Mercedes drives up from Central Mall to her parents home on El Capitan Drive. She looks at her face in the mirror as the car turns into the driveway and parks itself in the garage. In the kitchen she picks up a cold Classic before going to her room.
Hey there, little shopper, her father calls out when she passes his office.
Hi Dad, she replies giving him a peck on the cheek. I want to ask you something.
Not now, honey, he says. Im on the highway. Ill talk to you later.
She passes her brother on the stairs.
Dad, can I use the car tonight? Benz asks from the office doorway.
Sure, sport, their father replies without looking up from the images on the screen.
I hate it when you call me that.
Call you what?
Sport. I hate it when you call me sport.
What do you want me to call you then?
Just call me by my name, Dad.
All right, Benz. Now get out of here and let me work in peace.
Thats what you always say, Benz mutters on his way up the stairs.
What did you say?
Nothing, Dad. See you later.
Mercedes opens the top drawer of her dresser and takes out the book she bought. The illustration on the cover is somewhat faded and the edges are worn, but aside from that it is in surprisingly good condition considering its age.
She looks at the copyright date, amazed it was published near the end of the last century. Some of the words are archaic but this does not discourage her from reading it. Once she gets started, she becomes engrossed in the story, oblivious to the passing of time.