Christina, kindly asked if I could produce something for this weeks 1k tale. Who am I to say no. So here was the setup for said story, and what follows is my five active braincell’s rendition of the 1k story polka.
Two people are seated at a diner in the early hours of the morning. One passes the other an object under the table. Without touching their
coffee, first one leaves, then the other. After the parties part ways, the recipient of the object is struck by a vehicle. Someone else retrieves the object…
Here we go….some fireworks for our upcoming Independence day
Samantha giggled. Tom looked so earnest sitting across from her at
their booth in the little dinner, she’d flashed back to an old black
and white movie from last. In it the ingenue had fallen for the
mysterious stranger, ending up transporting state secrets, in her bra,
across the border. Looking again at her lover, given the chance, she
would do the same thing too.
Tom, on the other hand, was not nearly as cool, calm, or collected as
Sam’s celluloid hero had been. His palms shook under the table, and
he could swear the tiny dinner was reverberating with the sound of his
heart. His thoughts, unlike Sam’s, had nothing to do
with microfilm and secret agents…
Sitting in the pickup, even in the early morning hours, caused a small
rivulet of sweat to run down Beth’s neck. She dabbed at it with a
Kleenex, thinking, “Why can’t this good for nothing get his damn air
conditioning fixed?” Glancing at Greg, Beth rolled her window down
hoping the cross ventilation would help….this hot and humid, this
early, perhaps they would get some much needed rain later that day.
Greg grabbing a smoke out of his shirt pocket, asked if she wanted
one. Taking the proffered cigarette, the dark haired, dark eyed
beauty took a deep drag, mumbled “thanks”, and brooded…
Tom, a widower, had done the best he could in raising his two kids.
They were out of the house now. The boy was attending the local
junior college. His daughter looked as good as her mother at her age.
“She’ll have a ring on her finger soon enough”, he thought.
Tom had begun to focus on his own needs. It had been a long time
since he even allowed the thought of another women enter into his
mind. Tom couldn’t imagine being able to divide his loyalties between
them and someone they would only view (to his mind) as a replacement
mother. Once they had reached their teens, especially his little
girl, the chores in and outside the house had been taken over with
little or no resistance by the kids.
Last year he had met Samantha. Tom edited/owned the local paper,
placing all his time, energy, and emotion into it after his wife had
died. She was the new graphics designer he had hired when they had
gone whole hog into the computer age. What started out as a “proper”
office relationship, one day, crossed over the line to the beginnings
of something more. Funny thing was, Tom could not remember what
caused them to cross that line. Perhaps it was the realization, with
the kids grown and leaving the nest, this old bird needed to spread
his wings ….Sam had proven to be as far as he needed to fly.
They pulled into a gas station. While Greg tanked up, with as much as
15 dollars would give him, Beth went inside grabbed a couple of sodas,
and paid the clerk. Back in the truck they continued toward town.
“You can drop me off here,” said Beth, “You know what to do. I’ll meet
up with you back home.” Greg nodded, and stopped to let Beth off,
watching her disappear around a corner, he lit another cigarette, and
Samantha felt Tom’s knees brushing against hers under the table. Then
his hand was on her knee. Sam suppressed a look of surprise, this
early in the day and especially in public, Tom was hardly this open
with his affections. But she thought it felt delightful. Reaching
under the table Sam’s hand found his…and as she smiled at him…felt
his other hand and something more…it felt like a small box.
Tom turned her hand over and placed the little…why it felt like
velvet…box into her hand. Sam let out a gasp. They had looked at
rings just the other day. Looking into Tom’s eyes, “Tom, if this is
what I think it is…..” “Just say yes”, replied Tom.
“Oh…yes, YES! Let’s get out of here, darling. I want to spend the
day with you, away from work. Let me run home and grab a couple of
things, and I’ll meet you at the office. Say you’ll take the rest of
the day off?” Tom smiled, “Of course. I’ll see you back at the office
in, say 15 minutes?” Through glistening eyes, all Samantha could say
The couple didn’t even stay for their coffee. Exiting the dinner, Tom
headed toward the office. Sam headed in the opposite direction, toward
her apartment, three short blocks beyond. Samantha, in her own world,
looked up only a second before the truck hit her. It was the last
thing she would ever see. With the small amount of traffic on the
road at that time of day, it was out of sight before most folks
realized there was death at the crosswalk.
Beth stepped out from the ally, adjacent to the dinner, and gave
Samantha’s a quick once over. She noticed and grabbed the small box
still in the dead girls hand, then returned to the shadows of the
alley before anyone saw her.
Beth didn’t call a cab like she’d told her brother Greg. Nor did she
head to her father’s office at the newspaper. She went out the back
of the alley, heading toward her father’s house. She had changed her
mind. After all, daddy was going to have to eat something, and in
need of a shoulder to cry on. He would be very distrait but she would
take care of him. Hadn’t she always done that since her mother died,
so many years ago? Beth knew she was all her daddy ever needed. She
was daddies little girl…and NO ONE was ever going to take her place.