“Three Milk Shakes for Malachi,” Friend, Feb. 2013, 36–37
“Malachi came home from the hospital today,” Mom said. “Would you like to go see him?”
“Is he feeling better?” Cole asked.
“He’s doing well, but he’s not ready to play yet,” Mom replied. “Remember when you got your tonsils out?”
Cole nodded. He remembered how sore his throat felt and how difficult it was to swallow and talk. “Could we bring him something to help him feel better?”
“Great idea, Cole. Why don’t we get him a milk shake?”
They drove into town and bought a strawberry shake. Cole couldn’t wait to give it to his friend.
On the way to Malachi’s house, the cold treat made Cole’s fingers ache. He was glad when they pulled into Malachi’s sloped driveway.
Cole swung the car door open and jumped out. He didn’t realize how steep the driveway was, and his feet flew out from underneath him. His hands shot out to catch his fall. Splat! The shake sailed through the air and exploded all over the concrete.
Mom found him lying in a tangled heap, his shirt dripping with strawberry ice cream.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened,” Cole stammered. He picked up the empty cup and tried to scoop up some of the melting ice cream.
“It’s OK. It was an accident.” She helped him stand. “We’ll try again.”
They drove back to the ice-cream shop and ordered another shake. The drink was still cold in his hands, but Cole felt good bringing Malachi the treat.
When they got to Malachi’s, Cole carefully stepped out of the car. He slowly walked towards the house, skirting around the puddle of spilled milk shake. He was almost to the door when—Thud. The toe of his shoe caught on a crack in the sidewalk. Cole lurched forward, and the shake slipped from his hands and tumbled to the ground.
Cole squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t even want to see the second spilled shake.
“What happened?” Mom asked. “Are you all right?”
“I fell again,” Cole said. He felt his face get hot, and his hands curled into tight fists. “I’m so clumsy!” Tears stung his eyes, and his voice wavered. “I just want to go home.”
Mom knelt beside him. “Cole, never be discouraged from doing a good thing. What about Malachi?” Cole thought about his friend and how sore his throat must be. A milk shake would really cheer him up. “Want to try again?” Mom asked.
Cole nodded. They drove to the ice-cream shop, bought another shake, and returned to Malachi’s house.
Cole walked carefully up the driveway. He passed both milk shake puddles and breathed a sigh of relief when he reached Malachi’s door. Mom smiled as she knocked.
Malachi’s mom opened the door. “Cole! I’m glad you came. Malachi was just asking when he could see you.”
Cole followed Malachi’s mom to the couch where Malachi was resting. Malachi smiled but didn’t talk.
“How’re you feeling?” Cole asked.
Malachi just shrugged.
Cole held out the milk shake. “I brought this for you,” he said.
Malachi sipped the shake and swallowed slowly. “It’s really good,” he whispered. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Cole said. His hands were cold, but his heart felt warm knowing he hadn’t given up.