|Codey’s World||Story Collections||A Midsummer Night’s Tale||Other Stories by Trab|
Jake rushed about, frantic to find at least one pair of socks that weren’t soiled. Packing was such fun, as he was so incredibly organized; not. His one good shirt was ironed and in the bag, as were all his medications, and even his best tie was cached away, stuffed in a corner of the carryon bag. The only thing missing were some clean socks.
“Dammit all to hell!” he exclaimed to himself, fishing two singles out of the laundry hamper. “I knew I should have washed them last night.”
A few seconds making sure he could actually unstick the soiled socks, and they were packed. “Stove off. Lights off. Temp down. I’m good to go.” Moments later, Jake was in a bright yellow taxi, off to the airport, having completely forgotten to leave out food for his Siamese, Mr. Perkins.
Bill was calm as he waited for his bus. He had been packed and ready to go since yesterday. This morning he only needed a shower, and a quick preen in front of the bathroom mirror. His beard was just exactly at the right stage, needing neither worry nor attention. He was happy about that, as adding to his list of things he just had to maintain in perfect condition was never fun. It seemed the list was growing longer and longer, despite therapy. As the blue bus approached, he took one quick last look in the glass of the shelter, just to be sure he looked fine for public viewing, and got his exact change ready in hand. The airport was not far away, and he’d be there in plenty of time.
Linda wasn’t too sure she wanted to go. She hated flying, she suspected; although never having actually gotten up the determination to do so, she wasn’t altogether sure she could say she hated it. Her nerves were ragged, her breathing shallow, her stomach rumbling, and, she admitted to herself, she could probably spend 20 minutes on the toilet, getting rid of that feeling of imminent intestinal doom. However, there was no time. Her sister, Rosie, was about to pick her up in her fiery red Lexus, to make sure she actually made it to the airport safely. Linda wasn’t all that sure she was happy about Rosie’s offer. It seemed that Rosie was being a bit smothering. Normally, a quick hug of affection was enough when Linda was going somewhere, but this time Rosie was going out of her way to provide this ride. ‘Maybe she feels I really do have a phobia, and wants to push me past it. Maybe she’s right.’ Linda sighed, and then hurried to the door when she heard the ‘toot’ of Linda’s car, now waiting for her out front.
“Okay. Quiet, please! Everyone, please settle down! I know you all want to talk, but if we do it one at a time, we’ll all get more out of this.” Even though it had seemed unlikely only moments before, the 20 or so people settled down in their seats, and stopped talking. “Thank you all. As you know, this is our first meeting after the summer hiatus, and I’m sure we all have great stories to tell. Hopefully, some of you will have been able to overcome temptation successfully. Others of you may not, and we’ll all be happy to discuss it with you. Now, are there any newcomers here today? Anyone who is here for the first time?”
A clean shaven middle-aged man, slightly balding, wearing blue jeans, a white button down shirt, and brown laced shoes, stood up hesitantly. “This is my first time here. I saw the ad in the Community Activities section of the paper, and thought that I might check it out.”
“Welcome, sir. My name is Adrian, and I try to help facilitate these meetings. As you probably saw from the ad, we meet every 3rd Saturday of the month, except July and August, at 9 a.m. We are always happy to welcome newcomers to our meetings. Do you want to talk about yourself a bit at this point, or would you like to listen to some of the others first? Kinda get the idea of how we do things”
“Thanks. I’m Paul, and I’d rather listen to some of the others first, if that’s okay.”
“That’s fine Paul, and again, welcome to the first meeting of the season of the Jilted Lovers’ Support Group.”
Adrian had hardly finished uttering these words, when a tremendous crashing, tearing sound obliterated every other noise in the room. Bits of concrete, drywall, paint, and ceiling tile sprayed all over the occupants of the room, as the basement room was shattered into chaos. Smoke, steam, diesel and the smell of auto coolant instantly permeated the air, along with shrill cries, shouts, and epithets.
Uncomprehending, the shocked occupants scrambled for the exit, fortunately unblocked. Sirens began to scream, nearing rapidly. The front of a blue bus was poking through the now split open ceiling, with a fiery red smear of car stuck to the front grill; flattened beyond effective identification. Wedged tightly in the same hole, was a crushed yellow thing, the only thing recognizable being a still lit, “Occupied” sign dangling from a pair of wires.
That night, Adrian, still shaken, picked up a newspaper to see if it had any more details of what had happened. It did. Page 5 had the story, ‘Journeys end in lovers meeting’.
Copyright © 2007 by Trab. All rights reserved.