It was a rare day out on the lakeshore. Linc and Vee were going through one of their “golden periods” where Linc was clean and Vee hadn’t yet made up her mind about which university she was going to attend. Consequently peace reigned.
Linc announced he was treating them to an ice cream and while he and his girlfriend pondered over which flavor they wanted, Michael had no such dilemma.
His first lick of the icy confection took him back to one of his earliest memories; a day out on the beach with mom and Linc. He almost felt the damp sand squish between his toes and the gentle waves of Lake Michigan wash over his little feet as, hand-in-hand with his older brother, he paddled in the shallows. Later they ate sandwiches and washed them down with soda and later still mom had given Lincoln a five dollar bill for ice creams.
Michael had been enjoying his vanilla cone immensely until an excited dog had jumped up at him, causing his ice cream to separate into its two components, leaving the cone in his hand, the vanilla confection in a gooey puddle on the sand and Michael crying silent tears.
Lincoln had looked around for the owner, ready to insist he or she buy his baby brother another cone. But the dog was showing a clean pair of heels in the distance and there was no solace coming to Michael from that direction.
Present Michael smiled to himself as he remembered his big brother had asked their mom if he could have an advance on his meager allowance to buy Michael another cone. Michael later learned that their mom had given Lincoln the full amount when it was due, but at the time the older brother had been prepared to sacrifice his weekly comic in order to soothe his baby brother.
Their lives were moving inexorably towards a perfect storm but not everything from the past was a tragedy.