What Scotty Said
When he was four or thereabouts, Scotty Ocean liked to stand on the piano bench while his mother, a painter of abstracts, played the only song she knew.
She practiced it daily, her eyes closed, a Salem cigarette burning in the nearby ashtray.
For Scotty there was no place better to be than at her side, where he might tug at her blouse or whisper in her ear or pound the black keys with his fists. But it hardly mattered what he did because when Joan Ocean played her song, everything -- even Scotty -- disappeared.
One day he said something that brought her to a stop.
She made him say it again. This time she watched closely as his pink lips shaped the sounds. She would never forget it. Later it would haunt her: his eyes, his voice, and the words, spoken simply...
"Seven is going to be my year."
Copyright © 1998 by Peter Hedges