“Oh well. I guess I’ll have to go barefoot,” Cindy said, holding the remaining sandal by its strap. “If anyone locates the stupid thing, just give it to my brother and he’ll send it to me.”
The sliding glass door opened and two teenagers whirlwinds burst into the yard. “Aunt Cindy!”
She turned to Jack. “It’s been nice meeting you, Jack. I wish—“
“Aunt Cindy, look at the favor I got, a real live goldfish!”
The two girls danced around her, crowding out Jack. He backed off a little and watched her examine the girls’ treasures, then herd them gently but firmly toward the hedge. She waved him a quick good-bye just as she disappeared into the ligustrum.
Jack stood there for a few minutes, then walked slowly to the patio and sat down again, feeling very lonely.
Bozo lumbered back across the yard with something sparkly in his mouth, dropped his treasure at Jack’s feet, and looked up at him expectantly.
“Good dog,” Jack said, picking up Cindy’s missing sandal. “In fact, a better dog than you know.”
He cradled the sparkly flip flop in his hands and smiled. He was no Prince Charming, but Cinderella hadn’t seen the last of him.