The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 22
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Chapter 1 - The final move.
Naomi stopped in front of Renée's house, and they all went inside. Renée, Rachel and Evie were sitting in the living room talking, while Renée's father was packing his toolbox in the garage.
"Well ladies, it looks like this was a successful mission. Where is Carl?"
"In the garage. He said he wanted to take his tools with him."
"Smart idea. I will be good having a man around the house with a few tools."
"Naomi, my dad doesn't just have a few tools, he has a regular auto repair shop full of tools. His friend sells Snap-On® tools, and he comes by here every other week to see if daddy needs anything new. I hope there is room in the trailer, because he is bringing everything he can."
"But that is a good thing, Renée. While we work on the yard to get it looking like something, he can work on what needs fixing in the house. Did he say what he will be doing there, until he finds a job?"
"He said he might just work on other people's cars."
"Well, I hope he does good, then."
They heard a clunk outside by the car, and they went to watch Carl try to lift the heavy tool chest on to the trailer.
"Carl, would you like a little help?"
"Thank you, Naomi, but this thing is really heavy."
Naomi smiled to herself and went by the trailer.
"Now, you take the bottom, and we will take the handles, and we will get it all in the trailer, without losing a single tool."
"Well, okay, if that's the way you want it."
They lifted the heavy tool chest in to the trailer, and then Carl had to sit on the edge of the trailer, and wipe the sweat off of his forehead. Even though the temperature was twenty one degrees, Carl still sweated like Niagara Falls whenever he did any heavy lifting. He didn't want to admit it, but he was glad the girls helped.
"Thank you, Naomi, Evie, girls. I know it was heavy, but we will need these tools at the new house. I called Mayflower and they are having the movers come over and get my furniture. I will use what we need at the new house and sell the rest. We are going to have one heck of a yard sale after we are settled in."
Carl no sooner finished saying that, when a huge Mayflower moving truck came around the corner, looking for the address. The stopped in front of Carl's and Renée's house and asked if this was the right address. When Carl said it was, the movers asked if there were any special instructions.
"No, no special instructions. Here is the new address where the furniture needs to be delivered."
The driver looked at the piece of paper, and whistled softly.
"Pine Meadows county. That is quite a ways from here."
"Yes, well, we kind of like the country better than the city, so we're moving there."
"Good area. My dad and I go up there for bow and gun seasons."
"Just be careful when you hunt, some of the forest area in Pine Meadows county is a U.S. forest preserve."
"Yes, we were told that when went up there. One of the hunters is a state trooper there, and he told us not to wander past the gateway."
"Well, you have the address, and we need to be going. We'll see you tomorrow then?"
"Maybe even tonight, depending on how long it takes to pack the truck."
"All right, be careful in the living room with the piano. It's a Steinway. There are French doors on that side of the house that you can take the piano out through."
"We will be very careful. My grandmother has a Steinway, and she guards that better than she does her own life."
"I know how she feels," Carl said, thoughtfully. "Well ladies, I say we head out for the open road. Who wants to come along?"
The girls went me, me, me, and everybody giggled. Carl took Renée and Rachel in his car, and Naomi had Sharon, Melanie and Evie with her. As they passed Rachel's old house, they saw the movers were there. Naomi stopped for a few minutes to make sure the movers understood, that the first bedroom on the right was not to be touched. Naomi would talk to Rachel and Ruth later or tomorrow and see what they wanted done with the old furniture. The clothes that were in Rachel's closet would be given to the Goodwill.
After making sure her instructions were understood, she got back in her SUV, buckled her seat belt, and they were off. The girls were hungry after all that moving everything, that Naomi decided to stop.
"Where should we stop? "Naomi asked, quizzically.
"BK," Sharon said, cheerfully. Melanie and Evie said BK, too.
Carl was following Naomi in his car, but he wasn't pulling a trailer. Naomi drove along until she saw the last BK before leaving Forest City. Naomi didn't want to through the drive thru because of the trailer, so she parked on the street.
"Okay, who wants to volunteer for guard duty? We need someone to keep an eye on the trailer."
Eve, Sharon and Melanie all said they would watch the trailer. They told Naomi what they wanted, and make sure it was king sized. Carl had parked a few spaces in front of Naomi, and got out to go in to BK. Rachel and Renée went and sat in the SUV with the other three.
Twenty minutes later, Carl and Naomi came back with the food.
"OMG!" Sharon exclaimed. "Real food, I'm starving." But they ate like ladies.
"Sharon, what do you mean, real food? What do they serve at the home? Paper?"
"No Mr. Richards, but all they have in Pine Meadows is a McD's and a Taco Bell. Neither one of those are good. BK broils their burgers and they are better for you, if you have to stop for fast food. So, yes, Mr. Richards, BK is real food."
"I never thought of it that way," Carl said, thoughtfully. "I will have to remember that."
They sat and ate their well deserved lunch, and Naomi had remarked that tomorrow the cable guy will show up and get the computers online and the cable channels working. Naomi said she had ordered the Disney tier with the Showtime movie package.
"Plus we will have the basic and extended basic too. That means music channels and music videos."
"Can we come over and blast your eardrums out, Naomi?"
"Sharon, you would be surprised what these ears can handle." There were giggles. "So, if we're done, except for our sodas, let's ditch the trash and get going."
Carl, Renée and Rachel went back to Carl's car, and Naomi pulled away from the curb and took the lead again. The reason was, because Carl had no idea where he was going, so he was following Naomi. They had been at the packing and loading all night and most of the morning. The two moving trucks probably wouldn't be at the new house until tomorrow. It was now one thirty in the afternoon, and Sharon and Melanie were fast asleep in no time. Evie was starting to doze a little, too. It had been quite a night and morning. An adventure I am sure the girls would want to do again.
As Naomi drove along, she and Evie started singing. This was to help keep Naomi awake until they reached the house.
As they went along, there was a song on one of the stations they found, that they both knew. They started singing along with Marty Robbins, who was singing ... "he came riding from the south side slowly looking all around."
"I was sorry to hear that he died."
"I was too, he was still handsome when he passed away."
"Do you have any of his CD's?"
"Yes, Evie, I have quite a few. I still have a lot of his songs on vinyl, yet."
"Wow, those must be worth a few pennies."
"I don't play the vinyl ones any more, but I keep them in their dust jackets, and put away in a safe place. I just listen to the CD's now. I like country music, but what I like better is the golden oldies from the 50's and 60's."
"I love the 60's with the Beatles, Stones, DC5, Herman's Hermits. I even watched reruns of that series The Monkees. That was hilarious. The Monkees became a famous rock group accidentally. Teenagers were wondering how they could buy the recordings they heard in the episodes, so the producers didn't have a choice and Mickey Dolenz and company were shoved very fast in to the spotlight."
"My mom told me all about those days. Rock and roll, marches, demonstrators, riots, folk singers. She said the saddest day of the 60's was when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas."
"Why are we talking about sad things? We should be happy we live in the time that we do. They tell me that back in the 60's a young person like Rachel would be given extensive psychiatric therapy to bring them out of their 'illness'."
"What illness would that be? Being herself?"
"Exactly. They really didn't think like adults back then, but more like spoiled rich brats. Looking back on those days from what my mom said, I think the kids were more grown up than the grown ups."
"Isn't that the way it is now? I mean, there are a lot of kids both prepubescent and pubescent that are more adult like than the adults. Like that series with Jeff Foxworthy, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? After seeing some of the adults in that series, I am wondering if it is a complete put on, or if they are really that air head dumb."
"Evie, I think personally, they are that air head dumb. Everybody talks about a new math, but unless they figured out that one plus one isn't two any more, the math is still the same as it was when I went to school. We checked our division by multiplication and our multiplication by addition. Unless they came up with a quicker method, there is no such thing as 'new math'."
"I so agree, Naomi, it is like they want us to think that they are teaching the kids something different, when it is just the same as when the teachers, themselves, were in school."
"Exactly." Naomi looked in her rear view at Sharon and Melanie. "Those two have had a hard day's night to put it simply. They're out like burned out light bulbs."
"They need that sleep. They worked very hard last night. I think maybe they should be rewarded with something extra, too."
"I haven't thought about it, yet, but something that says we appreciate everything they did last night and this morning."
"You know, Eve, I trusted them last night, and they returned that trust by doing the best they could. I am very proud of these girls."
"I am, too, Naomi. I was at the home eleven months after Sharon first came there. We became very close friends, and well, I was on my way home. But when I got there I was told I would be there long enough to get a job, get my own place, and move out. I haven't been back to my parents house since. They made it clear they didn't want me at home, so rather than argue about it, I got a job at truck stop, found my own place, and moved. I have been at the truck stop since, but I am open to a better offer."
"Well, I will check and see if Pine Meadows county sheriff is hiring deputies. If they are hiring, you have to get down and apply quickly, because deputy positions fill fast. They would like people that have had military experience, but for us, that isn't necessary. We either pass through training or we flunk out. But whatever, we have had a chance to try and be who we want to be.
"I love my job. To me, it is helping to make a difference. I saw some deputies treat a suspect with pure contempt. I do just the opposite. I figure if you treat them like human beings, they will cooperate more, than if you were indifferent and insensitive to them. If you get hired, Evie, you will see what I mean. You will work the jail for a few years, or maybe the children's detention home. I am not exactly sure where that is in Pine Meadows."
"It is two blocks south of the courthouse. It is a red brick building, four stories high. The administrators and police offices are on the first floor, and the detention part is on the third and fourth floors, and the gym and auditorium are on the second floor."
"That must be an old building. The detention and children's court center in Forest City has just one level. The center of the building houses the administration and courts. The east side of the building is for the boys and the west side is for the girls. There is one shower area, west of the courts, which are in the center of the building."
"Sounds like a new building."
"Well, it was built in the 60's and was considered very modern for its time. It replaced the old juvenile detention home that was located at North 24th and West Walnut Streets. Walnut Street then turns into Lisbon avenue at about 24th or 25th streets. Lisbon Avenue is an angle street on the north side of Forest City. Children are sent by the court, sometimes, to a building not far from the detention center called CATC. That stand for Child and Adolescent Treatment Center. Between the detention and children's court center and CATC, is the county mental health complex. People in Forest City call that whole area the county grounds, which also has the Froedert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. That was once known as the county hospital."
"Naomi, when rookies go through the academy, what do they learn?"
"They learn self defense, how use handcuffs properly, how to make an arrest. They have pseudo crimes, where the rookie has to 'make' an arrest. He or she is then graded on how well they did. There is also a little legal theory, too. They teach you the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Escobedo v. Illinois and Miranda v. Arizona. Even though Escobedo was decided first, the rights we give suspects when we arrest them for felonies, are called the Miranda rights. For some reason these same rights don't apply to misdemeanor charges, because they don't appoint attorneys for those. Just for felonies."
"That doesn't seem right. If a person is charged with a crime, they should be appointed an attorney if they can't afford one, even if it is a misdemeanor."
"I agree, Evie, but unfortunately, we don't get to make those rules."
"Naomi," Sharon said, sleepily. "I have to use the restroom."
"Alright, Sharon, we are almost on top of the truck stop in Pine Meadows county. We will stop there."
"Okay, I can wait a bit."
"Did we sleep through the whole trip?"
"Just about Mel. The truck stop is coming up. I can see the lights from here."
"I must have been really tired."
"Mel, you and Sharon have done quite a bit. You were exhausted, so we just let you sleep. I want to thank you girls for all the help you gave me and Renée's dad. Who knows, maybe Santa will be extra good to you, this Christmas." Naomi pulled in to the truck stop car park, and the girls rushed in. Naomi and Evie went in and got a couple of booths.
"They seem like they're going to a fire, they way they dashed in to the truck stop."
"They are going to a fire, Carl. When a girl needs to go, she doesn't waste time on formality or even manners sometimes."
"Alright, I think we're even on that part. Order me a coffee, please. I have to see a man..."
"We know, Carl, we know." Naomi and Evie just giggled. "I don't know why men have to make that comparison every time they need to pee." Naomi giggled.
"I have no idea, either, Evie. I think it is ingrained in their genes, or something." Both women giggled again."
"How long have we been on the road, Naomi?" Rachel asked, as the girls came back from the restroom.
"Well, it is three forty five now, and we left Forest City at one thirty, so it took us two hours and fifteen minutes to get here to the truck stop. I have an idea. How would you girls like to have dinner at our new house, before going back to the home?"
"Mel, honey, what's wrong?"
"I wish..." Melanie didn't finish before she broke down.
Her mother had taken her to Pine Meadows and dropped her on the door step, so to speak, and hasn't been to the home to see Melanie or even write her. What Melanie didn't know was, that two months after she was at the home, her mother signed away her parental tights, making Melanie an official ward of the state. None of the other girls knew this either. The staff knew, but they figured it would be in her best interest, if Melanie didn't know this. At least not now.
"It's about my mom. She hasn't written to me, or come to visit with me. Naomi, what did I do so wrong to make her hate me?"
"I don't think she hates you, Mel. I think she is confused right now. Are you her only child?"
"As far as I know."
"Then maybe she is trying to figure out why you want to get help here with your problems, rather than from her." All this time Sharon and Rachel were hugging Melanie
"I sent her a nice mother/daughter card that had a very sweet message in it. I am hoping that when she reads it, she will come up to visit me."
"Where are you from, Melanie?"
"I was born and raised in Wayne County."
"That is almost five hours from here."
"Yes. It took us quite a while to get here."
"I will see what I can do, Mel. I am sure I can work something out."
"Thank you, sis. All I want to know is, does she still love me."
"Well, while we are here, let's order sodas and a thing of fries for each booth to share." Evie waved the waitress over.
"Evie, aren't you working today?"
"No, Donna, this is my day off. I'm helping my friend here move in to the old Connors place."
"That is a good house. I am glad there is going to be someone living there. Oh! Wait! You're the that lady everybody is talking about. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, that a woman took that Buck character down."
"Well, I am a martial artist, and I train rookie deputy sheriffs in hand to hand self defense."
"Oh, you know karate, then."
"Well, kinda/sorta. my style is called Tai Chi. It took me four years of studying and practicing the art, to become somewhat decent in its practice. But it doesn't stop with the end of formal lessons. Any style of martial arts is not for aggression, but for self defense and discipline. I use that discipline in my everyday life as well as when I am at work. This Buck character seems to think that we will never know his lawful name, but he is in for a big surprise.
Donna Reid is twenty years old, and has been working at the truck stop for one year. Her sun yellow blonde hair and her cheery disposition made people like her. She was engaged to be married on St. Valentine's day.
"Well, anyway, I'm Naomi."
"I'm Donna. I work here everyday except Saturdays. I see a new customer. Be right back."
"Donna's really nice. She is going to be married on St. Valentine's Day to a wonderful man. He has his own florist business, and is a member of the nationwide FTD. You want flowers sent anywhere in the world, he can send them. His name is Dade Wilson and he has lived here all of his life. He got the florist business from his parents as a high school graduation present. He lives with them, and I go to their cookouts now and then."
"Sounds like I picked the right place to live and work. I actually think I am going to really like it here."
"Just wait until the summer, Naomi," Sharon said, almost hyper. "We have a town jamboree celebrating the town's founding back in 1834, when this was all pine forest and wheat meadows. That is how it became known as Pine Meadows. When the town began to grow, that is how they chartered it in the state capitol. Pine Meadows was the only town for miles, so they also named the county after the town. Everybody gets involved, including the home. We do a bake sale on Main street, to help us get money for the things we need or want for the girls. The exercise equipment we have is from our previous bake sales. The money we earn from the bake sale goes in the bank, and Ms. Wells draws it out as it is needed."
"This is why we take pride in our home, Naomi," Melanie added. "The town's people know us all by name, and whenever we come in to town, we show them we have manners, and that we are not just a bunch of reckless, disrespectful institutional brats. In 2034 Pine Meadows celebrates its bi-centennial and I hope I can come to that. If I can, I will be right there with my sisters, helping them with the bake sale."
"Now I know I came to the right place. You girls are amazing. I think more RTC's could take a lesson from you. There are some that aren't quite as nice as it is here."
"We make sure it is nice, Naomi. While we admit we have problems, we never show those problems outside of the home. When we leave the home, we want people to know us as decent women, not spoiled little brats."
"I'm sure Sharon, that where ever you go, you will have respect not only for your manners and respect of others, but for the trials and rocky road you have traveled to get there. Not all of us have had it easy growing up, and that is why I feel people should help one another in things that can teach us more than we have learned by ourselves. I am very glad I met you girls."
"Thank you, Naomi, and you are so right, too. Some once told me that it isn't how you fall that people see, but how you get back up. I think I am going to dust off my fanny, hold my head high and shoulders back, and be proud of who I am becoming."
"That is a very mature way to look at life, Sharon. Girls, if we are done, let's get these things to the house, and see what Ruth and Gloria have done."
After paying the bill, they left for the house. Gloria and Ruth were there making sure it was dusted and clean for the furniture and other things, as well as Renée, Carl and Naomi.
Chapter 2 - Settling in.
As they pulled in to the driveway leading to the house, Naomi beeped the horn a few times, to let Gloria and Ruth know they were back.
They came out of the house and saw that the trailer was loaded to capacity, and maybe then some. There was a tarp across the top of the things in the trailer, so they didn't lose anything. Naomi said we should unload the trailer so she can get it back to the trailer rental.
As they unloaded the things and took them in the house, Rachel started feeling really sad. The kitchen table and matching chairs from Naomi's house were brought along, so they had a place to sit.Since it was loaded last, it was the first of the things they took off of the trailer. Renée and Rachel took the chairs, while Naomi and Carl took the table in, and set it down in the middle of the spacious kitchen. This was you typical, old fashioned, farm house, with a huge living room, a huge dining room, a very spacious kitchen, and the bedrooms were just as big. The house by today's standards could be called a mini mansion, but it was just a farm house. It stood at the front to two acres of property, half of which was for the animals.
After the trailer was unloaded, and all the dishes were put away, it was time to look at the bedrooms. Renée wanted the room with the light pink walls. She said it would go good with her curtains and bed. Gloria and Carl would have one room, Ruth another, and Naomi would have hers right across from Renée's. After everything was moved in that they brought with them, Naomi suggested that Rachel come with her to take the trailer back.
After buckling their seat belts, and heading toward Jim's U-Haul Truck and Trailer Rental, Naomi looked at Rachel with motherly concern.
"What's the matter, sis? Why the long face?"
Naomi pulled on to the shoulder of the road, and hugged Rachel.
"Honey, you know that all you have to do is say the word, and you can come back home." Rachel looked at Naomi's eyes.
"I would...I want to...I...I...I just...can't."
"Honey, there is something wrong, isn't there?"
"Yes, sis, there is. I feel really torn inside. It is like I am being pulled in two different directions, like in a tug of war."
"Well, dear sister, you aren't the only one that has these feelings. We all get them from one thing or another. Can I make a ventured guess?"
"You feel torn inside because of all the the things you did wrong as Roger, but you always wanted to do the right thing as Rachel. Am I right?"
"Yes, sis. Naomi, does this mean I am a bad person?" Naomi hugged Rachel, again.
"No, little sister. It means you are growing more and more and you see that the things you did as another person wasn't right, and now you are making sure those things don't ever happen again." Rachel broke the hug and looked at Naomi, again.
"Because dear sister, if I hadn't become a deputy trainee when I graduated from high school, I would have ended up with the wrong crowd. I had some not so nice ... friends, when I was in high school. I look back at that time and say to myself I was lucky. But I also made an oath to myself to help others that did take the wrong path, but I had to be careful, because no everybody who takes the wrong path, wants to be helped."
"Naomi, will you help me?"
"Oh, little sister, you know that I will. Remember all you have to do is dial N for Naomi."
Rachel cried while Naomi held her. She had a look of sorrow on her face, as she thought back to the time she came to that same fork in the road, that Roger had traveled, and found the right way to become Rachel. She told Rachel they were at the trailer place, and Naomi drove in and parked where the trailers were unhitched.
Tom Bradley was working when she brought the trailer in, and he looked at Rachel. Tom was sixteen, and worked at his dad's U-Haul business when he wasn't in school. Tom had a work permit, so his dad paid him a good wage in place of an allowance.
"Hey," Tom said, looking at Rachel with a smile. "Why so sad?"
"Hi, my name is Rachel. I'm just feeling a little homesick." Naomi thought to herself that how true that was.
"I'm Tom, my dad owns this U-Haul place. I work here when I'm not in school and on weekends."
"It is nice to meet you, Tom."
"Same here. How old are you, Rachel?"
"I'm sixteen. Would you like to go to a movie with me sometime?"
"Thank you, Tom. I would like that."
"Where do you live, I can pick you up?"
"I live in the Pine Meadows Home For Adolescent Girls."
"All right. Do you live in the first house or the second one?"
"I live in the first house. The second house is for pre-teen girls."
"Listen Rachel, I know Sharon Hardesty, and a few of the other girls. You can ask them about me. I won't ask you do anything that you aren't supposed to do, except maybe a good night kiss and maybe a hug or two. The girls from the home are well respected here in town. They make some of the best pastries around."
"Thank you, Tom, I really appreciate your kindness."
"Think nothing of it, Rachel," Tom said, with a beaming smile. "So, how about I pick you up, say, a week from this Saturday, and we can make it a day."
"Thank you, Tom, I would like that, a lot."
As Tom pushed the trailer back in to its spot, Rachel noticed the bulging muscles on Tom's arms. She wondered if all small town boys had muscles like that.
"See you a week from Saturday, Tom."
"Be good, Rachel, see you then."
As they were getting in to the SUV, they heard Tom whistle a familiar tune.
"Rach, you are going to have to tell him that you are transgender, so he doesn't get the wrong ideas. Remember he is sixteen, and his hormones are raging. Don't lead him on. He has to know."
"I know, sister Naomi. I will tell him, when he picks me up. If he wants to know why I am in an all girls home, I will tell him that, too."
Naomi smiled, and patted Rachel on her left knee as they drove back to the house. When Naomi parked the SUV in the driveway, she went in the house. It was now four fifteen, and they had a few things to do, yet. Carl was busy under the sink in the kitchen.
"Carl, what are you doing?"
"Sealing the leak in the pipe joint. It was trickling water. I took the pipe apart, cleaned it, put some pipe dope on it, and put it back together. The leak is now sealed. I'm going to be looking at the other plumbing, too, while I am at it. We may have to replace a few washers and seal a few joints."
"Well, I was going to say, that maybe tonight, instead of cooking, we order pizza."
The girls all said, pizza, pizza, pizza, together. Naomi just smiled. These girls were really happy. She wondered, even though the girls said they were happy, if they really were while they were at the home. Was their happiness at the home genuine or was it a facade? She wondered. In a few short days, almost a week, she not only came to like these girls, but she was also very concerned for them. They needed somebody in their corner that cared and gave a damn at what they did. They needed reassurance that they were decent girls, and that their growth in age and maturity was appreciated by someone other than the staff and the other girls. Well, the beds were up, and the dressers had the clothes put away.
Naomi said that since all the work was done for now, they should sing Christmas carols. Naomi told Rachel that she had a caroling songbook Rachel could use until she learned the carols by heart. The first song they sang was The First Noel.
Naomi started it by singing, "The first Noel, the angels did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay. In fields, as they lay, lay keeping their sheep..." The rest joined in with Rachel reading from the carol songbook. After the first carol, Carl lit the fire in the fireplace.
"Ta-da! We have a working fireplace. Now we can roast the chestnuts over an open fire." Carl then started the second carol.
"Chestnuts roasting, over an open fire..." The rest joined in and Rachel was reading from the songbook, trying to catch the melody.
After they finished, Naomi asked if anybody still went through the neighborhoods and sang Christmas carols.
"We do that every year. People in Pine Meadows are old fashioned that way. We even get invited in for a little talk, sing some more carols and have hot cocoa with them. 'Tis the season, everybody."
"Tis the season to be jolly, falala lalala..." Sharon started the third carol. By the time they had finished the third carol, Naomi said it was time to order the pizza. She figured there were nine people, so she said she was ordering three pizzas. When she made the call, she told the girl on the phone that it was to be delivered to the old Connors place. The girl then told everybody that there were people living in the Connors house. Naomi heard a chorus of "right on!" Naomi was told that it would be there within the hour.
Thirty five minutes later, the delivery boy showed up with the pizzas. Guess who the delivery boy was? Yep, Tommy Barker. He delivered pizzas in his spare time, when he wasn't in school or working on the farm. As soon as Sharon heard Tommy's voice she came to the door and greeted him.
"Hey, Sharon. So, are you all moved in?"
"Tommy, I don't live here, although I wouldn't mind it. I'm just helping my sisters and her friends move in here. Except for the big furniture and the appliances, everything else is moved in."
"I got a call from a stranger, and she said she wants us to meet at the eatery."
"Tommy, a wise man once said, 'to forgive is divine.' I think if you and Darla put the past behind you both, and start over, you will have a wonderful relationship."
"Thank you, Sharon. I kind of needed that little bit of support."
"We all do, Tommy, at one time or another. Be good, and drive safe."
"I will." Tommy gave Sharon a hug and left to go back to the pizza parlor.
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