Continued from last week's story 'The Vampire Princess'
"I never dreamed I would feel this way! I still have butterflies from that kiss you gave me last night. I have fallen hard, Rusty. I have fallen madly in love with you!"
I sat silently on the other end of the phone digesting her confession. Isn't this what I've been yearning for? A smoking hot, young thirty-something chick with beautiful green eyes, brunette hair that swept her butt with every turn on the dance floor. The previous night replayed in my mind. Her head laid against my shoulder, her warm body pressed against mine, and yes, that kiss was one of the best I ever recalled. And here we sat on a Sunday morning, our cell phones pressed against our ears, plotting our next move. Well, I wasn't really plotting anything. I was mainly wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into with this chicklet. Was this the same bitter, man-hating, potty-mouthed female I had met at the bar the night before?
We literally stayed on our phones until the batteries went dead, with me promising a call before I went to bed that night. And we ran our batteries down again.
"I'm going to die!" wailed an unrecognizable voice through multiple sobs.
It was Monday, 3 p.m. when my phone rang.
"Whoa, whoa...Sherry? What do you mean you're going to die?"
"I went to the doctor today," she moaned between sniffles, "and he found a mole on my tummy. He said I should get it burned off or it could turn into CANCER! I'm going to die!"
"So why didn't you let him burn it off? It's a simple procedure and really doesn't hurt. My Uncle Tom practically had his whole face burned off and he's still alive."
Perhaps that wasn't the best thing to say at the moment but after talking for six hours I managed to calm her down and convince her that she would not die from a tiny mole on her tummy. I felt mentally drained as I hung up the phone, much like a hostage negotiator likely feels after a six-hour standoff with a bank robber.
Sherry's health issues were the furthest thing from her mind when she called Tuesday night. The best I could decipher after deleting voluminous curse words from her conversation, her kid had been kicked off the school bus for...yes, cursing. Sherry had hunted down the school bus driver and threatened to do serious damage to his anus with her foot and if he'd man up and step out of that F-ing bus...and well, the cops showed up just in time. Sherry was none too happy about that.
In our phone conversation Wednesday night, I discovered Sherry had been fired from her job after telling her boss to go fornicate with himself, not her exact words. Thursday she told her ex-husband basically the same thing when he opted to buy drugs with her child support money. I sat and listened to her rants for two hours, my mind wandering back to that previous Saturday night that I held her in my arms on the dance floor. Those long legs and that tight-fitting black dress got the best of me and when she finally paused to catch her breath I asked,
"What are your plans for Saturday night, Sherry?"
And there she was like I had flipped a light switch, right back to normal...if there was a normal for Sherry.
We dated for three weeks, a wild roller coaster ride the whole time. Yes, wilder than Six Flags. I had come to accept that Sherry might be bi-polar or just plain phycho. Not that I am a qualified psychiatrist, but I had reached the point where I realized I would have to cut ties with this beautiful little filly. Someone was apt to get hurt, likely me, I reasoned and I was aware that if I didn't break it off soon, the inevitable would happen. Yes, sex. If it ever went that far I would never ever get rid of this dramatic, needy, clingy, phycho...um, woman.
What would have been our one month anniversary, as Sherry reminded me numerous times that week, I took the plunge and instead of setting up our typical Saturday night date, I casually mentioned that I had other plans that I could not break. After thirty minutes of F-bombs and sorry SOB's, I weaseled my way off the phone by telling her my dog had just dropped dead. I intended it to be our last conversation...ever.
I pondered my situation most of the day Saturday and came to the conclusion that it'd probably be safe for me to wander up to the bar all alone. Likely, Sherry would stay home pining her heart out for me. So, I starched my Wranglers and donned my black hat and headed out to the city.
It wasn't far into the evening that I met a cute school teacher with pretty blue eyes and the most pleasant smile, something I realized I had never seen on Sherry. This woman captured my attention as she divulged her love for The Eagles and the fact that she had driven a Rambler to high school because her older sister talked their daddy into buying her a Mustang. We eventually wound up at a table just off the dance floor, holding hands and giggling like young lovers as we swapped stories about our high school years. I found myself overwhelmed at the revelation that this woman could actually carry on a normal, civilized conversation. She laughed and smiled constantly. She radiated her genuine zest for life like the morning sun. I was past giddy as she excused herself to the ladies room, reaching for my beer sitting on the table in front of me.
Suddenly a hand lashed out from behind, grabbing the beer. I felt my hat knocked off of my head and watched it fall to the floor. The beer poured from the bottle onto my head, streaming down my pressed pearl-snapped shirt and into my lap. Before I could look up, I felt the bottle pressed against my throat as someone grabbed my hair and pulled my head back.
"One word...one word from you and I'll break this bottle over your head, slash your throat with it, and stand here and watch you bleed to death on this dance floor!"
Well yes, it was Sherry...or as I affectionately like to call her...Phycho Sherry. And I knew she meant every word of it.
"Old...ugly...old and ugly."
On the rebound from my disastrous date with Leslie the mail lady, I had succumbed to an online ad directing me to a free dating site called Plenty of Fish, the name itself should have given me fair warning of what I could expect. Nevertheless, I was high and dry and disgruntled and had lowered my standards about as low as they could go, browsing undateable women's' profiles in the wee hours of a Friday night.
"Fat...eew, grody...oh, here's a phycho!"
I shook my head as I read the headline, 'Vampire Princess Seeking The Dark Side." I mean, really? What kind of a nut...my eyes focused on the few photos attached to the profile. I squinted, lifting the laptop up to eye level. Was that...Phycho Sherry? After all these years! I began reading the profile.
'No, I am not Goth. Goth is for wannabe tweens. I am the real deal, a vampire princess...'
I stared at the pictures, my mind unleashing memories from once upon a time, I believe it was the summer of 2002...
I sat at a table alone at the edge of the dance floor, a black Stetson pulled low on my brow, casting a shadow across my face as the neon lights danced like fairies between the boots of wannabe cowboys and lonely women on the old wooden floor before me. My eyes darted from table to table, my mind making mental notes of exactly where every single woman was positioned in the room. I sipped slowly on a Coors Light waiting for the urge to strike me and when it did, I'd be ready. One I hit that dance floor, there'd be no stopping me. I'd dance the night away with a dozen or more of those beautiful creatures pressed against me. I'd smell the sweetness of their perfume. Feel their breath against my neck. Hold their bodies tight against me. I'd not stop until the lights came on and they told us all to go home. It was what I did on Saturday nights, go to the bar...the one place a man could go all alone and not be alone.
I cast a glance toward the far end of the room and my eyes locked on a lone silhouette sitting in the farthest, darkest corner of the bar. I drained the last of my beer, still staring. A woman alone, I decided. My curiosity convinced me she merited a closer look. I swaggered my way toward the table, the darkness still making it impossible to make out anything more than a silhouette. There was only one thing left to do.
"Hey, come dance with me." I flashed a smile as the brunette lifted her head and stared into my soul beautiful green eyes.
"F--- you! Go away! I just want to sit here and drink beer!"
Fueled with a healthy dose of grit and determination, I slid into the chair across from her, motioning to a nearby waitress to bring two more beers.
"What's your name?"
"F--- you! Leave me be, will you!" she snarled.
I passed the waitress a five as she sat the beers on the table.
"So, what did he do?"
The girl stared at the beer before her before reluctantly reaching for it.
"He won't leave his wife. He tells me he's leaving her, but there they are right out there on the dance floor."
She tossed her long hair as she shot a quick glance toward the couples beneath the neon lights.
"Well, you come out there with me and we'll dance circles around them, what do you say?"
"F--- you! I don't dance. I just want to sit here and drink beer."
After nine beers, the girl who called herself Sherry finally allowed me to walk her to the dance floor. With the lights from above illuminating her, I felt a tingle run through my body as I gazed at the gorgeous woman now in my arms. Her brunette hair flowed down her back until there was no back. Her green eyes sparkled in the neon. A dress that was really short, though not too short for my taste, hugged her body. After the first dance, I felt her relax in my arms.
"Getting warmed up now?" I asked.
"My boyfriend and his wife just walked out the door. I'm okay now," she whispered as she laid her head on my shoulder.
The night seemed to evaporate like raindrops on a hot sidewalk. The girl named Sherry clung to me as we spun around the dance floor, her warm breath against my neck. Before either of us was ready to end the night, the DJ announced the last song of the evening.
"Oh, Brian Adams. I love this song." Sherry whispered in my ear as she drew her body even closer. Even with our eyes closed, we could still see the neon fairies dancing at our feet. As the last note of the song played, our lips met and we kissed. I mean, we really, really kissed!
And that's where I probably messed up...
Continued from last week's story 'Men Only Want One Thing'
As the pickup rounded a curve in the Farm to Market road, one lonely blinking light came into view, signaling me that I had arrived in Sunup, Texas. Dusk settled across the sleepy little community as I drove down Main Street. A half dozen antiquated street lights flickered to life, casting an eerie glow upon vacant store fronts that likely had not seen a customer since the Great Depression. As Leslie the mail lady had instructed, I turned right on the last road on Main, following it to the very end. Beneath a solitary street light sat a single wide mobile home that I could tell even in the dim light had seen better times. An old wooden porch wobbled beneath me as I knocked on the door. I could hear foot steps from inside and directly the front door opened. A wide eyed chubby lad, perhaps six or so, peered at me through a torn screen before abruptly slamming the door. I again heard footsteps and then a voice.
"Mom, there's an old man standing on our porch!"
"Well good lord Pudgy, let the man in. And he's not an old man, he's my friend!"
More footsteps and the door opened again, Leslie smiling as she unlatched the screen.
"Oh, you found it! Come in!"
As I stepped into the dimly lit living room, Leslie began introducing her family.
You've met Pudgy. This is my twelve-year-old daughter, Samantha. My twenty two-year-old daughter Angel, and trust me, she ain't no angel. This is her husband Rob and my two grandbabies. They're two and six months. Come on into the kitchen. I'm making hamburger soup."
I worked my way through the maze of feet crammed into the small area, following Leslie who seemed adept at maneuvering in tiny spaces.
"Here, taste this. I am not much of a cook, but I do make a pretty good hamburger soup."
I allowed her to place the spoon inside my mouth. It tasted just like it looked...clumps of hamburger floating in hot water. With a heaping dose of garlic salt, some chili powder, a dash of paprika, and a whole onion...it might have been edible.
"Oh, wow! That's really good!" I obligingly replied.
"Here's a bowl. Get you some. Y'all come eat! Do you know anything about Bearded Dragons?" she continued as a herd of people surrounded me with empty bowls and spoons.
I glanced at her as she hovered over an aquarium sitting beside a Mr. Coffee on the counter.
"Well, all I know about reptiles and rodents is they don't belong in the house," I commented as the fat kid shoved me away from the pot of soup. I glimpsed through the glass at a six-inch lizard laying on his back. Definitely, on his last leg, I decided.
"I'd say you should probably throw him outside before you go to bed tonight. Safe bet he'll not make it through the night."
Pudgy let out a wail, "My pet dragon is going to die!"
"Shut your freakin' mouth! I just got the babies to sleep!" screamed Angel.
"Find you a place on the couch, Rusty. I'll start a movie. Hope you like chick flicks."
The front door opened and a scruffy man perhaps in his mid-thirties stepped into the furor as everyone scrambled to secure a seat with their bowl of soup.
"Hi, Donald." Leslie unenthusiastically muttered, "I made hamburger soup if you want some."
"Hell no! Got any beer?"
Leslie rolled her eyes and the man turned and stepped back outside, "Brought my own just in case."
As the chick flick began, I found myself sandwiched between Donald and Pudgy, my elbows drawn into my ribs as I tried unsuccessfully several times to hit my mouth with a table spoon. Donald slurped his beer while Pudgy picked his nose, wiping boogers on my freshly starched Wranglers. I glanced over at Angel and Rob cuddled on a worn love seat, Rob caressing his wife's boob as she polished off the last bite of her soup. Leslie sat in a rocking chair across the room, a mere five feet from me. Samatha trotted in from the kitchen, planting herself directly in front of me.
"I play clarinet in band. Were you ever in band? Eww! Pudgy's wiping boogers on your pants!"
I heard a bowl land sharply on the floor and suddenly Leslie hovered above me. With the grace of a lioness, she hefted the fat kid into mid-air, swatting him soundly on his rear several times. He emitted a howl which resulted in more howls from some room down a narrow hall.
"See what you freakin' did now, Mom! You woke the babies up!" Angel leaped from her spot and stomped down the hall. Pudgy continued to howl and Donald belched and reached for his fifth beer. And things just went down hill from there.
Just as soon as the credits began to roll across the small screen, I stood and glanced at my watch.
"Oh goodness. It's getting late. I should head home."
Leslie glanced at a clock on her wall. "It's barely ten. We have another movie to watch and I thought we might play a card game afterward."
"Oh no, it's quite a ways home."
"Fifteen minutes..." she squinted her eyes as she followed me outside.
"Well, you have quite a family, Leslie," I mentioned as I unlocked my pickup.
"What's important is that we are a family in every sense of the word. We are very close."
I nodded and forced the question that had been on my mind all evening.
"So, who is Donald?"
"He's my ex. The daddy to Pudgy and Samantha. He's trying to straighten his life up. Got caught up with drugs. Ran off with a meth whore for a couple of months. God only knows why. She didn't have a single tooth in her head."
Her eyes focused on me as I stood in silence, the street light casting a yellow glow across her face. She dropped her head and stared at her hands.
"I'm not really dating material, am I, Rusty?"
I let out a deep sigh and with hesitation replied, "No, not really. But I bet you are one hell of a good mama. You don't need anyone getting in the way of that."
I opened the door of my truck. Her hand fell gently on my arm, guiding me to turn around and face her.
Tears streamed down her face as she whispered, "Kiss me goodbye?"
Whenever I think of Leslie the mail lady, it is of that last moment I ever saw her in my rear view mirror, standing in the middle of that dark street, a dim streetlight casting its frail light on her as she sobbed, her shoulders quaking, her face buried in her hands. I think about her often, really...
Continued from last week's story 'What I Thought I Said'
"Say it again...what you just said, 'cause surely I didn't hear you right the first time!"
Tiny lightning bolts streaked across her darkened eyes and I swear I caught a glimpse of smoke billowing from her nostrils as Leslie the mail lady sent a half eaten banana split spinning across the table, splattering whip cream all over the Dairy Queen napkin holder.
I cleared my throat cautiously and spoke in a whisper as I struggled to force air into my lungs.
"Leslie, I asked you if you would like to go with me to that country bar up in the city this weekend and maybe dance?" I swallowed hard awaiting her next storm surge.
As I feared, she leaned across the table bringing me into swatting range and with a curled lip she responded.
"The last place on this planet I want to be is in a bar! Men in bars are sorry!"
She said it with such emphasis that little spit droplets escaped from her lips as she accented the word 'SORRY.' Then, just in case I missed the whole sentence, she repeated it again, with more spit spewing from her pretty lips. Her head began to bobble like a bobble head doll as if she just had a new revelation.
"Matter of fact, men, in general, are sorry! Men only want one thing!"
And there it was. We men have heard it all our lives..."Men only want one thing!" We have heard it all our lives from those who think they know us best...women. But, doggone it, they always stop right there. They never tell us what exactly that ONE THING is. So, here we are, us men wandering hopelessly around in a stupor, trying to figure out just what women think we want. Hell, we're so busy worrying about that, we ain't even got time to think about what women want...
"And let me make something else crystal clear, mister! I come with baggage. My kids and I are a package deal. We do everything as a family! Ain't no man going to drag me away from my children. Kids can't go to a bar! What are you thinking?"
My eyes veered from side to side at people sitting nearby, staring intently, eavesdropping.
"Oh! And no man is getting in my britches until he puts a ring on my finger and my name on his checkbook. Been there and done that and got the kids to prove it!"
I knew my face had to be beet red and I was very aware that every Dairy Queen patron had their eyes fixated on me, awaiting my next move. I had to play the man card.
"I don't want in your britches. I just wanted to take you out dancing. Most women would jump at the chance to go out dancing. I'm sorry I pushed your button...sorry I asked you out. Believe me, I am really sorry I asked you out."
"Hiiieee, you two!"
I glanced up over my shoulder into the most beautiful blue eyes in west Texas.
"Hi, Jacy." I wanted to die right there. Jacy Morrow of all people had witnessed my public humiliation.
"I was just sitting over there," she pointed a finger at a booth behind me, "and I looked up and saw you and...what's your name, mail lady?"
Not waiting for an answer, she continued, "I must say the two of you really make a great looking couple! So, mail lady, are you taking good care of my man? 'Cause I don't loan him out to just anyone. He's a special guy and I can't have women kicking him around. I must say, girl, that you look really...um, you've got a blob of whip cream on your upper lip. Well, I just wanted to say 'hi' since I don't see you much anymore, Rusty. I best get back to my DQ Dude."
Jacy patted me on the shoulder as she turned to leave.
I grabbed my hat and scooted across the bench. Leslie, speechless, followed my lead.
We walked across the parking lot in utter silence, Leslie finally speaking.
"Who is she to you? Have you two ever dated?"
I shook my head, "No, never went out with her. That's just Jacy being Jacy."
As I began veering off toward my pickup, Leslie slowed her pace, finally stopping in the middle of the parking lot, staring at me as I made my retreat.
I paused and looked over my shoulder reluctantly.
"You wanna come over to the house Saturday night and watch a movie?" Her eyes were clouded with doubt as she spoke.
Truthfully at that very moment, I couldn't care less if I ever saw Leslie the mail lady again. I eyed her as she stood there in the Dairy Queen parking lot like a desperate little school girl crushing on the star quarterback.
'Do yourself a favor and tell her no,' my mind whispered in my ear. Then I saw the tear resting gently on her cheek.
"Sure, sounds good."
"Jack," I began as the barber tilted my head to the left, "a woman told me yesterday that men only want one thing. What one thing is it that we want?'
The man sheared a healthy portion of my hair off as he pondered my question.
"I just want football season to start. I think my wife does too. I quit pestering her for sex when football season kicks off."
I pursed my lips and nodded my head in deep thought.
"Naw, I don't think football is the right answer, Jack. It's gotta be more than that."
Continued from last week's story 'And That's How It Started'
I nonchalantly slurped on my Sonic Route 44 Root Beer as the mail jeep came to a sudden stop in front of the late Sam Tolbert's residence. Dust from the caliche road engulfed the vehicle, literally hiding it from my view. Momentarily, just as one might expect at a Victoria's Secret modeling event, Leslie the mail lady emerged from the grit, her brunette hair flowing in the breeze. She flashed a warm smile as she made her way up the old, broken sidewalk toward me.
"What are you doing sitting on poor old Sam Tolbert's porch?"
"Waiting on you!" I replied, adjusting my straw hat to shield me from the sunlight.
"No, really...because that's kinda creepy." Her eyes narrowed as she gazed cautiously at me.
"Sam's son T-Roy is out of town and he's expecting a life insurance check any day. He asked me to check the mailbox until he got back."
"Um," she pursed her lips as her eyes dropped to the two pieces of mail she held in her hand, "Here's an electric bill and looks like a Get Well card, maybe. Oops, maybe the post office didn't get that one delivered in a timely manner."
I held my hand out for the mail and she grinned, "Not so fast, mister! I have to put these in the mailbox...postal policy."
I let her dingyness slip by unnoticed as I thoughtfully glanced at her long legs standing before me.
"Well, sit down for a minute!" I scooted over a couple of inches to make room for her tiny hiney.
"This is my last stop. I suppose I could."
Just as I had envisioned, she slid down onto the old boards besides me, mere inches separating us.
"So Leslie, how long have you worked for the post office?" I questioned as I sipped another shot of root beer.
"About six months."
"Are you a single girl?" I knew of no other tactful way to approach the subject.
"Yes...for about six months. And I'm hardly a girl. I have five children!"
"Oh wow. And I suppose they all attend school in Sunup" This was a trick question which I hoped would give a reasonable idea of this beautiful woman's age.
"No, not hardly!" she laughed, "One is a pharmacist, one is a football coach. My oldest daughter is married with two little ones. And then I have a twelve-year-old and a six-year-old."
"Hum," I replied as my rusty brain began trying to calculate her age, "you must have gotten an early start. You don't look to be um...I'd guess, thirty-five."
"Haha," she laughed as she slapped my leg, "you missed it by ten years!"
"No way you're that old! Want a drink of my root beer?" I offered the cup to her.
She placed her lips on my straw, her eyes focused on the road. I felt my heart quiver as her lips puckered around the straw. She was a true work of art, I thought to myself.
"I best go, I suppose," Leslie rose as faced me, "I still have some work at the post office before quitting time."
Oh okay," I stood up, "Guess I'll meet you here tomorrow! Maybe that check will show up."
The mail lady smiled and turned toward her Jeep then spun around.
"I have a great idea! Why don't you give me your number and I can text you if the check comes in." she whipped out a very large phone from where I did not know.
I eagerly shared my number, watching over her shoulder as she saved the number on her phone.
"Got it! Bye!" she gave me a sultry look as she flung her hair and retreated to her little white mail jeep.
Old Sam Tolnert's life insurance check would show up the following day, but that didn't stop Leslie the mail lady from texting me daily and often right at bedtime every night. For the next few weeks we'd meet down at the Dairy Queen and share a root beer or an ice cream cone with some good conversation sprinkled in. It was a Wednesday that I decided to make my move. The two of us were working our way toward the middle of a banana split and I thought to myself, 'How can you get more intimate than this?'
I scooped a maraschino cherry into my spoon and placed it against her lips. She giggled and opened her mouth, allowing me to gingerly lay the cherry on her tongue. Her eyes sparkled as she chewed the fruit, a tuft of whipped cream adorning her upper lip.
"Leslie," I began, "I'm not much of a drinker but I do like to scoot a boot now and then. Would you like to go dancing with me Friday night up in the city?"
The girl froze in mid-chew. Her eyes grew dark, almost black as a sinister look came over her face.
"What? What did you say? Say it again 'cause I surely didn't hear you right the first time!"
I in return froze, my eyes glued to that patch of whipped cream beneath her nose. My mind frantically replayed my last sentence...I got nothing out of the ordinary the second time around.
I gasped a breath and cleared my throat. With a quiver in my voice, I responded, "I could be wrong, but here's what I thought I said..."
Continued from last week's story 'Just Jacy'...
My eyes fixated on the spinning digits on the gas pump, my jaw set in determination. With the speed of a striking diamondback, I popped the trigger on the handle. Uttering a mild curse, I shook my head in defeat.
"Twenty dollars and three cents! I'll never hit on twenty even!"
As I screwed the gas cap on, my eyes raised and fixated themselves on a little mail jeep scooting up to the convenience store, brakes squealing.
"Whoa! I've never seen a mail lady that looks like that!"
I watched as a long, tall filly exited the jeep, her long brunette hair flowing in the west Texas breeze. As she entered the store, I couldn't help but notice her legs were even longer than that ravenous head of hair. I also couldn't help but notice her shorts, which probably were not official post office issued attire, but as I pursed my lips, were very nice fitting shorts nonetheless. I sighed. I had been avoiding Jacy Marrow, the manager of the convenience store, for a couple of weeks, still mortally wounded from her rejection. I decided I could 'man up' and venture inside for a Dr. Pepper...and a closer look at that mail lady.
Jacy's eyes immediately locked onto mine as I stepped inside, a twinkle flashing only briefly as she again turned her attention to the mail lady standing in front of her.
"I have no clue where Baker Road is. Rusty, can you help this...person out? Do you know?"
I dutifully and eagerly stepped toward the two, my fleeting glance turning from Jacy toward the brunette.
"Hi, I swear I've never seen you around town before." I extended my hand and introduced myself.
A warm smile spread across her face, "I'm Leslie. I usually work up the road in Sunup. I'm here covering for Bob Rickett while he recovers from knee replacement surgery. So, could you help me? This is my very last delivery of the day and for the life of me, I can't find Baker Road."
My eyes focused on those beautiful hazel eyes set so delicately into...
"If you two would kindly step aside, I could take care of these other customers!" Jacy brought me back into reality with her sharp command.
"You know, I didn't even know Sunup had a post office, Leslie." I smiled as her face lit up as I gently touched her arm to move the two of us away from the counter.
"Baker Road is right at the end of this side street. It's a dirt road that leads to the edge of town. Not but one house at the end of the road and...say, is that mail for Sam Tolbert, 'cause he died last month. I'm good friends with his son, T-Roy. I could just take the mail to him."
A look of bewilderment passed over her face, "Oh...no. I have to deliver the mail at that address...policy, you know."
I grunted softly under my breath, "Well, think you can find the place? I don't mind letting you follow me over there."
Leslie smiled graciously, "No, I think I can find it now, providing you gave me good directions."
I nodded, 'Left at the end of that street. Can't miss it."
My stare followed her out the door and I watched as the mail jeep pulled away.
"Wipe that drool from the corner of your mouth!" Jacy snapped, "And exactly where have you been the past two weeks. I texted you several times and you never replied. I bet you'd be right on it if that mail chick texted you!"
"Jacy, don't get your panties in a wad. I asked you out, you respectfully declined, and I respect that. I just decided maybe I should just keep moving along."
"Well, you sure give up easy!" Her blue eyes flashed.
"Okay, do you want to go out with me this weekend?"
"No, not right now. I'm pissed at you right now. Come back tomorrow and ask me again! And why did you even come in here anyway?"
"Oh yeah, I...uh needed a Dr. Pepper."
"I'm sure glad you called me. I got called out of town to work and I'm expecting a life insurance check for a substantial amount." T-Roy's voice boomed in my ear.
"How substantial?" I asked as I reached into his dead daddy's mail box.
"Well, I'd rather keep that personal...ten thousand dollars! I called the insurance company and they said the check was in the mail."
I studied the envelope in my hand, "I dunno. It could be an insurance check."
"Open it!" came T-Roy's voice eagerly over the phone.
"Naw, it says 'Your subscription to Maxim has expired."
I heard a sigh on the other end of the phone.
"Could you do me a big favor and check the mailbox every day? Way out there, somebody is liable to abscond with that check. That'd be my luck. I gotta get that funeral paid off!"
"T-Roy, that's what friends are for. I'd be happy to keep an eye out for that check for you."
The following day I eased up in front of old Sam Tolbert's house on the edge of town and sauntered up to the old wooden porch with a Route 44 Sonic Root Beer in hand. I settled onto the warped and worn old boards and kept my eyes peeled on the road. Thirty minutes later I saw a cloud of dust chasing a little white mail jeep...heading my way. A huge grin spread across my face as I gulped my root beer.
And that's how it started...