Making a small noise at the back of my throat in protest, I held my prize protectively behind my back.
My brother opened his mouth and I was sure he was about to loudly berate me when Mr. Bin interjected and said, “It’s alright, boy, the toys are paid for. They belong to your sister now. I don’t want them back.”
“Oh, really, sir? That’s alright, I suppose. But who paid for them? My mom told us not to bother other people even when we want something.” My brother asked with a frown at me.
“Young man, I do not gossip about and with my customers. And if I feel like giving away my own stuff to whomever, I can, can’t I?” Mr. Bin directed his own formidable frown at my brother.
Well, that was rather evasive of Mr. Bin. Not that he had to, but he could have just said that Mister Red bought them for me, but I supposed he knew better than I how adults would react to such revelations, with Old Man Red being notorious and all.
I was sure Mr Bin didn’t mean to lie — although I wouldn’t call it a lie — even if to protect Old Man Red, for whatever reason that he thought Mister Red needed protection. I would have no problem telling my wayward brother that Mister Red was the one who bought the rubber balls for me. But, I followed Mr. Bin’s discretion.
Ultimately, all that mattered was that it was a good enough explanation for my brother. Mr. Bin did manage to dissuade my brother’s curiosity and made him feel chastened.
“Yes, sir, I’m sorry.” My brother mumbled. “Thank you for giving my sister the toys, I’m sure she appreciates them.”
“She does, and she already expressed her gratitude.” Mr. Bin replied easily.
Not for the first time in my life, I was grateful for my ignorant and easily distracted brother, much as I loved him! He paid for the sugar, pick up the bag containing the purchase, and politely said ‘good bye’ to the store owner.
Then signalling at me to follow him, he turned to walk out of the store.
As I walked out behind him, I turned back to look at Mr. Bin. He caught me looking, and gave a quick wink at me.
Smiling, I walked out the door.
(To be concluded…)
More of this story here https://myreadingpoet.com/wp/category/fiction-and-short-stories/