Suddenly, the awareness and joy in Sara Jane's heart grew so big it could no longer be contained. And in another rush -
"Mr. Hanover, are you my Daddy?"
The druggist sat quietly for a minute.
"Well, now, how'd you feel about that, Sarah Jane? You wouldn't be ashamed to have me for a Daddy? Handover Hanover?"
Sara Jane jumped from her seat and threw her arms around the druggist.
"Oh, no, Mr. Hanover." "Mama told me how brave you are, about your medals and all."
"You think Mama Hetti will have me in the house?"
"Oh, yes, Mr. Hanover, she's fixing one of her special dinners right now and I reckon it's for you. She's making two desserts: fudge cake and banana ice cream."
"Well, then, we'd best turn the lights out and close up."
Tom turned the 'air refrigeration' off, cleared the table and gave Sarah Jane a clean rag to wipe the booths down. He went behind the counter and washed the metal container and ice cream scoop. After rinsing and refilling the water glass, he put the scoop back where it belonged. Turning all the lights out but the Orange Crush light in the window, he locked the doors.
When the druggist and little girl stepped out into the warm night the scent of honeysuckle was a palpable weight in the air. The new father took the little girl's hand.
"We'd best hurry. I reckon it's my job now to crank that ice cream freezer."
"Yes, Sir." The young girl appeared to be studying the sidewalk as they walked along in the waning light. Finally she looked up to the druggist.
"Mr. Hanover, can I call you Daddy?"
The druggist took a moment to clear his throat.
"I expect that'd be just fine, Sarah Jane."
YOU ARE READING
Sarah Jane - @Short StoryGeneral Fiction
@SHORTSTORY: Nostalgia- Coming of Age - Listed an "Undiscovered Gem" by WP, I hope those who've yet to discover Sarah Jane will seek her out, & for those who have loved her from the beginning, my heartfelt thanks for your re-visits.