Holding Eric part 24
Spending the night behind the plaza hidden from view by a large recycled paper bundle, hoping no one would bother him Eric curled himself around one folded cardboard box keeping the wind and coldness away, disturbed twice by motorists taking a short cut around the buildings to the roadway.
Sitting upward pulling his jacket together slowly waking looking to the sky seeing the sun rays casting in the alley, pushing the cardboard cover aside standing up, hearing only motors from the other side running checking over the bundle while scooting closer reliving himself not a moment too soon, turning his head quickly around something moved seeing it was the soda can rolling, smiling for a second before looking down brushing off his pants finding he slept near a dirt pile, walking around the sun warm building towards the front area checking trucks and cars before going inside.
Walking inside the travel store was like walking in an old Stucky’s almost everything the same layout having to walk along shelves of cheap travel store specials mostly to take back home with you telling you were there every state seemed to have the same type of junk trinkets, Eric checking the shelves as he walk to the rear past the small with yellow plastic booths to the counter area with only five stools.
Seating himself down two stools away an older man, bending over eating his eggs scooping the yoke with the toast watching the yoke dripping back on the plate Eric trying not to stare at him retrieving the menu almost knocking over the glass sugar jar from of the holder, glancing sideways at the waitress cooking hearing the sizzling seeing it was Hamburger with a smile smelling it “I’ll take one also and fries” Eric said to her she turn looking at him “Coming right up honey wants some coffee?” nodding yes back as she placed fries in the basket dropping them, going back to finishing walking around the counter setting it down at a table with one younger couples returning with the coffee setting it down “Cream?” smiling down Eric like her right off very cheerful older more like a grandmother helping out than a waitress.
“No thank you wait do I need it?” frowning raising upward from the burnt smell “Let me see here smells strong maybe you better” leaning over the holder with her low cut blouse showing her lacy bra Eric tried not to stare as hard as it was looking down at his cup “I’ll make fresh just for you sweetie” Eric smiled back spinning in the stool checking the tables again seeing how the hamburger was cooking on the grill.
Hamburger juice and ketchup dripping down on his fries, Eric wiped his mouth a few times finding the napkins so thin and small using four at a time still getting on his fingers licking them right off, luckily she was getting busy with other customers piling in for something to eat, one or two families came in with their children playing with table toys while they waited, She didn’t forget Eric more less letting him eat in peace keeping an eye open making sure he had plenty of coffee, she even brought him an orange juice.
Eric finished looking back towards the restrooms spotting the clock above the doorway just as the waitress walking around the counter Eric asking “Eleven thirty is that the right time?” holding fresh pot of coffee ready to pour him some, Eric placed his hand over the cup “No I’m good too much already” smiling leaning over setting the check down staring right at him “That’s be about lunch time around here…. such beautiful eyes anyone ever tell you that before?” and of course had to lift his hair upward showing both eyes better “Yes and they’re mine not some contact lenses that change color”
“Very Bright Blue” Raising her head checking his hair waving from the air conditioner blowing, Eric again brush it back “Amber?” She raised her cheeks smiling down “Amber”
Husky guy asked looking over after sitting himself on the stool. “Hey how about some service over here”
“Sure thing the menu, Right in front of you” change in her tone towards him, looking back at Eric
“So you live nearby?” not even looking to the guy just smiling at Eric
“No just traveling with my Dad”
“Didn’t see him with you?” check outside the window
“No he’s resting”
“Can I get some coffee when you have a time from your chatting?” with on hand raised waiting
“Well looks like back to work, I’ll be back in a shake of a stick”
Eric watching her walking over to the rude guy with a cup and pot of coffee, pointing her finger at him then to a sign, (No rudeness allowed …You don’t like the Service Leave!) filling his cup right to the rim leaving no room for cream “Well what will it be I’m busy here?” Holding her small order book waiting.
Eric not wanting to stare at them looked away checking out how much it was, the price more than he realized it would be, he only had a few dollars in his pocket, smiling at himself reaching down taking his shoe off bring it to his lap lifting the inside foam padding removing two twenty’s setting one on the check, finishing off his cold coffee waiting for her to return. One lady frowning over her blue sun glasses.
As the waitress went by retrieving the check and cash hurry down making his change returning spotting more coming in waiting for service “Take care Honey it’s been nice talking with you stop in anytime” “Thanks’ on our next run will be sure to stop” placing three dollars under the cup spinning around after spotting the bellowing upward smoke from the grill, getting much loader inside fading the background music out.
Remember the candy rack he passed going in picking up four candy bars and bottle of mountain dew, even grabbed a small free traveler’s guide before heading outside, checking out the newspaper racks before dangling his feet seating on the pipe railing next to them, enjoying his candy bar watching the trucks backing in or just leaving after getting fuel, sure enough drivers spotted him asking if he needed a ride some just looked mean or creepy, dishearten with some heading the other way before the right one came along heading to Austin then to San Antonio, Eric wasn’t about to say no it was Texas he waited over an hour already finished off three candy bars and his mountain Dew.
Following alongside the driver he seemed friendly enough not to old nor to young clean shaven knowing he couldn’t be too bad, stopping in front of a large red Freightliner he pointed to it “This is it” looking down seeing he was hauling something under a large tarp on the flat bed “Go ahead the doors open” walking on past the door, checking for the exhaust pipe making sure it wasn’t hot or anything carefully stepping on the bent on one end steps opening the door, hanging onto it pulling himself upward into the seat, checking it out inside hearing the CB set squeezing before seeing newspapers, travel mugs then Eric smiled at a few girl magazines laying on the floor, straighten right up watching the driver getting in, starting it up with a quick check on the gauges pushing buttons on a black box near the dash with words that Eric was unable to see without moving over, already moving towards the roadway Eric checking above the visor and around the dash not seeing a log book, turning back looking at the single bunk with one blue blanket tossed on it with a faded pillow case cover.
Crunching his noise from a smell of sourness asking “No log book?” watching him shifting.
“Nope don’t need it all electric now”
“That save’s you time from writing so much”
“So why you going to Texas’ running away from home?”
“No just missed Greyhound after it stopped for a rest stop”
“Didn’t they know you didn’t get on?”
“No I don’t think they even checked who got on or off”
“That doesn’t sound so convincing!” looking over at Eric in doubt
“No really – it’s stopped and we got out to rest! Then they took off while I was in the shitter”
“That’s too bad that they just took off without checking”
“I know and I got left behind”
“Why didn’t you just call home?”
“Sure that would really piss my Dad off, that’s why I’m hitching rides home so he won’t find out, he’d say it was my fault and beat the hell out of me for missing the bus” lowering his head towards the floor
“You okay?” He asking softly glancing over at Eric feeling embarrassed by his anger tone coming out.
“I’ll be ok’ just want to get home before the bus arrives” sweeping his hair aside from the air vent tossing his hair upward checking the road and cars alongside.
“Understand’ it shouldn’t be too long before where in Texas what part?”
“Logan you know where it is?” Eric smiled feeling better knowing he believed him now
“Gee’ not quite sure were that is”
“It’s more the lower right side”
“Ok’ will check the map when we stop next”
Eric looking over at the tires passing them more on the right side, looking up another sign Welcome to Texas, “Wow” Eric said excided looking over with the driver smiling back checking his mirrors pulling into the right lane opening another sign Weight station Closed going right pass it seeing a few trucks parked inside.
Penny and Grandma were making Danishes from scratch the phone rang, Grandma said she’d get it seeing Penny had her hands full of dough “Hello”
“Hi is this the Mazzionie residents?”
“Yes can I help you?”
“I’m calling for Jacobs wife is that you?”
“No she right here can I ask whose calling?” Frowning looking back at Penny
“Dora’ I’m calling about Jake her son” shifting her eyes to one side
“Hold on one second – Dear it’s Dora about Jake”
Penny quickly wiping her sticky hands off on a towel taking the phone “Hello this is Penny is Jake alright?” holding the phone with the towel waiting
“Yes he’s doing better he’s up and talking with everyone’ I wanted to call and let you know he’s fine”
“Dora you’re the nurse there?”
“No your husband used my phone before to call you” Embarrassed grinding her teeth checking the phone waiting unsure what Jacob might have told her about them.
“Right’ Jacob called before he had an emergency call”
“I’m a mother also I work in the office and heard about what happen and just felt it would be best if a mother was with him when he woke up”
“Thank you so much he’s our little boy I mess him already”
“Well he’s in good spirts now wanting to go outside and play”
“I can’t thank you enough for caring for him I wish I there with him”
“His Grandfather is with him every second now along with a few others keeping an eye on him”
“Dora how can I ever repay you for your kindness”
“Its hard being away from your children I have two myself and try to get home before they do from school, sometimes I work to late and we go out afterwards”
“Well our house is always open if you need a break”
“Thank You’ I’ve got to get back now you take care and I’ll keep a look out for Jake also”
“Thank you again Dora”
Dora hung up the phone watching Jake and Grandfather playing horse shoes.
Returning back to Winchester Kentucky Farms Jacob hurried to the truck not seeing David or Jake walked to the first aid center asking for Jake, the doctor stepped outside with him telling him everything would be ok, Jake seen what happen but didn’t see anything while it happen only seeing the horses blood most likely set him off into a shock, nothing to worry about and he’s already playing with the other kids and looking at horses, besides having plenty of company staying with him at all times.
Jacob found the two sitting watching a match in the benches, Jake spotted him rushing over with open arms happy to see him back, David stood behind him watching the two embrace, Jacob held him tightly not wanting to let go lifting him upwards holding him walking to David.
“He’s going to be fine Jacob”
“Dad I should have been here”
“You’re here now that’s what he needs”
“Jake you ready to head home?”
Jake lean back with a frown “But we need to find a good horse or two”
“Jake have you talked with your Mom yet?”
“Jake she’s worried maybe we should call her?”
“Ok I didn’t want to’ Dad she gets upset over little things”
“Well you know what I mean dad all this do we have to tell her?”
“Just call and let her know you’re ok”
“Ok dad’ can I tell her first?”
“Sure’ if you’re up to it”
“Yea’ Mom will cry if we don’t call”
Seating down on the benches together Jacob handed him the phone, Jake held it looking at the two then pushed the button waiting.
“Mom its Jake miss you’ here’s Dad” handing Jacob the phone.
“Hi honey he’s right here everything fine”
“Well put him back on the phone now!”
“Jake she wants to speak with you” handing Jake the phone again
“Hi Mom really I’m fine where checking horse’s out having a good time”
“I miss you’ you coming home soon?”
“Yes Mom dad wants to leave” Frowning looking over
“Well maybe you should come home now you’ve had a busy few days”
“But Mom will miss the events can’t we stay a little longer?” Disappointed shaking his head no
“I’ll talk with your Dad about it, doing ok anything you need?”
“No just wanted to stay I miss you and will be home soon love you gotta go”
Handing the phone back Jacob smiled at him taking the phone.