As she drove to Mount Vernon on Monday afternoon, she was excited to see her Grandma and have a home cooked dinner. Pulling into the driveway, she saw the two story red brick house with dark green shutters. It felt like she was home. Shelby got out of the car and saw Oxford standing by the fence surrounding the Tinkers’ backyard. He was looking at her with his head titled to one side. When she arrived at the fence, he greeted her with a wet tongue on her hand. Shaking her hand to dry it off, Shelby smiled at the big dog and he wagged his tail.
“Hi honey. He’s a sweet dog, isn’t he?” Her Grandma asked as she walked up to meet her.
“Just like you say he is,” she replied.
They hugged each other for awhile, then Mrs. Stockton said, “let’s go in the house. Dinner is almost ready.”
They walked into the house and the aroma of fresh baked apple pie filled the air.
“You always out do yourself, Grandma.”
“Since your Grandpa passed away, I need someone to take care of.”
“Thank you. But someone should be taking care of you,” Shelby said, “how about you sit down and I’ll serve the wonderful dinner you made for us.”
“That would be nice Shelby, but I can do it.”
“I know you can, but let me this time,” she said and pulled a chair out from the table for her to sit down.
“So tell me about your project,” Shelby said as she pulled two plates out of the cupboard.
“I want you to help me find someone.”
“Yes, someone who bullied you on the bus when you were a kid. Why do you want to find him?”
“He has something of mine that I want back. He made me give it to him so he would stop picking on me.”
“What is it?” Shelby asked.
Mrs. Stockton didn’t know whether she could tell her Granddaughter that information. It was still pretty hard for her to admit to herself how much it has bothered her all this time. What she gave away that day wound up being a lot harder to deal with over the years than the teasing was at the time.
“It was a pocket watch that would now be a six generation heirloom. It was made of gold and was a gift that was received for your Great-Great-Great Grandfather’s years of service on the railroad.”
“How did Johnny get it from you?”
“I brought the watch to school for show and tell. After we got off of the bus, he was following me home, teasing me about being short. I turned around to tell him stop and the watch flew out of my pocket. Until then, he had no idea I even had it.”
“Why did he want it?” Shelby asked.
“It meant something to me. He told me he would stop teasing me if I gave it to him.”
“What did your parents say?”
“They didn’t know that I took it to school. A while after that, they couldn’t find it. My Dad was pretty upset about it, but they decided it must have just got lost.”
They finished up dinner talking about Shelby and what was going on at Columbia. After dessert, they cleaned up the dishes and headed to the porch with some tea. Mrs. Stockton was getting anxious as it became time to start the search for Johnny.