The Paperback Edition…
TWO YEARS PASS…
The world continued to spin and for a long time…I did’t care whether it did or not.
I changed jobs. The memory of that magical meeting with Bobby in the shopping center food court was too painful.
I started working in a flower shop near where I lived called “A Rose is a Rose”. I learned the intricate art of flower arranging and design from Sadie Morgan, the owner…and I stuck around.
After a while, she offered me the job of assistant manager. I took it…flowers are beautiful and uncomplicated…I liked that.
Even though the parents were being friendly to each other, I thought about moving out…but didn’t.
I dated a little…nothing remotely serious and when I turned twenty-one, Mel and I went out to dinner at Frankie’s, our favorite pizza hangout in high school.
We could finally drink beer there…legally.
Mel and Stuart. They had married so young but had stayed married and in love…and had two beautiful boys that I loved and spoiled whenever I got the chance.
When we walked in, we were greeted by Mike Nordstrom. He had been in the same class as Bobby in high school and they had been pretty good friends.
Mel and I were both surprised to find that Mike was not just a ‘greeter’…but was the new owner. He had bought the restaurant last year when it had gone up for sale.
Mike had been a regular at Frankie’s…even after graduation. It was a good fit for someone who loved pizza and gossip.
And Mike had loved to gossip. In high school he knew everything about everybody…he was… like a girl. Turns out…he still loved to gossip
So…that night we got free pizza, free beer and I got free unexpected news about Bobby Flanagan…who was still a very good friend of Mike’s.
Mike sat down in our booth and went into great detail on how Bobby had gone a little crazy after our second break-up.
Finally, seeing the slight shaking of Mel’s head to signal him to stop talking and the shocked look on my face, he was quick to add…
“Oh, he’s fine now, Sam. He’s actually going to start working with his dad at their hardware store when he gets out of the Navy.
“He was in here a lot, the last time he was home on leave,” Mike continued.
“I think he gets out of the Navy next year, am I right, Sam? Sam?”