The truck rolled up in her driveway. Oil dripped on the tiny bits of grass and weeds. He checked his looks in the mirror. Slicked back his black hair with a pocket sized comb. Noticed a pimple, a blemish. Decided to let it go. Maybe she wouldn’t notice.
He kicked some dirt on the way to the front door. His leather boots were pointed. They were worn in. Kind of dusty. Looked one last time at his reflection in the window. This would do.
The old man came to the door. I reckon you’re here to see Janey, he said. You and a hundred other fellows, he laughed. Just kidding. The old man walked him into the living room where the sofa and love seat were covered in clear plastic. The young man took a seat on the couch facing the old man in his Lazy boy. Her father lit a cigarette and blew out the match. She’ll be down soon enough, he said. She’ll be down, he took a long drag.
You want something to drink? Lemonade, Coke, bourbon? Maybe a Coke and whiskey? Would you like that? The young man said yes to the Coke and whiskey. Let me go get that for you, the old man said, I’ll be right back.
He could hear ice hitting the glass. Heard the fizz of the soda. You wanna lemon with this? her grandpa shouted. The kid said no. Just plain. Good, the old man said. I like it plain too. Gets in the way of the whiskey, he said.
This is a nice place, the boy said.
Yeah. It’s not mine. It’s all hers. She just let’s me stay here. Taking up time and space. My room is down the hall. I lost my home awhile ago. Couldn’t make payments on it. It’s hard living on social security. No. Janey let’s me stay here. Nice of her.
That’s nice. Very nice of her. Where do Janey’s parents live?
Said God knows. Took off years ago with some circus or midway company. They make cotton candy last I heard. Into things I’d rather not talk about.
Fair enough. Sorry.
How well do you know Janey?
We just met.
And you asked her out on a date?
Without knowing these things?
So, it was based on looks alone.
That you asked her out. Based on her pretty blonde hair, her figure.
She seemed nice.
They all do.
There was a silence for a while. They both stirred their drinks. The old man would smile at the young man’s awkward behavior.
I’ll check and tell her you’re here. Yes, bout that time.
The young man nodded, finished his drink and waited. He just waited.