Sunday, February 27, 2005

On the way home, part 1

Tony drove a plain white pickup truck. This is the kind of truck that usually had some of the letters on the tailgate blacked out (or whited-out, in this case) so that it read "TOY" or "YO" or something equally clever. If Tony was 17 years old again he might have done that to this truck, but a decade and a half later it didn't occur to him. His grandpa would have called it a pick 'em up truck and, not that it has anything to do with it, Tony rarely had a problem where women were concerned. The very first time he said he was in love with a girl she broke his heart. After that, Tony never said it and he wound up doing the breaking. He honest-to-God never meant to, he never promised anything, and he never cheated or slept around. But it's not always what you do that breaks a heart. It can be what you don't do.

Tony's name was Tony. Nobody called him Anthony, not even his parents. Bobby called him Antonio in a hetero-male affectionate way, but Bobby could call anyone whatever he wanted and get away with it. Bobby used to sport a mullet, used to drive an IROC with Rockford Fosgate imprinted on the doors. The last time anyone saw Bobby he wore a tie, drove a LandRover, and had pierced everything pierceable, but I digress. Jane called him Tony too.

Jane and Tony had known each other a long time, not that he'd ever paid much attention to her way back when. She was the kind of girl who went from one heartbreak to another, falling in love every time the moon was full. Her friends had long since given up trying to give her advice, and her "tales of woe" were really getting tedious. But still, she was a pretty girl trying to fill some void in her heart with any reasonably-nice guy who came along or every stray cat in the neighborhood.

Tony was back in his hometown for Christmas and bumped into Jane at the grocery store. So much had changed in this little town- new roads, new stores- and so much had stayed the same- Jane, an uncomplicated smalltown girl. To say that a spark kindled some childhood romance would be reading too much into a chance encounter. It really was just two acquaintences bumping into each other. And don't forget, although Tony doesn't fall in love, Jane couldn't help but. Even the old Greek guy sacking groceries knew this didn't have much of a chance.

She began writing to him, innocently enough at first, catching up on old times. She wrote to him every day for 13 weeks straight without missing a day, and somehow she managed to ask just the right questions and tell him just the right stories to keep him interested and writing back for more. Tony didn't need a long-distance relationship. He didn't need a penpal. He was used to taking what he wanted from women willing to give. It's not using someone in that golddigger/sugar daddy kind of way if they get what they thought they wanted too. But Jane had wormed her way into his life and, thanks to the distance between them, Tony hadn't been able to take from her and move on. Easter was another 2 weeks away and they both knew he'd be back in town.


At 4:31 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

Yes, and...?

At 7:50 AM, Blogger tonia said...

i only have nine cats.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Allie#3ga said...

tonia - you're gonna fit in just fine around here ... i like your style - was subtle no?

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Kate the Peon said...

I'm not sure what this is about. But I like it.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Theic- And before Tinyhands knew it, it was 3AM and the story was only about halfway done.

SweetFish- You're so the crazy cat lady.

Al- She's kidding. 10 cats.

kTp- Thanks. I've got a bad feeling you're the only one who will like the ending.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Tasty said...

Love it. Keep going.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

yeah! a bedtime story! this is so much better than that damn Marx-Engel Reader I've been subjected to the last couple nights!

What next?!


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