It wasn’t that far to Firekeepers. No more than a mile. It was the restaurant where everyone on the Rez liked to eat.
They sat at their usual table. So usual that the waitress brought out the plate of fry bread, two bowls of buffalo chili, and two glasses of water without their having to order.
The food disappeared quickly. They sat there for a while in silence, looking out the open window to Oren’s right. One of the Jemison boys was trying to start his three-wheeler.
“Wish I could have been at the game today rather than that council meeting,” his grandfather finally said. “Heard you made a great play.”
Oren shook his head. “No,” he said.
His grandfather didn’t say anything. He just looked at Oren, raising an eyebrow.
Oren took a deep breath. Then he explained it all, how it had been nothing more than a happy accident. How he felt like a fraud. How he shouldn’t be getting any praise at all.
His grandfather shook his head. “I think it was more than that. I’ve watched you practice. You have good reflexes. Sometimes we can do things that surprise even ourselves. Plus, what’s wrong with luck?”
Oren stood up. He wasn’t sure why. It was hard for him to sit and listen to his grandfather trying to make him believe he wasn’t a loser.
What happened next was hard for even Oren to explain. There was a loud bang and a spurt of fire from the Jemison boy’s ATV. Then something whizzed through the air toward them. Oren found himself flying right over the table, like a big cat. He knocked his grandfather to the floor. A piece of sharp metal spun over their heads.
“Gramps,” Oren said, jumping to his feet. He looked down at his grandfather lying on his back. “Are you OK?”
His grandfather smiled up at him. “Better than I would have been if that hit me,” he said.
Suddenly there were people all around them.
“You see what that boy did?”
“I never saw anything like it.”
His grandfather held out a hand and let Oren help him up.
“Well,” he chuckled. “Nya:weh, Grandson. Thank you! Remember what I said about you having good reflexes? No way are you going to feel bad about this save.”
“I guess so.” Oren grinned.