all the plastic in the sea, and all the books he had read, and...
The more Devlin had talked about things the more Teenie liked him. He told her all about the city where he’d lived and how different the girls had been. What Devlin said was that some of those girls were injecting things into themselves or having their bodies redesigned. Teenie wasn’t sure what he meant by that but what he said was that if plastic wasn’t good for the ocean, then it couldn’t be good for girls either.
“I can’t figure out why they keep trying to change themselves,” he’d said. “They looked fine to me, just they way they were.”
Teenie hadn’t really said anything back, because, well, the whole subject sort of embarrassed her. Mostly she just listened to everything he had to say.
But the whole time she was listening, she was thinking about how cute he was, so she missed part of it, mostly because she was looking at his eyes. They sat together on the high sand dune, cross-legged facing each other and just talking for what seemed like hours, but it really wasn’t.
All the while they talked Devlin had held her hand, looking at her palm and holding it in his. It just felt really natural to Teenie. His hand was so warm and so alive and the two of them kept laughing as they watched the dolphins.
“When can I see you again?” he’d asked her as he walked her home.
“Tomorrow?” she’d said, shyly, tipping her head a little and smiling up at him. He just ruffled his hair with his hand and it seemed like his whole face was beaming at her.
“Bye,” they’d kept saying as Devlin walked backwards down the middle of the street, waving. It was like Teenie and Devlin didn’t want the day to end, ever. They just kept waving and smiling until he was out of sight around the bend in the road.
When Teenie let herself in, her mom was asleep on the couch again, with the TV off this time. Teenie wanted to talk to her, but, she didn’t want to wake her up and it was still early, so, she quietly closed the door and slipped out. She was going to go to Mr. Honeygarten’s.
Devlin’s grandmother hadn’t been able to keep from smiling when she saw what her husband Jess had done. He’d taken his old truck to town and out in the truck was Dev’s surprise — like a little chocolate ball.
“Oh Jess,” she’d said.
“What are we going to name him?”
“That’s Devlin’s job, sweetheart.”
“Oh Jess, look at him.”
“Just look at him.”
“Isn’t he cute?”
“He looks like a chocolate malt ball.”
“He does, doesn’t he?”
“He’ll be good for the boy. I think he really needs a companion to help him get through this time, sweetheart.”
“I’ve been so worried about him, Jess.”
“I know sweetheart. He doesn’t say much.”
The tiniest little puppy lay curled in a little cardboard box on the seat of the old red truck. He was a chocolate colored Labrador. Jess knew that the boy needed something warm and alive to love on his own, just then.
They had tried not to bring up the subject of his mother much. His dad was off working in the city as an architect and so, because he worked so many hours he wanted Devlin to have a family after the tragedy. At least until he felt he could make another stable home for the two of them. He’d thought that would be best for Dev, but, he really didn’t know how Devlin felt, because the two of them never said much about her after the funeral. To do so would be almost too sad, or too hard for both of them.
“Got something for you, son,” Jess said, the minute Devlin came through the door.
His grandmother was just beaming, as the two of them stood there like they had a giant secret. They almost looked like a couple of children giggling.
“Devlin, why don’t you just go out to the truck and take a look, son.”
“What is it?” Devlin asked, smiling at his grandparents.
|Robert Duvall||as Mr. Honeygarten|
|Jeff Bridges||as Grandpa Jess|
|Goldie Hawn||as Devlin's Grandma|
|Geena Davis||as Teenie's mom|