Scene 2: Four years earlier. John is working at a gas station . This is evident by the clothes he is wearing…and the jacket. He is sitting in a recliner checking a singles site. He is about to delete his account when he notices a single message. It reads “Hugs”. His first initial reaction is to ignore and erase it, but he instinctively leaves it.
I guess I should start at the very beginning. I was on my second year as a free man, my divorce having been granted, and searching for a quick fuck. I admit that I didn’t want a lasting relationship at that moment. But something told me that destiny waited. At the time, I lived in my mother’s house as caretaker of the property. She had moved out to the farm with her new boyfriend and had secretly married. I had a roomie named Dean, who brought his girlfriends home with him from time to time, and he had been encouraging me to reenter the dating world. I’d already made a fool of myself with one of the clerks at the Post Office and had a failed “date” with a young lady at the movies. I sat with my laptop on my lap, looking through the messages from dating sites with a failing hope of finding anyone when I saw her message to me.
“Hugs”. That was all it said. And all I could do was sit there looking at it in disbelief. My first reaction was to ignore and erase, but I left it and went on with my day. Still, I could not get it out of my mind.
Dean enters the front door of the house into the living room. Dean is a 20-something hard body model-type who works as a nurse’s aid. John is sitting in a recliner and looks up at him.
I had a message on one of the dating sites. Should I answer it?
Should you answer it?
Sure! what’ll it hurt?
(with a bit of interest)
What did it say?
It simply stated “Hugs”.
(raising an eyebrow approvingly)
Sounds interesting. Our little boy has someone interested.
(changing the subject)
I am going to go back and get what rest I can. Nikki is coming over later to meet up with me. She might be dying my hair.
Not problem. See you when you get up. Oh. By the way. Today is my day off. thought I would get a little bit done on my latest book.
Dean gives John the “thumbs up” sign and wanders back to an unseen room. John logs back into the dating site and finds the message.
(muttering to himself)
Kandy. Kandy. Kandy. Ah there you are.
(clicks on “reply” and begins typing)
Hugs back. Cordially, John.
I had already worked for the station through the previous winter and was now working on the early spring. I would radian at the station until the following May, when she and I would get married…but that was still a ways off. I still had no clue how destiny was about to play her hand.
As an author, I had already written a total of seven books. Of these, I was fighting to regain rights to the first three. I was now working on the ninth books and the third series I had started. Every book I wrote began life on my blog in serial form, so publishing seemed to push me to my limits at times. Throughout the year 2015, I would publish a total of ten books.
Of course, I kept in contact with several of my fellow authors, but lost contact with one who had been suffering with cancer. I would not learn her fate for two years. After that, it would be a race to acquire her books…a race, sadly, that I would fail.
A few minutes pass and Dean emerges from his hidden room. he is carrying a liter bottle of Dr. Pepper.
I couldn’t sleep. Going out to smoke. Wanna join?
(placing his computer on a small craft table and getting up)
Sure. not to smoke, but I’ll come out and talk.
The two friends exit the house. Dean sits down on a tin folding chair just outside the door, near a “butt can” and under a bug zapper. He sits his bottle of pop down and takes out a pack of cigarettes (Marlboro Black and Reds, 100s) pulls a cigarette from the pack and puts the pack back in his pocket. He searches for and finds his lighter, removing it from his pocket, and lights his cigarette. He looks up at John.
What you got planned for the day?
Work around here, a little writing, and a lot of rest.
Typical “day off” shit.
Do you need my help?
Just curious. What did you respond back to that woman who sent you a message?
“Hugs back”. Seemed appropriate.
Scene fades to black as narration begins, heralding the end of scene.
Kandy would message me back at least six more times before we exchanged emails and cell numbers. We would grow extremely close as friends over a very short time, confiding in each other when we each needed comfort. I would learn that she was married to a very abusive husband who was ill and needed to be put in a home. I would also learn that she was needing time to “get away from it all”.
I would suggest that she come and spend a couple of weeks with me so she could clear her head. She would take me up on my offer, arriving on the day after my birthday…her flight having been a nightmare and delaying her a day from her originally planned arrival on my birthday. What was supposed to last only two weeks became the rest of her short life.
End of scene.