Chapter 16, Blog 2
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
“What are you doing?”
Without looking up, Melinda shook her head.
“You’d think in a town as small as Valpo, you’d have the decency not to do something like that out in the open.”
“I’m not doing anything.”
That made her stop. I expected the suitcase to fly at me next.
“You can deny it all you want.”
“Where did you hear such a thing?”
“Carol just called. She told me all about your little girlfriend.”
“Carol from work?”
“She heard it from Alice.”
“And Alice saw me?”
“She heard it from Susan.”
My mind raced. I didn’t know any Susan.
“And this Susan,” I said. “She saw me?”
“No,” Melinda said. “She overheard Mrs. Price at Town and Country Market, talking about you and her daughter.”
“Yes, Mrs. Price.”
“Why she would let her daughter run around with a 48-year-old asshole like you is way beyond me.”
Determined, Melinda returned to her packing. I cowered in the doorway, waiting for Shannon to show. Maybe she could talk some sense to her mother.
“Just a DAAAAAMNED minute,” I stammered.
“What is it now?” asked Melinda, irritated by a new interruption.
“Mrs. Price’s daughter is a high school junior.”
Melinda walked over in front of me, stood toe to toe and …
I bet Mrs. Fuqua heard that one. Melinda slapped me so hard, my head spun like a weathervane in a Midwestern windstorm.
“You SICK ASSHOLE. Taking advantage of a child.”
Melinda started packing again. I counted stars.
“You’re really sick, Mister.”
My head came to a rest. I tried again.
“I told you I was working out with her.”
Melinda stopped again.
… oh-oh, that didn’t come out right …
I took a step back, then another.
“YOU WHAT?” Melinda snapped.
“I think I told you we were training together.”
“You most CERTAINLY did not.”
“Yes, I did.”
“You said you were working out with someone named Jerry. Now I know it was just a lie, a cover for all of this.”
“Yeah, that’s right. Geri. G-E-R-I, Geri,” I said. “Geri Price. She won the state in the 1,600 last year.”
That was enough. Using both of her fists, Melinda hammered the pile of clothes into submission and zipped the suitcase shut.
“What did you do?” she asked derisively. “Tell her you were going to the Olympics?”
Then Melinda scooped up the suitcase and walked out.
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang