The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

The Parking Lot


The last decaying brown leave fell from the tree and landed directly onto the hood of Amelia’s scuffed up car. She sat in the front seat, blowing into her hands as she held them overtop the vent in the dashboard. She looked as if she was sitting in front of a fireplace.

Where could he possibly be?

Outside it looked cold and miserable. The sky was a depressing dark grey, and the frigid wind whistled fiercely. It didn’t help to the mood that Kyle was nowhere to be seen. Amelia had her eyes glued to the rearview mirror, staring pensively out in search for his stupid green Nissan.

“When is daddy gonna be here?” came Theo’s soft voice from the backseat.

“Soon, buddy. I promise.”

Amelia tried to look warm and happy to the cute, innocent little boy, but she couldn’t convince herself that she was being persuasive enough. Theo didn’t seem to notice, however. He carried on, playing thoughtfully with his little toy dump truck. He was surrounded on either side by bags upon bags of his things. Clothes and toys were all around him, it looked like Christmas had come early. He was bundled tightly in a big fuzzy parka and wore a little black hat and matching scarf.

“But I miss him. He told me I would see him soon, but that was forever ago. I wanna see him!”

“I know, bud,” Amelia sighed. She checked the mirror once more, catching a glimpse of the old piece of junk slowly rolling into the Dairy Queen parking lot. It came to a stop in the parking spot two over from Amelia’s car.

Kyle honked his horn loud and obnoxiously.

“Daddy!?” Theo gasped excitedly.

“Yes Theo. It’s daddy.”

Amelia squeezed her eyes closed tightly. She took in a deep breath as if she was about to go underwater. Kyle got out of the car next to her and stood in the cold, the wind blowing his hair all around and into his face. Amelia opened the car door slowly.

“Hi…” she murmured.


They stood awkwardly for a second, the cars passing by being the only thing keeping it from being completely silent.

“I…um,” Amelia started, “I got the last of the boxes out. They’re in the storage locker.”

“Thanks, Amy. I know this hasn’t been super easy for you.”

“It’s fine. I have a lease signing this afternoon.”

“That’s really good,” Kyle smiled.

“What can I say?”

Thankfully, the seemingly imminent awkward pause was halted by Theo squirming in the back. He pushed and kicked his legs, ready to explode from his booster seat.

“Hey there little man!” Kyle exclaimed. He opened the door and pulled out the bags to free Theo from his entrapment. He unbuckled the seatbelt and pulled him out of the car. Kyle held him up and spun Theo around and around until they were both dizzy. Theo was laughing enthusiastically and contagiously.

“How was your business trip?” he giggled.

Kyle’s genuine smile was replaced by a toothless forced grin. He shared a quick glance with Amelia.

“It was great, buddy. Glad to be back.”

“Can we all go home now?”

Amelia cringed and tried to stand up straight.

“Well…actually bud, I have to go now,” she explained.

“But. But. Daddy just got back.”

“I know, Theo. But…I have a business trip now too.”

“Like daddy!”

“Yes, like daddy.”

“Oh. When will you be back?”

“I don’t know.”

Amelia was drowning. She had no idea what the magic words were that would get Theo to stop. Kyle seemed to understand.

“Hey, Theo. Want to see your new room?” he chipped in.

“What about my old room?”

“Well, we have to go to a new, smaller house. You’ll get a brand-new room just to yourself.”


“Yep. We can paint it any color you’d like. You can put your toys anywhere!”

“When will mommy be there?”

“This house is just for us, bud. No girls allowed!”

“No girls allowed,” Theo repeated, pointing at Amelia.

She smiled at the ball of fun and positivity. He still sat firmly in the arms of Kyle. He looked like he nothing could ever get him out.

He’s just so good at it.

“Mommy and you will have a smaller house just for you two as well,” Kyle continued.


“Mommy and I are going to have lots of business trips for a while. You’ll be staying with the other one when we’re away. It’s like sharing.”

Theo sat thoughtful in Kyle’s arms.

“Okay,” he finally said.

Amelia and Kyle shared a sigh of relief. Kyle sat Theo into the backseat of his car, who started playing with the little toy dump truck again as if nothing had happened. Kyle and Amelia started grabbing Theo’s bags and moving them to the green Nissan.

“I’m sorry,” Kyle said.

“You already said that.”

“And I still am. Really, I didn’t want things to work out like this.”

“No one ever does.”

Amelia shoved the last bag into the trunk of the car. She walked past Kyle, keeping her eyes glued to the ground, and arrived at the backseat.

“Bye-bye Theo,” Amelia choked out, on the verge of tears. “Mommy loves you very much.”

“Bye mommy!” Theo waved the dump truck at her.

Amelia squeezed his foot and closed the car door. She walked over to her car now, and promptly sat down in the front seat. She wiped away tears. She finally convinced herself to look out the window. Kyle stood, holding his arm in his hand. He nodded to her.

Amelia looked down again. She shut her eyes tightly, unwaveringly.

After a moment, she heard the car start up. The faint hum of the engine became increasingly distant, until everything fell silent. Amelia sat, letting her tears flow out. After a moment, she heard Kyle honk the horn as he pulled out of the parking lot, and down away onto the main road.

Suddenly, Amelia was left fully alone. Everything was silent. Everything was still. And everyone was gone.


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