Welcome to the Love World of Reason…
I’m lying in bed thinking about what Michelle told me. Louise is married. I shouldn’t be surprised. A woman as perfect as Louise wouldn’t be single for long. I guess Mrs. McDowe was wrong, fate hasn’t brought us together. But there is some good news: Louise is only here to visit, so after she leaves I can go back to normal…only thinking about her every other day as opposed to everyday. Wonderful. I’m definitely not getting any sleep tonight. I get up and go through the books that Michelle left. The books Louise wrote. Who would have known that my Louise would become a famous writer? As I’m going through some of these poems and skimming through the novels, I can see that Michelle was right…I did hurt Louise. I feel awful. I was so young, I thought I was doing the right thing, but I can see now that I was wrong. I look through the books all night, until it is time to go to work. I get dressed. I don’t bother eating breakfast. I have no appetite. I get to work and it’s just me and Jack who are serving the morning shift. If Louise comes in I’m going to have to fake a heart attack or something.
“Jerry, my man, how’s things? Great. I got here a little early today so I already did everything, now all we have to do is wait for the customers. Are you ready Jerry? I am. I love this job, I gotta tell you, it is awe-some.” Jack says.
“Cool.” I say and I quickly walk away before Jack can continue talking. I kind of like working with Jack, he gets here over an hour early to get everything “just right”, but he never shuts up. Customers love him, but the rest of us can only take so much of the rambling. So today my to-do list consist of hiding from Louise and Jack.
“Jerry, my man. Jonny just called and said he’s not coming in today, he’s not feeling well, but he left me in charge. But don’t take it like that man, I’m not like your boss or anything, it’s just temporary you know. I’m sure we’ll get along just like we always do. Don’t let this whole “me being your boss” thing change things between us, alright man. You’re still my man. We’re cool. We’re just gonna pretend like nothing has changed…” Jacob says.
“Hey Jacob.” I cut him off, “I think I heard a customer come in.”
“I didn’t hear the door chime.” Jacob says, “I’m usually in tune with that chimer man, trust me…”
“Yeah, yeah but just to be sure, you know, you might wanna go check.” I say, “Jonny did put you in charge?”
“You know what bud.” Jacob says, “You’re right, I’ll go check that out.”
“Thank God.” I say a little more loudly than I intended.
“What’s that bud?” Jacob says.
“Where’s Bob.” I say. “Bob, you know Bob?”
“No, is he new?” Jacob says.
“The door, remember?” I say pointing to the front of the café.
While Jacob goes to the front, I find a nice hiding place. I brought one of Louise’s books with me, it’s about two lovers who never physically met but feel in love through writing letters. It’s actually pretty interesting, considering the fact that I hate to read. I was never really much of an academic scholar, that was more Louise. I was more of the hands on type. I could fix anything I put my hands on. The plan was for me to go to a vocational school nearby and Louise would go to a local university, but that never happened. I’m not sure what Louise did. At the end of graduation I joined the army and never looked back.
“So that’s it.” Louise says, “You break up with me and now you can’t even talk to me.”
“I have nothing to say.” I say. It’s been a few weeks since I broke up with Louise. I’ve done a pretty good job at avoiding her, but today is graduation day.
“Can we talk?” Louise asks.
“Like I said before, I have nothing to say.” I say to Louise and I walk away. It’s taking everything in me to not turn around and wrap her in my arms and ask for her forgiveness.
“Jerry.” Mrs. Beck says, “Where’s your mother?”
“She couldn’t make it.” I say.
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Mrs. Beck says, “How is she holding up?”
“Hey, I’m sorry, I really can’t talk about this right now.” I say. Mrs. Beck is my English teacher.
“I understand.” Mrs. Beck says. “Can I do anything?”
“You’ve done everything you’ve possible could Tina.” I say. Mrs. Beck and I have been on a first name bases ever since my dad passed.
“I wish I could do more.” Mrs. Beck says.
“I know.” I say, “Believe me I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without you.”
“Louise has been starring at you since you walked over here.” Mrs. Beck says.
“Tina.” I say. I know where she’s going with this and I don’t want to hear it.
“Okay. Okay.” Mrs. Beck says, “I’ll mind my own business.”
“Good.” I say smiling at her.
“Excuse me sir.” Mrs. Beck says laughing, “Alright well the ceremony about to start, I’ll see you after?”
“Probably not.” I say, “I’m not sure if I’ll even stay till the end.”
“Jerry.” Mrs. Beck starts to say but I cut her off.
“I know, I know but I can’t bear to look at her Tina, I just cant.” I say.
“Alright.” Mrs. Beck says softly, “You have my number.”
“Yes, I know, keep in touch.” I say.
I walk over to my seat. My last name is Carr, so it shouldn’t be too long before I can sneak out of here. “Jerry, hey, sorry about your dad.” Megan says.
“It’s cool.” I say. I hate the whole sorry for your lost crap. People don’t actually care, it’s just the polite thing to say.
They finally call me up and I walk across the stage and get my diploma, I don’t bother trying to look happy, because I’m not. No one is here taking pictures of me anyway. After I get off the stage I open my diploma only to see it is empty. What the hell. “They mail it to you.” Louise says.
“Aren’t you supposed to be sitting waiting for them to call you up?” I say.
“That won’t happen anytime soon.” Louise says, “Besides, I figured you’d try to sneak out after you walked and I wanted to see you.”
“You don’t give up.” I say.
“I never gave up when we played hide and seek when we were six so why would I give up now?” Louise says smiling.
That smile. If I don’t leave soon, I’m going to cave. “As I remember it, you always give up after one minute of not finding me.” I say.
“If I remember correctly, boyfriends are supposed to let girlfriends win sometimes.” Louise says, her eyes filling with tears.
I can’t do this again, I just can’t, “Look I gotta go.” I say walking away.
“JB.” Louise says. “Please just tell me why.”
“I’m going to the army.” I say as I walk away, “I leave tonight.”
“So how was work today Jerry?” Michelle asks.
I lay down on Michelle’s couch, “It was…I don’t really know, I can’t remember much, it was a blur.”
“Was Louise there?” Michelle asks.
“No.” I say.
“I found out some more stuff.” Michelle says.
“How?” I ask.
“Google.” Michelle says turning her laptop screen so I can see it.
It’s a video of Louise, she’s having an interview with some talk show host. Her image is disguised, but it’s her voice. “Why is she disgusting herself?” I ask no one in particular.
“She wants to stay anonymous.” Michelle says.
We watch the entire thirty minute interview. “She says the reason she’s even doing the interview is because she feels an obligation to her fans, but if that were true, wouldn’t she just show her self.” I say.
“I’m sure there’s a reason why she didn’t.” Michelle says.
“Yeah, a serious reason.” I say.
Days have passed and Louise has not come to the shop. Michelle thinks maybe she’s left town, but I don’t think so. She was here to get inspiration, I doubt that has happened already. But maybe I’m just being hopeful. But wait, I wanted Louise to leave. Right? Oh God, I don’t know what I want.
“Still no Louise huh?” Michelle says one day at work.
“Nope.” I say.
“I think she maybe gone.” Michelle says.
“Maybe.” I say.
“You sound sad.” Michelle says.
“Do I?” I say.
Michelle looks at me and rolls her eyes then says, “Yes. You do.”
“I don’t know.” I say, “Maybe I thought we were gonna bump into each other and she’d leave her husband and we’d ride off into the dawn together.”
“Into the dawn?” Michelle asks. “Don’t you mean sunset”
“No.” I say looking at Michelle strangely.
“You are so off Jerry.” Michelle says.
“Oh shut up.” I say.
“If you saw her again, would you actually talk to her?” Michelle asks.
“I would, I really would.” I say.
“Well here’s your chance.” Michelle says and she pushes me and I dump into someone.
“Michelle!” I say as I slam right into Louise.
Announcement: I will be posting every other week for the next few months or so!