Snow fell gently as Coach Dan ran with Nausie out to his car. Several minutes later he pulled up to the Selko’s home. He saw black tire treads in the driveway, leading up from the street to where Stephanie’s car, a shoebox on wheels, was parked on the left side of the garage. Coach Dan pulled up behind the car, leaving the larger right side open, waiting for the arrival of Gene’s SUV.
He heard the muffled sound of a large dog barking rapidly inside the home as he turned off the ignition. A moment later the service door in the garage opened, Steph walking through and flipping a light switch.
“Everything go OK?” Her question was not perfunctory, it was spoken with purpose, as much a statement as question.
Nausie pushed off the cemented garage floor with both legs together, her boots plushing softly as she told her mother that Ginny had taught her to do a CARTWHEEL tonight! “Want to see?” she said, lifting her arms in the arm.
“If you go inside and take your jacket and boots off first,” Coach Dan said before Steph could give voice to the panic on her face, “I bet you can do it even better than you did in class tonight.”
“OK!” said Nausie, rushing past her mother up to the service door. The dog’s barking grew louder, sharper as the door opened, then was silenced, replaced with the sound of a barely audible whimper as Nausie walked through, the door closing swiftly behind her.