Monday, August 15, 2011
just like the old towne
Oliver looked Jules over. He was a mess. He could tell. What in the world was he getting himself into? But he'd had a few long phone calls at night from Eric's mother. His dad was staying out of it. It seemed, she wanted to help Jules turn over a new leaf.
Still, Oliver imagined Jules a lost cause. He knew his kind. He'd grown up in that crowd. Some had to stand back and just watch. Oliver was one of those. But now they wanted him to step up, and get this lad back on the straight and narrow.
Oliver mentioned it to Kayla who thought he was talking about how she should sign him up as a Junior Friend at the library. "But the summer reading program is over." She looked at him as if he were the one - off a month, not her.
"No, I'm talking about having this kid move in with us. Helping me with the shop." He informed her.
"We don't have room for that?" She'd looked so insulted.
"Not in our apartment." He told her. But there was a place for a studio, above the front windows, looking on main street. If it were cleaned up properly, it might not be half bad. There was a bathroom and a place for an eat in kitchen. Although, he didn't exactly have anything to make it a real kitchen, at the moment. Eric's mother had fridge. Now all he needed was perhaps a stove. Maybe a microwave would be all Jules would need. Who knew if Jules would even go for it.
"Well, I hear, you're about to outstay your welcome." Oliver scratched at the back of ear nervously. Didn't know if they'd sprang it on Jules yet, but he'd only been here a good three weeks. Oliver just grinned.
"Yeah, suppose I have." Jules shrugged.
"See, uh, the kid, who helps out now, has school, shortly. He won't be around when I really need him." Oliver told Jules who was standing in the empty shop. As Oliver looked around, one would have thought these were desolate times. But the place was hopping at noon. He sold bakery items at 7 in the morning.
Jules nodded as if he understood.
"I can pay you, a little." Oliver offered. "But you'd get a free room."
Jules grinned then. "Can I see it?"
"Well," Oliver let out a breath. "It looks like crap at the moment."
"So what. I want to see it." Jules smiled more.
Oliver bit the corner of his lip. He hoped he didn't regret this. He motioned for Jules follow him upstairs, behind the kitchen. "Now, it'll be hard work. And if you can't cut it, I'm sending you packing, you know." Oliver did his best to sound hard and cold. But he knew this kid could read him like a book.