Hilton lived on a culdesac with all girls. He had sisters and older neighbor girls and younger neighbor girls. Even the dog was a girl. Sometimes he'd buck them and pick at them and other times he just gave in to being a presence among all that pink and dollness. He'd tell them of hauntings or do things to make them scream. Girls are tattletails though so he didn't do that much. They always told. And then he'd have to go in.
This Saturday in particular, he wanted to be out.
The night before he'd been at another pink-girly thing with his mom and his sisters. It hadn't been a baby shower but it might as well have been for all the gushing and frosting. It was a fundraiser at one of his mom's bridgeclub girls houses. They were raising money for breast cancer awareness and his mom hadn't wanted to leave him home alone.
He begrudgingly went and even wore the khakis and tie that his mom requested of him. But he struck the deal that he could find a quiet spot in a corner and play his video game. He lingered, overhearing who had lypo and when the next deal on botox was and on and on. He wandered over near a group of women who had younger children and they sat discussing diapering and babyfood. One of them had a baby with her. He'd always been good with babies. LIked the way they smelled and how easily he could make them laugh. It was better than thinking of any of his mom's friends getting the fat suctioned out of them through a tube so he picked his spot and plopped close by them. He got out his caming system and turned it on.
One of the women captured the attention of the group intensely. She complained about the up front costs of cloth diapering and how much money you could make running a diaper service. She was pretty. She had a tasteful amount of makeup that was carefully applied. Her outfit matched her necklace and earings and bracelet. She looked put together, especially for a new mom, but not garish like some of his mom's friends.
Hilton made eye contact with the baby and smiled. The baby smiled back. He went back to his game but glanced up and saw that the baby was now straining against its mother trying to get to him. He put his game aside and made faces at the baby who squealed in delight.
"His name's Coltrain." the baby's mother explained, smiling at the attention her pride and joy was receiving. "He likes you." She added.
"Its ok, I'm good with babies. I have 3 younger sisters. He can come over here." Hilton told the mother, who, relieved, let loose the kid. Hilton played with Coltrain and the women went back to their conversation.
He barely heard them continue to talk about all the options with diapers and how much you would have to charge for what and on and on. His mother did not mean for them to stay at the event long since Jada, his sister, had ballet lessons later. So she came and got him and they left, the baby crying when they did. That had actually been the highlight of his evening. His mom had made him watch the other two girls while she took Jada in to her lesson and they'd been banshees. Then when his mom came back he'd gotten in trouble for not keeping them under control. He'd spent most of the evening grounded to his room for talking back when he objected.
Today, it was a perfect, sunny day. NOT a day for being grounded to his room or sent in for scaring the girls. Today was new and fresh and full of possibility. Hilton pushed through the front door. He let the storm door slam behind him then stood, uncertain on the stoop. He shoved his hands in his pockets and started walking next door where he saw Missy and Ella.
"We don't need help from a bo-oy." Ella said.
Missy nudged her in the ribs, "Its fine, Hilt... come on over."
"What're you guys doing?"
"We're setting up a lemonaid stand." Missy told him.
"No one ever makes any money selling lemonaid," he proffered.
"Yeah, you have a better idea?" Missy asked, hands on hips, waiting.
He thought for a minute, "Actually, I do."
He told them his plan for selling diapers on craigslist and explained that he could get some from the basement of his house where his mom kept them. The agreed to check their basements too. They'd get hold of all the diapers they could, take a picture with Ella's new camera she'd gotten for her birthday, then upload the picture and create an ad. By the next day they'd be rich, and they wouldn't have to spend all of this gorgeous day sitting, sweating, at a stupid lemonaid stand.
It worked. They sold all 150 diapers they found to a woman who came and picked them up and gave them $35 for the whole lot. Rich, they wandered to the grocery store to spend their wealth.
Hilton bought a candybar for himself, a lemon for his weird sister Charlotte who ate whole lemons at once, and the rest he had put on a gift certificate for his mom to help with the groceries.
When he came home later that afternoon, his mom was busy and told him not to bother her. So he didn't mention the gift card or the diapers. He went up to his room. He hadn't gotten his video game back yet from yesterday and knew now was not a good time to ask. So he flipped through an old Rippley's Believe it or Not book and waited for dinner.
At dinner his dad talked about mergers and his douchbag boss and mom gave him the look that said not in front of the children.
Then Charlotte pulled out her lemon and started eating. Just bit right through the rind into all that sour. It made Hilton's mouth pucker and water just thinking about it.
Both his parents suddenly looked quizzically, "Where did you get that?" Dad asked.
"Hilt gave it to me with his money. He's rich now." She proudly explained.
Hilton handed his mother the gift card and told his dad the story. "I know how you're always saying you have to evaluate the cost of your own time. And mom, at the thing last night, these ladies were talking about how much diapers cost and so I got this idea. We got all these diapers together from the basement of our house and Ella and Missy helped and well, we sold them all!"
"Aren't you so proud of me?" His look exclaimed.