Chocolate Ice Cream

I once stood in line at Royal Radio, the brown appliance store with the bright blue sign, alongside my mom holding our family VCR which was about 20 years old and had recently stopped working. The store was dimly lit with a few florescent overhead lights, dingy matted down carpeted and wood paneled walls. Stacks of refurbished over sized appliances surrounded us. A small poorly colored TV mounted in the corner, played the news, muffled by classic rock coming from an old radio across the room. I hated being there. I stood close to my mom eating a chocolate McDonalds ice cream cone, a treat that hardly made the errand worth it. A woman stood next to us as a man approached her with unsolicited opinions in regards to a scenario that had clearly taken place before we got there. He spoke about how her son wasn’t treating her right, especially in public. Without his knowledge, the a teenage boy walked out of the bathroom and overheard the conversation. He erupted into a jarring shout that almost sounded like he was holding back tears. “What are you talking to my mom about?! What are you saying to her? This is none of your business man!” My heart started to race and my stomachs desire for each new lick of chocolate ice cream was suddenly shut off like a switch. My eyes were transfixed but my body wanted to run. I looked at my mom who held the gray VCR and approached the repairman from the line looking straight ahead. She wasn’t staring at the boy, nor did she even seem like she was aware of what was happening 10 feet from her. The appliance was dropped off and we finally walked out of the store. By then the son was screaming in the face of the man standing the parking lot and the helpless Mom was on the pay phone by the doorway calling the police. My ice cream began to melt over the cone as we walked to the car. “I don’t think I can finish this mom,” I said.

“Then throw it out!” she snapped back annoyed.

We got in the car and drove home.