A few days passed, and as I gave my word, I flew back to town to be with my old buddy Kiersten. The Douglas DC-7C chugged to a stop by the stairway, which I pulled up by to connect to the plane. I deplaned, closed the door, and wheeled the stairway away to the hangar. I walked towards town.
I reached the general store to see her sweeping. We hugged, and she said that she’ll be off in 10 minutes, anyways, to which I replied that I’ll be waiting at Hyde’s eatery until then. I did just that until she popped her head inside. We embraced, and struck up a bit of little talk.
“So, anything new?” I said
“Not much, no” she curtly replied
“I’m going over to Lewis’s to inspect his car. That way I’ll know how to fix it” I said
“Ok” she said
“meet you soon at Hyde’s when I’m done” I said
I trekked over to Lewis’s house, where he was standing at the front porch.
“Hey there” I said
“Hello” he replied back
“Mind if I go and inspect your car?” I said
“Go right ahead” he replied
I went into his garage, and ducked underneath the car, I then got up after a thorough look, and opened the hood to inspect the inside. After finishing a good look in there, I turned to Lewis, and told him.
“Well, the pretty much everything’s alright. It just needs an engine rebuild, and an overhaul of the differential. I thought it would need to be replaced entirely but we can just simply replace individual components of it” I said
He grunted a “huh” in reply to say that he heard me.
I went to the eatery, and joined Kiersten at the table she was waiting for me at. I joined her there.
“So, how’s everything?” she asked
“Usual” I said
“I see” she said
“Kept looking forward to seeing you again” I said frankly
“Aw, I know” she replied
“I suppose everything is usual for you too” I said
“Yeah” she said simply
We sat together in silence for a good while.
“You know” I said wistfully, “it kind of sucks not talking much unless it is about something I like, then again, I like it, so it doesn’t”
“Yeah, I wonder how I can relate to that so much” she said
“Well, I guess we can relate to this, so why not we talk about that, I guess?” I said
She chuckled. “Yeah” she said
“What do people, not just around here, but in general treat you based on how your personality is?” I said
“Well, differently, that’s for sure. I suppose that it’s same/similar for you” she said
“Surprise surprise. I might as well be looking at a mirror, looking at a girl copy of myself” I said smartly
She chuckled at that. Silence fell again, so I playfully repeatedly jabbed her glasses upwards. She reciprocated by doing the same.
“It’s horn-rimmed like mine. I am very confident that you have metal ones too?” I said
“Yup” she said
“Also, retrofitted to non-prescription? It may not be what got us together, but we couldn’t see shit to save our lives if our said lives counted on it. I obviously got better, but you?” I said
“Same. I figured if old habits die hard, might as well not harm my eyes” she replied
“Exactly” I agreed curtly
We sat there pointlessly for another few minutes. Then I said we should go around town for a bit, and she agreed. We got up, and headed out.
“Still can’t believe my childhood love bestie could be in a remote town up here in the Northwest” I said. “I’m just glad to see you again”
“You too. You too” she said
We walked to a curb, and I sat down, closing my eyes and drawing a deep breath. It was a bit mundane of a town, but I think I can live it down here.
“I think I’ll make it a habit to come here as much as I can, until I become a full-time townsfolk resident” I said
“Nice” she said
“And expect us to hang out a lot together. Like, a LOT” I said in a most unnecessarily emphatic tone
“Yay!!” she said happily, knowing full well that I was mostly doing it not because I needed a guide, but just because I wanted to
“Nuzzle?” I said. She nodded
After nuzzling each other for a good few minutes, I said, “First thing that needs updating is the infrastructure. I mean, the streets need an overhaul! From worn asphalt to crumbled concrete, this place needs a refreshing”
She simply giggled “heh” in response
I decided to head to Town Hall. “George,” I said upon crossing the entrance threshold, “I’d like to help with infrastructure renovation”
George faintly smiled back. “Yes, but I don’t have the means to secure construction of it. Even if we can pay for one, how will we get them out here into this town?” he said
“I’ll help! I did roadwork part-time back during my high school days, and the memories haven’t been lost upon me. I’ll even buy pavement material, and asphalt, and transport it here myself. I can also teach them townsfolk how to lay each material” I said, prepared for that response
George raised an eyebrow? “You did? Wow. Interesting job taking on road construction. And really? You’d help?”
“Can’t operate this town with shoddy infrastructure, so I’ll do as much as I can to help” I said empathetically
“Very well then” he nodded. “I’ll allow it. But tell me, what do you have in mind?”
“Well, I plan on transporting construction material, and equipment here. Then I can pave the roads about here” I said
“By yourself?” the mayor raised an eyebrow
“Well, I’ll consider it my civic duty to my new home. Although, yes I will be hiring hep as well. Get professional assistance to get this job done faster while still done properly” I said
The mayor casted eyes at me in shock over my words. “Really!? You’ve considered-” he said, unable to finish the sentence
“- this town home sweet home, yeah” I finished the sentence
“… Well, thank you for your civic duty, young man!” George exclaimed, still a bit taken back by the sincerity of my adamant declaration
“No problem” I said. “See you again soon”
“Yes, bye” the mayor said
I headed back to the airfield, and said, “thanks. It was awesome hanging out with you again. Can’t wait to take you with me so you can see my shit living conditions there” I said
“Can’t wait” said Kiersten cheerfully
I looked at the ground like a child afraid of being caught, and scolded, and innocently, vulnerably, said “I love you”, all my emotional defences taken down, showing my heart into the open
“I know. Me too” she replied, reaching out, and stroking behind my ears. I blushed furiously.
“Tell me, you dated anyone after me?” I asked
“Well, not really. Maybe a few others, but they never came close to you” she said
Appreciating her honesty, I sheepishly pulled my ears back a god bit
I boarded the DC-7, and off I flew, back to home.
Pulling up to home, I went in, and smoked a pack sitting on the floor, impatient to go the fuck back.
The next day, it was a visit to my company as boss. I quietly greeted everyone I passed, being standard to do so, and sat at my desk in the office.
“Well, well, well, what lovebird do we have here?” teased Gregory Masterson, my trusty assistant executive, and second highest company member, after me
“Shut the hell up, Greggy” I said
“Hah, you’re always something, Levi” he said
I flippantly shot daggers looking at that Golden Jackal for a brief moment.
“Really?” he replied
“And?” I said with a playful pretend smugness
“Heh, alright” he replied
“You seem pretty content about that girl of yours, yeah” he replied
“Yeah” I replied simply
“Heh, you’ve always had a heart full of sap, after all” he said
“And what’s that got to do with you?” I reprised
“Heh, well, nothing, honestly. But still” he said simply
“Well, someday, I hope to take you bozos there, if you’re all up for that” I said
He nodded. “Oh really?” he said
“Sure. I thought you all might like it” I replied simply
“Alright, might take you up on it” he replied
I looked at my watch tepidly, before turning to my computer
Work passed as usual, and the day ended like usual. I finished my computer work, and got ready to leave.
“Hey, want to come over to the bar before we all part?” shouted Gregory from behind me
I turned around, and replied “sure, if you want”
We headed to a small bar, where I drank contentedly. After drinking a good bit (I never drank too much – despite having a high tolerance for alcohol, I still drank an amount considered even low for average drinkers), I relieved myself in the bathroom, and headed to my car to nurse loneliness. “Sorry dear, but I don’t feel like being with someone tonight. Maybe next time” I said dismissingly, hugging Gregory
“Alright” he nodded, departing into the distance
I got into my car, and just stared into the distance a good while. Then I got out my pack of Seven Stars, and puffed quietly, wondering to myself, just thinking.
It was still amazing that I discovered someone I had lost a long while ago, I didn’t doubt that, but I’m grateful. It’s more than what I could ever ask for, honestly. After finishing the pack, I started it up, and went for a nice long, lone drive down the road, wanting nothing but the next time to meet again.
End of Chapter 02