No Argument There
Tell Texas That I Love Her Part II
No Argument There
“Vanessa, get in the car. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us and I don’t want to get caught in traffic.”
“But I don’t want to go to the stupid Kemnedy Spaced Center!” Vanessa stamped her foot; a blue-eyed, freckle-faced caricature of frustrated 6-year-olds everywhere. “I wamna go see Mimnie Mouse like you said!
“We’ve been over this, Nessa. We promised your brother months ago.” Captain Andrew “Drew” Hawkins crouched down to her level to look her in the eye, placing his hand on her shoulder consolingly. “We’re going to Cape Canaveral so your brother can see the Kennedy Space Center Museum and watch the space shuttle launch. Then we’re going to get a hotel room and spend two days on the beach in Daytona before coming back this way to visit your grandma. Then we’ll all go to Disney World.”
“That sounds so long!” The tears were welling up in Vanessa’s eyes now, but she was fighting them back with all the resolve a six-year-old could muster.
“Tell you what, kiddo,” he took her up on his knee and wrapped an arm around her waist, squeezing her with a father’s gentle affection. “You get in the car and be good on the drive to the museum and we’ll take you to the toy store and let you have whatever you want.”
“Whatever I want? You promise?”
“Are you alright, Nessa?” Andy called from the porch as he closed the door behind him. He looked at them curiously, adjusting the small, round glasses that sat awkwardly on his face. He was just getting used to his glasses, having only gotten them the week before, but he liked them. He felt like they made him look smart.
Vanessa nodded, sniffling and wiping her nose on the back of her arm.
“I’m alright, Andy,” she sniffled. “I just wamna go see Mimnie Mouse.”
“It’s ok, Nessa, don’t cry. I’ll draw you a picture of Minnie Mouse on the drive to the Space Center!” Andy was visibly excited as he spoke, shifting his weight from foot to foot and nodding. “I’ve got all my books, my notebooks, and my colored pencils in my backpack!”
“Course you do, nerd!” Vanessa was grinning now, sniffling back the remnants of her tears.
“Hey, don’t call your brother a nerd!” Drew tried to sound stern while struggling to hold back a chuckle. “Where’d you hear that word, anyway?”
“We watched that old movie at grampa’s house called Nerd Revenge. He said it was from the 1880s! Is that when there were cowboys, Dad?”
“It’s called Revenge of the Nerds and it’s from the 1980s,” Andy piped in, hopping down the steps of the porch one at a time. “And yes, there were cowboys in the 1880s.” Andy turned to address his father directly, “She can call me a nerd if she wants, Dad. I don’t mind. Nerds are just really smart people.”
“Regardless, neither of you should be watching that, that’s a movie for grownups.” Andrew tried to sound stern but failed miserably. “I’m going to have to talk to your grandpa.”
“Grampa said mostly teemagers watched it,” Vanessa paused, thinking. “Is grampa in trouble?
“Teenagers, you mean. When you’re a teenager you are welcome to watch grandpa’s old movies.” Drew smiled at his daughter, “And no, grandpa’s not in trouble,” he chuckled. “Well, no more than usual.”
“Grampa’s movies are stupid anyway,” Andy said as he opened the back door of the family van and put his backpack full of books inside. “Except Star Trek.” He paused thoughtfully before continuing. “2001 is pretty cool too. Did you know it’s a book, Dad?”
“Yessir, Arthur C. Clarke. One of my favorites.”
“Eww, that movie was so boring! Why’d they make it a book?”
“Captain Hawkins, it’s time for launch,” Marie spoke from the doorway Andy had passed through a moment before, doing her best imitation of the ship’s computer from Star Trek. She quickly decided it had been a bad idea and dropped the impression, mildly embarrassed. “We’re going to have to get moving if we’re going to beat the Orlando traffic.”
“Hi, Mom!” Vanessa called, louder than was necessary, running to wrap her arms around her mother’s knees.
“Hi, Nessa,” Marie said, gently stroking her daughter’s hair.
“10-4, Commander,” Drew responded, rising to his full feet. “We are go for launch in T-minus 3 minutes and counting.”
Drew stood and caught his wife’s hand, leaning in to kiss her briefly on the lips.
“I love you, Marie.”
“I love you too, Captain,” her eyes sparkled in the morning sun as she spoke. They stood just looking at one another for a brief moment before Drew smiled and turned to their children.
“You heard your mother! Everyone into the spacecraft! Let’s blow this pop stand!”
“What’s a pop stand?”
“It’s something your grandpa used to say.”
“No argument there.”