Fool For Romance, Chapter 13

      I was bruised in places I didn’t know I had, but I found that out when I got up from bed the morning and took a shower. I didn’t know what to do with my cast, so I just tired not to get it wet.
      My mom was out in the kitchen when I finally made my way in that direction. I could see her physically wince. I didn’t look into any mirrors, because I just hadn’t though about it since I was in so much pain. I looked at the mirror we kept in the junk drawer. The one side of my face was puffy and discolored, where Greg had slapped me. Mom comforted me for awhile. She apologized for wanting me with Greg. “Why didn’t you tell me he had a temper Randy?”
      Because I didn’t exactly know, but apparently other people did. I shrugged at her, sipping the coffee out of the mug she had placed in front of me. She started to make me a breakfast large enough to feed a small army, I just wasn’t hungry, but she told me I had to eat because of the pain killers. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be allowed to have any. My mother had been a registered nurse for 25 years and she wouldn’t give me that pain killer even if I was dying if I didn’t eat.
      Shannon dug into breakfast with an excited frenzy. Noel was back in town after his week long business trip. She was about to burst, but was worried about me. I told her to go, it would be fine if one of us found happiness.
      I sulked the whole day, making my poor mother, who had the feelings of drill sergeant, cry. That’s why I heard no objections when I hobbled out on to the door stoop to smoke a cigarette. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to do. I was shamed. One cigarette turned into 2, and I was letting myself on a nice buzz. One thing surprised me out of this whole event. No reporters had shown up at my door looking for a story. I mean it is not everyday that a woman gets beat up by the soon to be mayor. I figured Harry and probably Melvin had something to do with that, but I couldn’t help to think what the gossip mills were making of it. ‘Miranda James provoked poor Greg by sleeping with Evan Johanson.’
      2 cigarettes turned into 3, I was half way through that and almost on to my next when Harry’s dark Cadillac pulled up.
      “Hi Randy-girl.” he said as he sat next to me on the stoop. “Give me one of those.” He took one of the cigarettes out of the dwindling pack. “Now what are you doing sitting out here on this stoop? Smoking like a chimney?”
      “Mom keeps fluttering about me like it’s her fault Greg smacked me. Shannon won’t do anything until she knows I am okay, and Evan,” I shook my head, “he is going to leave me.” I said bitterly.
      “He told you that?”Harry asked.
      “No, not in so many words, but I know he can’t stand this town. I am probably his pet project, or a distraction while he is here.”
      Harry nodded, not agreeing with me, just letting me know he was listening. He rubbed his aged chin. “That’s not what I heard.”
      “You listening to the gossip mill again?” I said pertly.
      “I’m still the mayor,” he said. “and it’s the town’s business, besides with the way Lind talks I can’t help but to hear something,” Aunt Lindy was one of the pillars of the gossip mill.
      “It is not, you old codger, you just enjoy being the busybody that you are.”
      “And don’t you forget it, but I didn’t come over here to talk about the Johanson kid. I came to apologize.”
      “Harry if you even start telling me it’s your fault that Greg hit me...” “Listen Randy-girl, I knew Greg had a problem with woman. That’s what I was trying to tell you that day when I was warning you off him. If I had told you out right maybe it wouldn’t have gotten that bad.”
      “How did you know?” I asked him.
      “Greg was arrested the same night the Johanson kid was arrested for that incident down at the foot ballfield. Margaret, Evan’s mother called me to go get him out cause Chad was out of town on business. From what I could tell, the girl dropped the charges against him the next day, but to hear Greg talk about it the girl deserved it, and you know how convincing he can be.”
      “Then Evan knew about Greg’s behavior.”
      “Randy-girl, I seriously doubt the Johanson kid could remember which way he pissed in the wind that night. He was liquored up. I had to talk the police chief from giving him charges for drunk and disorderly and a DUI, not to mention underage drinking.”
      “I guess being captain of the football team does have it’s advantages.” I mumbled.
      “Oh well, I’m just sorry that he laid a finger on you Randy-girl. If I were some years younger I would have kicked his yellow bellied hide to the state line and back. You got a good man in that Johanson kid.”
      I wanted to tell him that he wasn’t mine, but it was a fruitless argument. “Not to feed the gossip mill, or to give the wrong impression, what did you hear about Me and Evan?”
      Harry slapped his knee and I took that to mean that I wasn’t suppose to worry about it “Speak of the devil, look who pulled up. Evan was getting out of his Volkswagon. Harry laughed at his timing and mumbled to me. “The boy always did have timing.” he said a loud as Evan approached, “I am going to go pay respects to your momma, maybe she will make me a good cup of her coffee.”
      Evan took Harry’s place on the stoop. “Hello sunshine.” Evan said. The swelling in his eye had gone down a bit.
      “Hi,” I said briefly.
      “Yes, I called first and heard from your mom how ‘pleasant’ you have been so far today.”
      “It’s her fault.”I pouted. I didn’t want to tell him how I was regretting this conversation. Nervously I lit another cigarette.
      “Yes she said that too. I think you are giving your mom a mental break down. Quit it, the poor woman has enough to worry about.”
      “Are you going to rescue my mom now too? You just have to save the whole world from injustice don’t you? Maybe you should wear a cape and tights and go around as super Johanson.” my cynical wit was in control now.
      It was as if he was immune to my biting sarcasm. “You really should quit smoking.” He took one of the cigarettes from my pack and lit it up. “It could kill you.”
      “Is there something particular that you wanted or are you here because you have a responsibility for my welfare?”
      “No, I’m just content sitting here with you. Besides I told you last night that I would see you today, and I know how you feel about being stood up, I still have the muddy pumps to prove it.” he said with silky sweetness.
      I turned a dull red, but tried to move past it.“What is up with you? You are too happy after what happened last night.” I said sullenly. “I don’t dwell on the bad stuff. Besides, I have good news, and a news hound like you will want to hear about it.” My ears perked up.” You got a tip.”
      “Yup, I’m surprised Harry didn’t tell ya.” he said “But first you gotta put a big sloppy kiss right here.” he leaned over pointing to his cheek. I pushed him away.
      “If sleeping with you is going to make you this mushy, I won’t do it again.” I put out my cigarette. Evan had already disposed of his.
      “Oh yes you will,” He said very seriously his voice filled with a controlled heat. He kissed me, being mindful of his split lip and my bruised face. “There’s no need to deny it.” He had me all flustered again, but quickly tamed the fire before it broke loose. He turned back to the bright and happy mood of before.
      “ Oh, I brought you something. I almost forgot about it.” He jumped up and retrieved a grocery bag out of the car. He pulled a plastic spoon out of the bag then a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. “Shannon said this was your favorite.”
      I opened the container “When did you see Shannon?”
      “A few minutes ago at the grocery store. She was with Noel, they looked pretty.... well you know, like they had done the deed.”
      I was suddenly jealous. Evan knew more than I did, and Shannon was getting some. I took a large spoonful of the now soft ice cream and pouted.
      “Envious? You know, if we kick your mom and Harry out we would have the house to ourselves...” Evan said deviously. I cocked an eyebrow at him, “You know, I have ways of turning that frown upside down.” he continued.
      “I got a headache.” I was obviously lying and Evan knew it, he had proven it moments earlier.
      “Didn’t you know sex is the best cure for a headache. That and chocolate ice cream.” Despite myself I smiled. “I told you I would make you smile. Now do you or don’t you want this little bit of gossip I heard over the grapevine.”
      “You and Harry are worse than my mom. What is this all important information.”
      “Shh.. someone might hear you, and this is privileged information.”
      “Which explains why you have it.” I said sarcastically digging my spoon into the ice cream. “If you make me start calling you Captain again, I just might have to ignore you.”
      “Just remember who bought you that ice cream,” I fed him some ice cream to shut him up. “I heard that the city council got Greg’s resignation this morning.” he said around the ice cream.
      “Really.” My eyes were huge with surprise. “I wonder why he did that?”
      “Probably because he knew you would go public with what happened, this is damage control. Gimme more of that.” I fed him another spoonful.“This is good stuff.”
      “I wonder if Greg will get some help?”
      “Probably, if they prosecute they will probably cut a deal.”
      “I don’t want him to go to jail.”
      “It might do him some good. I heard something else, but I don’t know if it is true or not.”
      “What?” I was sort of paying attention.
      “Now this is on the DL, but there is the rumor, that Shannon went to see her doctor.”
      “Yeah, she made an appointment on Wednesday, so.”
      “Well apparently your best friend is in the motherly way.”
      For once I was too shocked for words. “Shannon Moss, my best friend, pregnant? I don’t think so Evan, she would have told me.” He shrugged again, “It’s been a pretty hectic week, maybe it slipped her mind.”
      “I don’t think so.” I said reassuringly. “I’m her best friend. She would have told me. Especially after yesterday morning...” I turned red because we would have been talking about him.
      “Maybe that’s why they were all tickled with each other in the grocery store. Come to think of it, they were buying diapers.”
      I hit his arm, “You don’t buy diapers this soon. Shows what you know about babies.”
      “I’m sure what I don’t know you will show me.” He said with a mischievous smile. I had no idea what he meant by that remark, or at least I didn’t want to admit it, and when I thought about it later it still didn’t make any sense.

Chapter 14
Writing/ Pictures/ Linx