The Shirt
by  Ruth

This is a drabble written for the Lancer Writers’ challenge to write a sketch with a well-known quote spoken by a different character in a different context.  I hope you like it. 


Johnny?  Can I talk to you a minute?

Maria had the lunch dishes almost cleared and Johnny was on his second cup of coffee.

“Sure, Querida, what is it?”

Theresa set down the basket of clothes she had just taken off the line, and held up Johnny’s blue-flowered shirt.  There was a little frown-crease on her forehead.

“Johnny, I don’t think I can fix this shirt any more.  I mean, it’s getting so thin on the shoulders and elbows, the cuffs are frayed and you managed to get a big three-cornered tear under the left sleeve.  --  I’m afraid it’s ready for the rag-bag.”  Theresa raised her eyes to meet Johnny’s worried face.

“Gee, me and that shirt have been through a lot together…..  I mean, sure, if you say it’s…”  He didn’t finish the sentence.  “I’ll kinda miss it, though.”  Johnny looked genuinely distressed.

Theresa’s voice softened.  “I’ll start next week to make you another, and we’ll use the same buttons—they’re good bone buttons—and I’m sure I can get some quilt pieces from it, so it’ll still be around…in a way.”

“Aww, T’resa!  You’re gonna cut the buttons off, and cut pieces out of it?  Okay, look, just don’t tell me about it, all right?”  And Johnny picked up his hat and left to do his afternoon chores.

Theresa had planned a picnic with girlfriends that night and was not at dinner with the family.  So Johnny walked up to his room feeling strange and out of sorts, as though he needed to apologize.  “It’s just a stupid shirt,”  he thought.  But on his bed, neatly mended, ironed and folded, was his blue shirt.  He picked it up and a little folded note fell out.  He opened it and read silently “Because I love you.”






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