Just His Speed
Calvin's pace slowed as he arrived at gate 7B. The shoulder carrying his heavy bag sagged as he saw three silhouettes that blackened the window near his spot. Two of them were small and quite mobile.
On reaching the end of the row, he saw that there was still one free seat at the end. He settled into it and dropped his bag between his feet, where it tottered between his shins. Just then, an American Airlines plane taxied by and lanced his eyes with a reflection from the afternoon sun.
Once the angle had changed, Calvin could look at the trio that sent vibrations through the row of seats. A dark-haired boy had invented a game which consisted in dashing back and forth from his chair to the tall metal baseboard at the bottom of the huge bay window, making up for the lack of noise that the chair made by grunting heartily each time his ribs connected with it. A brown-haired girl read aloud the numbers on a tag attached to a suitcase. "One-two-three-four . . . one-two-three-four . . . "
The one full-sized member of the group grumpily pulled a small thermal bag from a larger bag. Just then the boy veered from the chair to her knees.
"Mommy, I want my DS!"
"You're gonna eat your yoghurt, Christopher!" she barked.
"Fine, but I don't wanna hear any more out of you. Take 'em and settle down, now!"
"Mommy" took out of another bag a very small computer, a PA-style object. Christopher pulled from it a small black stylus, which rocketed to the baseboard, bounced off, and flew past Calvin. Christopher stood stock still.
Calvin glanced at the mother. She was opening a yoghurt pot, head down, black curly hair curtaining her eyes. Calvin reached back and just managed to grab the stylus. As he did he heard the mother say, "Christopher?"
Calvin straightened up to see Christopher holding his computer in one hand and his yoghurt in the other. "Mommy" was bending over her second yoghurt pot. Calvin gestured for Christopher to come near him.
"Is your mommy going to be happy if she knows you almost lost this?" Calvin whispered.
The boy's eyes widened and he shook his head slightly and quickly.
"So what'll you give me to keep me quiet?" Calvin asked.
Christopher paused, then held out the yoghurt. Calvin smiled and shook his head. Christopher glanced back once at his mom. She was taking a coloring book out of her bag. Christopher offered the computer.
"Such a good boy," Calvin whispered as he took the small box, lifted his bag, stood and crossed the waiting area.