Woman: Are you sure he lives here?
Man: yes honey, I am sure. I saw him leave here earlier to go jogging
Woman: Which way did you see him go?
Man: He went down the alley way between our house and Rindle Rose
Woman: So that means he won’t be long.
Man: Eliza…honey, why don’t we just come back later when its more convenient for him?
Eliza sighed and glared at her husband while feeling the strong urge to punch him.
Eliza: No Bob! We are staying here until he gets back. He is new to this town and I want him to feel welcomed here.
Bob: Whose to say how long he will be? I really don’t want to stand here waiting for him, besides I heard through some buds of mine that he isn’t friendly.
Eliza waved off Bob and proceeded to walk into Jimmy’s personal space, or rather his opened home. Bob did not feel good about it. A very unsettling feeling brewed in the pit of his stomach. He wanted to leave but his wife was a strong willed woman. She was not going to listen to him.
Eliza: look at this place he lives outside.
Bob: Different strokes for different folks. Perhaps he’s experimenting.
Eliza: Experimenting? Really Bob.
Eliza scoffed at her husband as she began touching Jimmy’s stuff
Eliza: Who in their right mind would live outside in a place like Willow Creek with no doors, windows, and walls to protect themselves from…
Bob: (mumbles) People like you?
Bob: Oh nothing.
No doubt, Jimmy was out for a jog. It was something he usually did every morning to get energized to face the day. As he was jogging he met a few people who lived in the area. One woman in particular caught his attention and he was intrigued by her physical appearance. He got close to her and she gave him a half grin that wasn’t as warm as her bright yellow sweater.
Once again his past began flooding back to him as the woman’s face reminded him of someone special from his past. It shook him up a little bit which caused him to barely breathe out a greeting; he quickly jogged past the woman.
After he past the woman, Jimmy slowed down and his body begun to relax. Despite that tense moment, Jimmy felt good. His heart was pumping steadily and his legs felt powerful. The jog did him really good. He was feeling revitalized.
Jimmy: What the!!!
What was he seeing!
Jimmy tried to calm himself down as he walked closer and closer to his open home. He tried to wrap around his mind, who these people were, invading his private space! Astoundingly he didn’t feel as mad as he expected to be. He was more like annoyed than anything else
He racked his brain trying to figure out why he wasn’t getting mad. It could possibly be his early jog gave his body the juice it needed. Perhaps somewhere in the deep recesses of his soul, he was partially glad to have guests. Whichever, the primary thing was he wanted to know whose these strangers were in his space.
Eliza: You are so silly!
Bob: but I made you laugh didn’t I.
Eliza: That you surely did. I hope your humour will rub off on our intended host when he catches us in his house.
Both Eliza and Bob laughed merrily, oblivious to the fact that Jimmy was standing right there watching them. He took ginger steps approaching them as they laughed, and heckled. Bob even had the audacity to compare himself to Jimmy.
Bob: It is quite evident this man has no ambitions. He can’t even build himself a proper dwelling space. I am more of a man than he is.
Eliza: In what way.
Bob: I have a well-paying job and I make sure you are satisfied and taken care of.
Eliza: True but there are some good items in here like that Schmapple Oven.. It must’ve cost him a fortune to buy it.
Bob: But why, when he could’ve spent it on something more useful like a wall and a door.
Jimmy: You are absolutely right!
Bob and Eliza, jumped while shrieking in fright. Jimmy didn’t care that he flustered the unwelcome guests. Menacingly he, stepped right up to them and embraced his anger to deal with them.
Jimmy: I should consider getting a wall and door. Who are you people and what are you doing in my house?
Bob: Welcome to Willow Creek
Eliza slapped her forehead at her husband’s attempt to greet Jimmy who was clearly upset.
Jimmy: I don’t need your welcome. You are in my space and I want to know why
Eliza: Well my name is Eliza Pancake and this is my husband Bob Pancake. As my husband so pleasantly put it, we came to welcome you.
Jimmy: You couldn’t do that from outside the perimeter of my property?
Eliza: We honestly meant no harm. My husband happens to be a well-known chef. He has exceptional culinary skills and he used them to put together a delicious fruit cake as a welcoming gift for you.
Jimmy reared his head back, as he scowled at the beautiful wrapped cake. He looked up at Bob, who smiled nervously.
Bob: My wife is being too nice but the cake is something I worked hard to make
Jimmy: I am sure you did a wonderful job but you really didn’t have to bake me anything. I am not a cake kind of man.
Eliza: Well what kind of man are you?
Jimmy: A man who likes his personal space.
Eliza bristled at Jimmy’s attitude and did not hesitate to respond to him
Eliza: that’s quite funny considering you are practically living out in the open
Jimmy didn’t like the tone or underhanded jeer the woman made towards him. He planted his eyes solely on her and purposely looked her up and down. Despite not having a clue as to who these people were, Jimmy could detect that the woman was not the laughing type like her moron husband.
Jimmy: How I live is my business and I really don’t like that you have come into my house uninvited.
Eliza: Please, anyone can walk through here and you wouldn’t know. It’s not like you have anything we want
Even as Eliza said that, Jimmy couldn’t help but observe something else in the way she spoke and looked at him. Surely she was uncomfortable with being caught, and annoyed at the way Jimmy was talking to them but there was something else. He couldn’t put his finger on it and he didn’t like how it was making him feel.
Bob: I think we should go honey.
Jimmy: that is a bright idea Bob, you surely are smart as your cooking skills.
Immediately Eliza turned red and she turned to face Jimmy. He looked at her with a smirk while feeling proud that he pressed a nerve. It meant that she would not want to come back after this unwarranted visit. She glared hard at Jimmy and mumbled something under her breath. She was about to say something else but Bob insisted that they leave.
Not another word to say, Eliza huffed and walked away. Bob looking guilty and nervous, carefully placed the fruit cake on the table. He wasted no time making his exit after his wife.
After they left Jimmy sat at the table staring at the cake. He weighed in his mind if he should eat it. Eliza praised her husband’s skills in the kitchen and Jimmy kind of believed her because she didn’t look like the type of wife who adored her husband. As a matter of fact Bob looked like he took a lot of emotional beatings from Eliza. Then again Eliza took great offense to the way Jimmy spoke to Bob. In all Eliza really sounded proud about her husband’s cooking abilities. .
GRUMBLE! GRUMBLE! GRUMBLE!
GRUMBLE! GRUMBLE! GRUMBLE
His stomach betrayed him, and there was no denying the hunger. There was no food in his house and Jimmy had little options has to what to eat. His funds was dangerously low so he couldn’t order anything. Struggling with the image of Bob’s dumb face and Eliza’s praises Jimmy pretentiously took a piece of the cake and slowly brought it to his lips.
The scent was pleasant and the cake didn’t look all that bad. Possibly it was really that good.
The cake tasted HORRIBLE!
Jimmy tried to take more bites to quench his hunger but all of his taste buds protested.
Famished, Jimmy counted his chump change, and found his way to the night club. He had high hopes they had something better to wash away the harried taste of Bob’s creation.
To Jimmy’s pleasure The Solar Flare in Oasis Springs did have food to serve and the place looked more prestigious than the last club he had been to. There were, soft white lounge chairs, and a well-designed bar, with a beautiful bartender manning it. The surroundings were clean and elegant. Even though there were quite a few people patronizing the place, Jimmy felt good just being there.
As Jimmy sat there, he heard a small voice audibly amidst the other sounds. At first he didn’t pay it any mind but then he heard the person say,
Voice: We meet again.
Jimmy looked down the bar to see who was talking.
Voice: Is this your first time being here?
Who was that? His eyes scanned the bar and finally he saw her. It was the woman he saw during his jog in the early part of the morning. Subconsciously he smiled and replied.
Jimmy: Yes it is my first time and yes we meet again.
The woman got up from where she was and made her way to where Jimmy sat. She graciously placed herself in the seat next to him. While he looked at the woman, everything around him became insignificant and his eyes zeroed in on her. He searched within himself… why did this woman, he whom he just met, have this alluring effect on him?
Jimmy: What is your name?
Woman: Mara….Mara Combs.
Jimmy: Pleasant to meet you…again Mara, my name is Jimmy…Jimmy Bogsmirth.
Mara: Interesting last name.
Jimmy chuckled and moved closer to Mara.
Jimmy: You are not the first person to say that
Mara: hmmm… whereabouts are you from?
Jimmy: Here and there.
Mara (chuckles): Where is ‘Here’ and ‘There’?
Jimmy: Well ‘Here’ is here – in Willow Creek.
Mara: And ‘There’?
Jimmy: I use to live in a city which is far away from Here.
Mara giggled at Jimmy’s evasiveness and accepted his answer. Jimmy was glad she didn’t push any further.
Jimmy: What about you? Where are you from
Mara: Well, I live here in Willow Creek.
Jimmy (nods): Okay…I am guessing you live in the area where I saw you earlier
Mara: Good guess
Jimmy: which brings me to ask this question. What happened?
Mara was perplexed at the question and looked at Jimmy to elaborate.
Mara: What do you mean?
Jimmy: When I saw you during my jog, you seemed disturbed about something.
Mara continued to look perplexed and stared into Jimmy’s eyes. He shifted in his seat as he felt his heart strings tug. This woman was surely moving something in him. After half minute Jimmy watched as recognition shone in Mara’s eyes.
For whatever reason she got up and moved to the other side of Jimmy.
Mara: Oh, I was having a little moment to myself
Jimmy: I don’t like to meddle in people’s business but if you want to talk about it I ‘am all ears.
Mara: that is very sweet of you but I ‘am okay now
Jimmy: You sure?
Mara didn’t respond right away. She gazed off and that same sad expression that was on her face, prior to when Jimmy saw her, came back.
Jimmy: Hey you okay?
Mara: Yeah I ‘am okay just going through some personal things that I really can’t talk about right now
Jimmy was going to press her for more, but withheld himself. He knew and understood the feeling of having something bothering you and not having the words to express it.
Jimmy: I won’t push you but if you need a shoulder to talk I am here.
Mara looked at him and she gave a weak smile.
Mara: thank you.
CH 1.0 – “Having Children” < PREVIOUS NEXT> CH.1.2 – That “Honeyed” Voice