It was just another night, like all the rest. The town’s rebels-without-a-cause, whose unofficial leader was a kid called Mini Mike (because, who wants to be Mike Jr. anyway?) gathered at The Rocket Surge, a homage to the Apollo 11 moon landing greasy spoon that didn’t know the meaning of loitering, or, in reality, didn’t give a damn. The place was more like a club house for Mini Mike and his bunch of goof-offs. They’d watch the TV situated above the kitchen pass through, or stare into their phones, or play old video games in the tiny dark space in the back that used to be a bar, or shuffle between one booth and another, pulling pranks and being disruptive for lack of anything better to do.
The place was run by Mini Mike’s father’s second ex-wife, Maddie. She was a nice girl when she met Big Mike, but life with that sonofabitch turned her hard. She was Mini Mike’s favorite of his father’s ex-wives, and she took to him, too. Probably because he was a such a cute and happy little guy at the time. Maddie knew she would be the closest thing Mini Mike would have to a real mother, so she let him and his friends hang out at the diner. So what if it cost the place business. At least the boys were where she could keep an eye on them.
This night, like I said, was pretty much the same as all the rest. The boys were hanging out, making a scene, per usual. People came and went from time to time, picking up their orders to-go. A few haggard truckers ate their burgers and fries at the counter with a couple of beers while watching the game on the TV and trying to make time with Maddie. Old Mrs. Finklander sat in a front booth quietly reading her torrid romance novel with a cup of coffee and slice of blueberry pie, occasionally casting disapproving looks at the boys’ and their antics.
Maxwell bellowed from the kitchen that the sink was clogged and if Maddie didn’t get a plumber out, like now, the whole place would be soaked in no time. As Maddie yelled back at Maxwell to try a plunger before calling the plumber, Nadia Yvonne Campbell walked in.
Nadia stood six-foot-five in her spiky pumps. Her long slender legs tightly encased in skinny jeans left pretty much nothing to the imagination. She had on a puffy winter jacket she consciously wore dropped off her shoulders in order to better show off a fuzzy sweater stretched to the max across her perfectly formed double-D’s. Her jet black hair hung down to her waist in soft ringlets, and her wide, glowing amethyst eyes seemed to reach out and grab you by the throat.
She strode to the middle of floor and stopped. The unusual site of such an Amazon in The Rocket Surge froze everyone to where they stood or sat. A couple of Mini Mike’s gang cautiously moved closer to get a better look.
Nadia walked up to Maddie at the counter. “I’m Big Mike’s wife,” she said.
“Which one?” Maddie flatly replied.
“Is little Mikey here? My husband wants to know if little Mikey is here.”
Juvenile giggling and kissing noises rose from a group of the boys in the booths. “Hey hey Little Mikey Wikey!” they teased as they punched the boy and pushed him out of the booth. Mini Mike tried standing tall, but his head fell to his chest. As he looked up, he caught Maddie’s eyes. Her stomach dropped when she saw his desperation and humiliation.
“He’s called Mini Mike. Call him by his name!” Maddie scolded Nadia.
Nadia shrugged and turned to the boy. “Your father wants me to take you home.”
“Why?” the boy asked with typical teenage snark.
“Because he said so.”
“You ain’t my mom.”
“And neither is she,” Nadia quickly replied, giving Maddie a look. “We are family now and your dad wants you to come home.”
Maxwell had come out from the kitchen and stood behind Maddie. “Son, best you go with the lady. I don’t want Big Mike down here tomorrow ripping me and your momma a new one.”
“She’s not his mother,” Nadia snapped. “I’m the mother now!”
Maddie did her best to get Mini Mike to look at her so she could say she was sorry and to hang in there, but the boy pushed her away. She knew he felt let down. The gang started snickering again. “Hey hey Little Mikey Wikey…”
“Shut your traps!” Maddie yelled. “In fact, get out. That’s enough of you guys tonight, anyway.”
As the boys shuffled out, Maxell gave Maddie a little squeeze across the shoulders. “Don’t worry. I don’t trust a woman like that to stick around for very long.”
“Or my ex-husband to stay married, for that matter.”
But the days, and then the weeks went by with no sign of Mini Mike. A few of his gang came in to The Rocket Surge every now and then, but the boys said they didn’t see much of him these days.
The months turned into years. Maxwell retired. The Rocket Surge sold to the Apple Alice chain of restaurants. The very nice woman from HQ in Boise made all sorts of promises about job security and seniority so Maddie would feel like one of the “Apple Alice family,” but Maddie had no interest in becoming a cog in anybody’s wheel.
“We could marry,” Maxwell offered. Maddie agreed there were worse ways to live out the rest of her days.
On a stormy February day, a young man stood at Maddie & Maxwell’s front door ringing the bell. Unaccustomed to visitors, the pair peered out from the curtains to see if it was anyone they knew. Maxwell opened the door, prepared to turn away a solicitor or signature gatherer when Maddie gave out a little yelp.
“Mini Mike! Is that you!?”
Mini Mike smiled. “Mind if I come in out of the snow?”
Weak ending, but you can’t win them all. There are 7 prompts in there, somewhere. I started this a while ago and have since lost track which prompt weeks I used! I know apologies aren’t necessary, but my mind’s distracted these days. Writing is not rising to the top of the priority list. But I’m still here!