Part III: Buddy Visits
Starla and Chloe finished up for the day in the shop and decided to sit out front near the walkway leading up to the B & B. The sun tilts its head just right over the building and a slight breeze nestles on the oak trees’ leaves. Chloe listens as her aunt rants and raves about her good-for-nothing brother Buddy, who finally decides to show up.
“Well, looky here! If it ain’t the horse’s taint and sullied hind-end, Buddy. What you know good? We were just talkin’ about you.”
“Good things, I hope.”
Buddy leans in to kiss his niece’s cheek and shoots a stern look toward his sister.
“When will I ever have good things to say about you? You bring the deposit slip?”
“I did. And I’m here to pick up the other deposits to drop off to the bank before me and Daria head north for the weekend.”
Daria is Buddy’s thin-mint girlfriend. She’s about as entertaining as wet cement drying and a night spent with food poisoning. He plans to marry her — when, they don’t know.
“Ugh. Daria. You still messin’ around with her?”
“Yes, I’m still messin’ around with her, Starla. I intend to marry her.”
“Yes, you keep sayin’ that, but when? It’s been four years already and no engagement.”
“When I’m good-in-hell-ready, Starla! I ain’t on your schedule and we’re not ready for marriage yet, but I will marry her!”
Starla, married and divorced twice, knew what would last and what had the potential to crash and burn. She decides to keep these thoughts to herself as she drifts away to her own past.
“Okay, Buddy. Okay . . . In your own time. Will you please try to bring the deposit slips back before you head north? I’d like to document them and reconcile the numbers before the weekend’s out.”
“Yeah, I’ll swing back by tomorrow morning. It’ll be early cuz we wanna beat this holiday traffic.”
Buddy notices the God-forsaken mushrooms have grown once again on the plush grass of their family’s B & B landscape. He is instantly annoyed by them.
“I thought Stephan and his men did something about those damn mushrooms the last time they were out here. Got this place lookin’ like some old hippie retreat. Have them do something about those mushrooms the next time they’re out here! Why hasn’t Davie Boy removed them?”
“Because Davie Boy has been busy doing the things you are supposed to do as well as his own share of work around here. You want something done about them, Buddy, you do it. Besides, I kinda like them, gives the place a little character.”
Buddy slings the deposit bag toward his sister, kisses his niece goodbye, and vanishes just as quickly as he appeared.
“That’s your uncle, Chloe. We can’t do anything but love him, but I’ll be honest, it’s hard sometimes.”
The wind sneaks over to their faces, lands on each one, and leaves its mark.
Tomorrow, they’ll pull the mushrooms up.
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