Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Home Alone

home alone

He hadn't exactly, set down in his underwear to watch Netflix. Almost.

The popcorn was still steaming in the microwaved bag. Omaha almost burned himself, as he tip-toed around in the kitchen in his flannel pants, without his shirt.

Maybe he'd eat popcorn, the entire time Taylor was gone.

And then somebody knocked on the door. It was Taylor's friend Ben.

Omaha couldn't say no. He went looking for a ribbed tank and went to see if there was any root beers in the fridge. The last two.

Omaha hoped this wasn't a long visit. Sometimes, Ben could stay four hours in the evening. Usually, Omaha just let them visit. He blocked him out, by watching one TV show after another. Lately, he'd been reading subtitles. He liked Spanish shows. Of courses, he hadn't picked up any Spanish, as of yet. Still, the subtitles helped him focus on his reading.

"What's going on?" Omaha looked at Ben as if he was in a sour mood. "Did something go wrong with the house, you guys are buying?"

Ben shook his head, no. He took a long sip of the rootbeer bottle and almost finished it off.

"How long have you lived around here?" Ben wanted to know.

"Most of my life." He guessed. Sure, his parents would take off and move to Iowa from time to time, but they always came back to the GOOD LIFE, or so he remembered his mom saying. Of course, everyone in his family was pretty cynical, to that phrase.

Ben nodded and slapped down some photos on the kitchen table.

"Do you know these guys?"

Omaha took a hard look at both photos.  He'd never seen them before. He didn't think.

"Those are my friends. I guess." He sighed.

"From high school?" Omaha winced.

"I guess." Ben sounded so doubtful. "Well, this one was from middle school. I don't even know his last name. What kind of friend was I?"

Omaha nodded.

"Well, people come and go." Omaha shrugged and got into the buttery popcorn to eat, he pushed the bag over to Ben.

Of course, Omaha immediately thought of Sheena. He was certain she wouldn't know him on the street. He didn't know why she was being so nice to him, at work. He wanted to forget her smile. What he'd give, if he had a picture of Carmen, but he didn't. She wasn't much for photographs, but then he didn't want his picture taken with anybody.

Just then another knock came to the apartment door. He sure hoped they weren't being too loud.

Omaha went to get it. There was Sheena, at the door.

Monday, May 2, 2016

hardly a memory

hardly a memory

Ben knew he shouldn't be thinking about it. After all, his mom didn't say much when she found the picture in the desk drawer of the computer room. They were busy getting all the info they needed to help Ben get the house they found for him, a few blocks away.

"Oh, you don't need to know." His mother first said. Besides, she was busy and excited about the house going on sale.

It wasn't new by any means. However, Ben's father was certain the structure had good bones.

Why did Ben need to know who was in the picture?

"Well, am I suppose to know ..this..this guy?" Ben studied the old photo. There was something familiar about the picture. At first, he thought his memory was coming back. Maybe.

Then he realized the guy in the picture resembled some high school kid he'd seen at the library.

His mother sighed as if this was no time to dwell on it.

"Maybe, you know this guy." She tossed a few more snapshots on the desk, as she was still digging for paperwork.

"No clue." Ben shook  his head.

"He was your best friend from seventh grade. Stu." She told him.

"Stu?" Ben winced. "Well ..where is he?" Ben wanted to know.

"Denver. Maybe. I dunno. He moved away as soon as you started high school. His dad got stationed out there." She shrugged.

"But, but what about this guy?" Ben went back to the first photo he found. The one who looked as if he might be a psycho.

"Beck." She finally said ever so quietly.

"Beck?" Ben winced again, thinking of the musician, that Mae loved so much .

"Yes, he's the one who died, and you didn't." She said ever so mysteriously, giving Ben a wince.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

on repeat

that awkward moment

Lottie couldn't believe her luck. Oh, she didn't want to find herself thinking about...Bear.

But, she'd spent the day with him.

Of course, she went over and over it, in her head. How did it happen?

She'd gotten off work thirty minutes early. It wasn't quite lunch and Frankie was in class.

There Bear was. Waiting for her, evidently.

Lottie kept reminding herself, even now..nothing major had actually happened.

It started as a walk, on a beautiful day. The sky was so blue, and all those majestic puffy clouds. No way was it going to rain.

"We should take a drive?" He smiled, and she let him lead the way.  It wasn't everyday. one could spend the day with a Scotsman.

No, she wasn't nervous at all.

He said he liked to camp, so they went to the river. After awhile, Lottie couldn't tell if they were in Nebraska or Iowa. Weren't their bridges to tell her? Oh, she didn't know. Everything was just so fun.

His laugh. That look in his serious eyes. Yes, she'd gone on an adventure with Bear. They'd gone nowhere in particular.

Except now, she felt so guilty. Especially, around Frankie.

But nothing really happened with Bear. Lottie kept telling herself, but the more she thought of him...

Lottie was feeling blue.

"Are you coming down with something?" Frankie asked during their usual walk to the cafeteria, after they got off at the Campus Book Store.

"I'm fine." She insisted. But the more he questioned her, the more she became furious with Frankie. Why did he have to ask so many questions?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

home sweet home

home sweet home

"Why didn't you tell me this! Before!" Sara's alarming voice put Taylor off. No way, did he want to be going to Chicago now, but it was planned.

Why did he have to tell her about Omaha taking care of the apartment while he was gone?

"Well..you haven't exactly..given me the opportunity.." He started to inform her, but of course, she cut in about how she didn't know this Omaha. Was Taylor crazy?

"Just..just calm down, will you?" This was all he needed, a big blow up. "We're looking for a house."

"A HOUSE?" She was even more bitter.

"Yeah." Taylor wouldn't lose it. He wouldn't bring himself to Sara's level. "Um, Ben found a house. Actually, I guess his parents did. Its in their neighborhood. And well, while I was there, with him, I looked next door ..and there it was. That porch has your name, all over it." Naturally, she wasn't pleased with that comment. "Anyway, the realtor, made it sound promising. I could be a home owner, any day now." He smiled.

He heard her deep sigh.

"Try not to be too mad about this, Sara. We can help each other out. If Omaha has his own room..and.."

"WHAT!" Now she was really fierce, but he knew her bark was worse than her bite.

He slightly chuckled. He texted her a picture. Yes, it was a cute little place and enough room in the basement for Omaha to have his own space.