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EXPANDED BY ONE

         
TWO HEARTS




       The green, 1953 Ford, pulled away from the duplex.  Mom and Deryl were smiling as they drove away.  Grandma Underwood. Bronco and I stood by the fence and watched them go.
          I felt empty and lonely as the green automobile turned the corner and disappeared from view.
          Deryl and Mom were married and leaving on their honeymoon.  Mom had kissed Bronco and I goodbye, after giving us instructions to behave for Grandma.  If we were good, she would bring us a surprise when she returned.  Even the promise of gifts couldn’t bring smiles to our faces.  Mom was radiant with happiness; silent, sullen children could not dampen her spirits.
          “Let’s go into the house,” Grandma Underwood coached, as she put her arms around Bronco and me.  We walked slowly back to the screened-in porch.
          “Your mom will only be gone for a few days,” she said reassuringly, “We’ll have a good time,” she continued, as she squeezed my arm, “We’ll make some brownies this afternoon.”
          I had no words.  I was numb.  Bronco remained silent also.
          Our family was expanded by one, but where did Bronco and I fit into this marriage!  What changes would be coming?  The future loomed ahead, clouded by uncertainty.