Eevee TF Series
"What happened after that?"
"Nothing happened. She just ran outta there, lookin' like she saw a ghost. Never saw her again."
Cathy paused. "Well, that's not much of a story worth telling!"
"'s better than anything you came up with! Gah!" Don was interrupted when the morning sun's bright reflection from the swinging glass door slapped his eyes. He had shielded them with his arm by the time the door was shut, but diamond-shaped spots of purple and blue now clouded his vision. It took him a while for his eyes to adjust in order to greet his visitor. "Hey, there he is! Ron, where've you been?"
Ron tried to look confused. "What do you mean? I just woke up!" He laughed a bit as he sat down at the table next to Don, across from Cathy.
Don was clearly enjoying himself. He was much more talkative than he was the previous night. "Buddy, I know it was a late night, but come on! Even your boss woke up earlier than you! You can't let that happen!" Cathy gave him a half-impressed smile, and the two broke out laughing.
Steadily Ron joined in the laughter, trying to not raise any suspicions.
"Oh, hey, Ron, we were just talking about you," Don said, ending the laughing spell.
"Really? What about?" Ron returned as he glanced over his breakfast menu. A glass of water was promptly placed in front of him by a waitress with a full tray, who promised to come back to take his order in 'just a moment.'
"Well, not exactly about you, per se. I was telling Cathy here about my recent trip to, oh what was it called? That town I picked you up in."
Ron played around with his straw a bit. "Really? When was that? And... when did you get back? That's gotta be a four, five hour drive!"
"Oh, pssh, this was laaate last night. Just got back here maybe an hour ago. Got a call from a buddy who said he really needed a ride over there real bad, and jobs like that really don't come around often so I said sure I'd take 'im. Didn't get a whole lotta sleep but that's not too big a deal with me, done more on less. Anyhow, I drive the guy over there and he generously tips me, so I should be able to take a couple days off work now."
Ron nodded casually, still looking over his selections on the menu, taking a sip from his drink. Don looked up over his glass. "I thought I saw Julia there."
A fine mist was ejected from Ron's mouth, traveling through the air and settling on Don's face, coat, and empty plate. Don picked up a napkin to wipe away the mess he had induced. "Pfft! Yeah, I did nearly the same thing when I realized it was her."
Ron got up to help him. "S-sorry. You caught me a bit off-guard
again. Here," he offered Don some more napkins. "Well, what happened? How did you know it was her?"
Cathy was now a little upset. She had just heard this story not more than a minute ago, and she was not about to suffer through it again. "Excuse me gentlemen, but I have business to attend to." With that, she quickly strode out of the diner into the hotel lobby, heading for the elevator that was slower than the molasses she had put on her pancakes.
Don winced again as he was blinded by the glass door of the dining room. "You'll have to excuse her. I've found her to be absolutely intolerable at times. Just generally try to keep your distance. Don't let her near you with anything sharp, alright?" He smiled honestly.
Ron returned the grin. "So, what about Julia, then?" Ron was desperate for any details about his wife. After all the crazy events that had transpired, especially the nightmare, he yearned for some comforting news.
"Oh, yes. Well, I'd worked up a good appetite on my way back over there and so I got a second dinner, at that Steak Shake of yours. Anyway, she was already there when I got there. The first thing I saw was her hair- gorgeous wavy hair, right? But I felt it was her when I saw her ring. Beautiful golden thing, bright orange rock in the middle, just like yours, 'cept this actually fit on her finger."
"Yeah, that's Julia, then." Ron sighed as his mind recreated the picture of her. But every time he visualized her, the image dissolved away until the only thing left was an image of the desolate fox he was haunted with seeing. So horrible was the phenomenon that it came to the point where he couldn't imagine Julia without huge brown eyes, short red-orange curls, and a heavy brown tan. He gave up his meaningless task, wishing to not accidentally bring it up in conversation. "So, was she there long?"
"Well," Don began, as he had done with Cathy, "it was the strangest thing. She looked really unhappy- that's what really grabbed my attention; maybe she just had a hard day. Anyway, when I recognized her- err, realized it was her, rather- I put on my sunglasses, and tried to remain inconspicuous-"
Ron interrupted his pause. "Wait, why? Were you trying to hide or something?"
"Well, it felt a bit awkward, being in that position. You know; a lone old cab driver like me in a restaurant with such a woman who just happens to be the lonely wife of the man I'd just driven across the state with. I didn't want to impose or anything like that; I'm not that kind of man. Other than that, I just didn't wanna make eye-contact. Half the time I was there she was just starin' at me. She must've taken me for a freaky blind man, with my glasses on and everything. It was actually a little funny. She hardly touched her food; just kept looking over at me."
Ron's eyebrow stretched in a show of concern in his confused face. "Really? That doesn't sound much like anything Julia would do
"Oh, that ain't all." Don was moving slowly, hoping not to get Ron all crazy, as he so often easily became. "'Ventually, she got up and walked around, still looking at me. Course I didn't say nothin'. But then she actually tried sitting down with me. I thought she was trying to steal my bags or something, because she was reaching over onto the floor in front of the booth."
Ron's head again shot out a look of disbelief. He looked over the table where Don's hand was motioning in demonstration. "Julia does sometimes have a habit of letting her curiosity get her in trouble. Did you do anything? You didn't
"Wha- heck no! I'm an honest fellow, 'specially with the ladies. I was just like 'Hey, what're you doin'?' That apparently scared her a bit, though." He chuckled, trying to ease the tension. "Okay, perhaps I did joke around with her a bit. I tried to make it look like she was in trouble. It was then that I knew it was her, because she told me her name."
Once again relief and comfort settled in at the table. Ron was no longer concerned, and was very glad to know that Julia was getting along fine without him. "So what, did you just small-talk the night away?"
"Well, I guess you could say that. She started asking these crazy questions about me. I didn't really give her much, though. Although, she made me remember a lot about when I was a kid, back on the farm in good-old Nebraska." He sighed as he digressed. "Next thing I remember, though, she was just out the door like she was runnin' for her life. Din't even saying goodbye. Wonderful girl!"
Ron's watch started beeping. "Oh! I have to get going. Can't let my boss beat me to work, now, can I?"
"Yeah, true- hey Ron, just a moment." Don reached into his pocket and drew out a small card. "Here, call me if you need to be picked up at all. You may need it." He stood up and slid the card into Ron's coat pocket- the one opposite from the strange ball. He patted Ron on the back. "Take care, kid."
"Thanks, Don. You too." With that, he smiled, running for the lobby. His mind was very heavy, especially with that last comment his driver had made about Julia's dramatic exit. He had no time to think about it now, or else he'd be late.
Don sat down, shielding his eyes a third time. "Gah! I should just move." With that, he pulled out a two-dollar tip and stood up to leave. "Wonderful girl, that Julia. Hope to meet her again sometime."