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Notes From RettaMichaels:

PlayMaker is written as a period piece. The lead character is writing his memoirs at the end of his career in this day and time. Please read it as such as I've really got no time to correct people for what is obvious.


Chapter Three:

I went over and put my hand on his shoulder. I took him to the gate and we went through it. We walked up the walk and out past the cars.

Now, the reason I brought you out here is I'm going to talk with you and tell you right now you ARE in a position to be honest. People don't have to know who don't matter, but those who are around you NEED to know in order to know the real you.

I'm not telling you there are several grown men in that cage there and each one of them all had one thing in common. They've found themselves and each other. Do they show it out in public? No. They do what they need to and let the person who matters to them know.”

I don't know how Aaron will handle it.”

Probably the same way he's worried about you handling it.”

What's that mean?”

Dude, figure it out. Let me give you a little bitty clue. Your dad did that same to you and look how it went for you. You did that same to him and he's ready to get real with you too.”



But how would I find someone?”

Look around. You're a good looking guy. You've got sexy eyes and you've got a hot bod. You've got that flannel shirt showing a little bit of chest hair and those jeans squeezing an ass which is drawing women's eyes in on something they'd figure out was intended to draw in men. Now, you've got the bait, so why not look up and see whose eyes are looking at it.”

You think I'm hot!”

Dude, I can see what my mom saw in you. Personally, you're a bit old for me, but that don't mean I don't see it. Can I give you a bit of advice?”


Run a beard trimmer over the 'stache so it's shorter. Make yourself look 100% instead of a bit unkept.”

What about my hands?”

What about them? You work on cars for a living. If someone won't go out with you because of that, they're definitely not the one for you. Now, I'll give you the second bit of advice you should have.”

What's that?”

Put a personal ad in down at Columbia. Something like 'Hot Lumberjack Looking for mate' would do. Have it go to a PO Box down there and that way you're discrete. Let them come to you instead of you going to them. What would be cool is that way you could sort out what is and isn't your type from all of those.

What I WOULD do is I'd write back each and every reply you had. A polite letter telling them they weren't the type you were looking for and telling them what you were looking for would be great. What you don't know is politeness would probably get that person to thinking of someone they know who is that type and get them to running over and telling them to reply to your ad.”

That's amazing! I never thought of that.”

Now, here's the thing. When you go out on the first date, you go and be 100% you. Don't sell them who you aren't because that's not going to be the person they end up falling for. Just be you and it'll be a whole lot easier to be that person.”

I need to tell Aaron.”

Don't tell him I told you about him. Let him tell you.”

Is he ready to tell me?”

I think he is, but he's worried you'll reject him or beat him over it.”

I've got to stop that.”

Loving him and hugging him is what he needs. I think it's what you need too.”

I do.”

Then do it.”

I put my arm up on his shoulder and said, “Let's get back in there. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to be a friend to him...notice I didn't say boyfriend to him. I do want him as a friend, but I'm smart enough to know he's not my type. I will do what I can to help him find his type if he'll allow it.”

That's good. He needs friends.”

He needs friends he can bring home and not be afraid of you two being able to be yourself while there.”

I can't be a guy who acts all girly. I don't like that sort and sure can't be that sort.”

I stopped and said, “Listen. I have this thought and it goes like this...IF I were looking for a girl, I'd be with a girl. I like guys and that's because I like guys...not girly acting guys. It's called being gay. Yeah, there are some out there who think they're Miss Thing and all that, but those are the sort who make it on the Jerry Springer Show.”

Do you think there are a lot of guys out there who were like me...trying to hide it?”

A whole lot of them. I imagine they pushed people away too and I imagine I'll find it wherever I it the football team or the tennis court.”

We walked back to the tennis cage and he said, “Thanks.”

No problem. My last little bit of advice is to not pack them down with ice. A nice hot soak would probably do a lot better.”

How do you do that!”

It's the little things I notice. Another thing is I also know we all make the same mistakes. I ride a BMX bike which racks me a lot. I learned a long time ago to soak in a warm tub instead of an ice pack. My grandma hands me an ice pack and I put it on my forehead to get my mind off of my nuts.”

He chuckled. “I guess that would work.”

Another thing.”

What's that?”

Get your son a Camaro and work on it with him. He saw mine and nearly fell over himself going to look in the window. I'll tell you now if I had a chance to build one with my dad instead of buying store bought, I'd done it.”

Your dad was a nice guy. I don't think there was anyone out there who he ever had a harsh word against.”

Sometime, I'd like to show you some pictures. Their car was tampered with and someone used tools to do it. I'd like to see if you could tell me what sort of tool would do what their car had done to it.”

You mean?!”

Yeah, they were murdered. Now, you tell me everyone liked them, but someone didn't.”

What was done to the car?”

You going to be home tonight?”


I'll go home and get the pictures. The state investigator took all the photos.”

No one was caught?”

No, but someone did it and they drove up to the intersection and right in front of a semi because their brake lines were cut. When the semi hit them, the car lost all it's wheels because the lug nuts were also unfastened. How my dad never felt it when he was driving is something I don't know.”

So their brake lines were cut AND the lug nuts were undone?”

Yeah, but what else was done to the car, I don't know. All I know is that because they took photos of the wreckage. What I do know is who did the investigation said a sharp instrument cut the brake lines and there was probably just enough brake fluid left in the system to give one or two pushes on the pedal before there was no fluid.”

I'm trying to think what sort of car they had.”

It was a '66 Bel Air. It was twelve years old when the wreck happened.”

Ok, so drum brakes all around.”

I'm guessing. I don't know.”

The person who tampered with it wasn't a real professional. There's a lot of things which could have been done to drum brakes to cause them to wreck.”

What I want to know is would a regular knife been able to cut the line and if so, how long would it have been done? Would it have happened at my dad's job? Or, at home in our driveway?”

Oh man, you've got me thinking now.”

Grandma sold the house. Whoever has it now asphalted the driveway. I don't know if brake fluid would stay on gravel that long or not, but that was covered up with the asphalt.”

You poor kid. This has rested on your mind a long time.”

It's there. What really rests on my mind is what will happen to the person who I find out did it. If I ever find out that bit of information, I know what will happen and how bad it will happen.”

I imagine. We'll look into it. Maybe there's something I can see a normal person wouldn't. I know your dad didn't know much at all about a car.”

You see, that's something I never knew. People get real guarded when they talk about him or my mom. I hear what great people they were and that's it.”

Your mom was a knock out. I'll tell you now she was enough to make me want to have her.”


She was so likable and funny. She always had a smile on her face and she drew people in who wanted to feel good about themselves. She was that sort of person.”

That's cool.”

Your dad was on the football team with me. I'd tell you a few things about him, but I don't think that would be right.”

What do you mean? He was like me?”

No! No, not at all. What I mean is I.... Oh, I can't say it.”

Please do. I'm not going to judge you.”

Ok, but let me say it in my own way.”


Your dad was built and very fine looking. I'll tell you I shower gazed on that man to the point I had the swirls in his chest hair memorized.”


Yeah, now you probably think I'm weird.”

No, I think it's cool. I'm hearing things about him I never knew. You have to remember I barely remember what they looked like and if I could just remember their voices, I'd be real happy.”

You don't remember that?”

No, I was three years old. I think it was so traumatic when they died, what I did have memorized stuck with me and made me remember a lot of things.”

I do know your dad got lucky and got a job out at Dupont. Your mom went to work up at Hickman's IGA and she's who I saw a lot. She was sweet to me and my wife and that was nice. I remember her long brown hair. She looked like that one girl on the Partridge Family so much it was uncanny.”

Who's that?”

Susan Dey.”

I'll have to see if I can find some photos of her somewhere.”

Do you have photos of them?”

A few.”

Let me see what I can do. I imagine Rayna would have photos of your dad.”

Who's that?”

Your dad and she went steady for a long time.”

I didn't know that!”

Yeah, I dated your mom and your dad was with Rayna. There were a bunch of times we saw each other when we were out cruising Morley. What I can say with absolute certainty is when they met...not when, but where.”

Where was that?”

Up town at the movie theater. A bunch of us guys went out because we were broke up and we met up with a bunch of the girls. Your dad and your mom caught each other's eye and before intermission, he was asking me if I'd mind if he'd ask her out. I told him to go for it because I knew she was done with me.”

How long did you two date?”

Seven months and eighteen days.”

So it was quite a little while.”

Yeah, but once them two got together, it was over for them. What's weird is he and I stayed friends and everyone else worried about what I thought. Once everyone else figured out I didn't mind and it wasn't changing our friendship, they settled down about it.”

Why'd it matter to everyone else what you thought?”

I was a hot head. They were a bit worried because I'd beaten up a few guys over her.”

Why's that?”

If you really want to know, it was because I was worried what people would think if they saw me shower gazing like I was and all that.”

I guess times were different.”

They were, but I'll tell you I think you're really brave for being as open as you are about it.”

I had no choice. Once grandma knew, she'd not let me be any other way to hide it.”

So you're not out in the open?”

No, but I don't deny who I am either. There are things I worry about too, but if people find out, that's fine. I'm not going to hide it.”

I guess you're right.”

So people were worried about how you'd handle my mom and dad being together.”

Yeah, but what it did was it got Glenna to seeing I was available and we got together. That's Aaron's mom.”

Ok, so where's she at?”

Springfield. She had to go find herself. She found herself and completely forgot she had a son. Aaron's got three little brothers and a sister down there, but she plumb up and forgot about him.”

Oh man, that has to hurt.”

Yeah, but she remembers his birthday and Christmas, but all the rest of the year, she forgets him. So, if he seems a little depressed at times, you can figure that out it's due to that.”

Ok, I'll be sensitive about it.”


No problem.”

Your dad was a babe. It's neat because I can see both of them in you. You have your mom's traits and you've got your dad's. You're your dad through and through with your forthrightness. He was the same way. Your mom was the one who people didn't want to get angry. She was great, but when she got mad, it was time to look out and run!”


Oh yeah. That's why I knew it was over when it was over between us.”

Why'd you two break up?”

To be honest, I think she figured me out. I can't say it, but she kept asking me if there was a secret I needed to tell her. I kept telling her no because I really didn't want to let anyone know. No one did that back in those days.”

I understand.”

Just the same, she finally had enough of me not telling her and got mad. That's when I knew it was over.”

Do you think her mind changed about you?”

Yes and no.”

What's that mean?”

When we brought Aaron to the store one day, I had him in the cart and she really looked him over. She shrugged and said, “I guess he is yours.” I asked her what that meant and she told me she thought I would have been more true to myself.”

What'd you say?”

Actually, I was probably more honest with her at that moment than I ever was with anyone. I told her I couldn't be true to myself because everyone expect things of me. After that, I saw understanding with her and that's when she said something which was really cool.”

What's that?”

She said, “Whatever my kid is, is what he is. If he's that way, I'm fine with it. If he's not, I'm fine with it.”

I think she knew.”

How's that?”

The guy I'm attracted to now is the neighbor kid who lived next to us then. I see him and I just know he's the one for me.”


Yeah, but what's neat is I think he realizes it too. Or, I should say I really hope that.”

Who's he?”

I can't say.”

I'm trying to think who lived on that street. I know I used to live over a street and occasionally, your dad and I would talk, or I'd work on his car.”

Did you work on that Chevy?”

No, he had an Olds Cutlass before that and before that, he had a Mustang. The Mustang was an awesome car, but that Cutlass was pure junk. He got the Mustang new and did that Cutlass too, but you don't know how many times he told me he wished he kept the Mustang.”

Why'd they have that old of car if he got new cars?”

The same reason we all did. We worked out at Oberling's gas station and we had lots of money.”

Why's that?”

They paid decent, but people gave lots of tips. You don't know how often I'd go home and have my pants legs jangling with money.”

I'm not following.”

Ok, here's how we did it. The tips was change. If you didn't do it this way, you really were a real greenhorn. What you'd have to do is cut holes in your pockets and then put your pants legs inside your socks otherwise, you'd have full pockets and money falling all over the place.”

Oh, that's different.”

Your dad worked out there too. We'd sit there and talk about what cars we thought were cool and we'd stack our tips and count them. He saved for that Mustang and he told me one day he only needed like fifty dollars more and he'd have the money. What's bad is we saw the next issue of Motor Trend magazine and it showed the new Mustangs. You don't know how bad your dad looked.”


They up and changed the body style. It went from the fast back style to that Mustang II style. It's like they were up and killing the car.”

So what'd he do?”

Well, we talked about it and I told him I'd lend him the money to go ahead and get his if he'd give me rides to and from work. He said he'd do it, but he'd also pay me back because he would have given me a ride anyway. So, I lent him the money and he got his car. I'll tell you now, it was an awesome car.”

Tell me about it?”

It was a Shelby 500 with the Boss stripes.”

Nice car.”

Yeah, it was a beaut. It was white with the Navy blue stripe instead of the black. It had the high back buckets and it was just awesome fast.”

And he traded it in on a Cutlass?”

Yeah, when they changed over to the '74 Cutlass, he saw it and instantly had to have a Gold one. He got it and it had the Rallye wheels and all the chrome accents. He got it with that Hurst shifter, but without the Hurst kit.”

What's that?”

Hurst was an option on the cars back then. Either you could get a white one with gold markings or a black one with gold markings. It was called the 442. Four Barrel Four Bolt Dual Exhaust.”

What's the four bolt mean?”

The 350 engine had two makes. One was a two bolt version which was the lower one and the four bolt which was the one they used in racing. It had a lot more things than that in it, but it was an altogether tougher engine.”

Then why'd he have so much problem with it?”

Seventy four was when they really started putting the smog and emissions stuff on the cars. The vacuum lines on the motor would get clogged and the car would run terrible. A whole lot of people would take the vacuum and all that stuff off and it'd clog up the catalytic converter. That's also when they started using unleaded gasoline. Before that, it was either Ethyl, Premium, or Regular.”

What's Ethyl?”

Ok, here's the difference in all that. Ethyl was an additive they put in which really made a car scream. It was like running a mix of racing fuel and gasoline together, but it'd clog up a smogged car like nothing else.”

I bet that's what he did.”

Yup. He worked at the gas station until graduation and could get the Ethyl for the same price as regular. He did, so he put it in and had a real screamer of a car. The bad thing was, it made that car into junk.”

So when did they get rid of the Cutlass?”

I don't know. What I do know is he stopped working at the gas station that summer and went to work at a tire store. He told me he was working there because he could make more to get her that rock he bought her.”

What rock?”

The wedding band, don't you remember it?”


Oh man, I'll tell you one thing. When your dad went all out on something, he did it up in style. That stone was like huge. On her tiny finger, it looked real big.”

How big was it?”

I don't know, but I know it had to have cost him some money, but he got it for her and got their house and they got married in September of that year.”

Were you in the wedding?”

No, I got drafted. I got married before I left and all the money I had saved for my car got spent on her a place to live. I came home and we had some wild times, but shortly after is when I heard she was pregnant. When I called to see if it was true, she said, “Yeah, but I think I'm aborting it.” like it was her decision and none of mine.

I'll tell you now, that's the maddest I ever got at that woman. By the end of that phone call, I was ready to get off the phone, go AWOL, and go home to kill the bitch.”

I imagine. So, is he yours?”

Yeah, can't you tell?”

In ways, yeah, but I've heard of stranger things happening.”

Like what?”

Like guys going off and leaving dear old dad to stand guard over the girl and the guy coming home to messed up math and having a kid who everyone said looked just like him.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, so the blood work and dna all come back, but it's really his brother he's raising instead of his kid. Dad still in the picture and everything?”

Don't tell me that. I left my her with my dad.”

Does the math add up?”

I can't think about that.”

Do you love him?”


Then don't think about it. Think about him in no other sense than being yours. He is because you're raising him. Where's your dad now?”


Well, that's a plus.”

What's that mean?”

It sounds like he was a piece of work raising you, so I was wondering if he would be to Aaron.”

He was dead before that.”

How long did she shag afterward?”

Man, don't be asking that?”

I'm going to tell you something. There's something which is screaming at me to ask the questions, but at the same time, I know it's a raw deal for you but it was a raw deal for Aaron. If he is, or isn't. You've got a bond with him and that's what matters.”

I know.”

Good. Let's get in there so I can get grandma and go home.”

I need to apologize to your grandma.”

You do. She'll beat you to death if you don't.”

That old broad can fight.”

I know. I've seen her in action and it's not nice.”

He looked at me and I said, “Let's just say I saw her kick a kid's ass who threatened her little Vette. He got out and made like he was going to slam his door into her car. She made like she was going to slam him in the car door and did.”

I imagine. That 'vette is sweet.”

It's history. She traded it in on both she and I those new Camaroes we have.”

Oh man.”

She got a nice check and could easily have bought another Camaro with what she got in that check.”

That had to be like a hundred grand she got for that car!”

Yeah, but it was sweet. I think it doesn't matter to her because she's got that Camaro now and likes it a whole lot.”

That Camaro though...Oh man, that's sick.”

What's sick!”

Every teenage boy in this town lusted after her car. Your grandma and your mom would drive down the street in it and I think we all turned our heads looking.”

At my grandma!?”

No, but I'll tell you your grandma was a bombshell back in her day.”


Yeah, I hear stories she sent your grandpa pin up photos over to him in the war and he was envied by a whole battalion.”

I don't see it.”

He chuckled. “Not now, but back then you couldn't have missed her.”

We went in and Aaron smiled. Grandma came over and said, “We've got to go.”

Mrs. Sherpa, I'd like to apologize to you.”

Did he straighten you out?”


She gave him a look and he said, “In that way too. I'm going to go home and have a talk with Aaron.”

She nodded and said, “It's about time. You DO know she knew, don't you?”

I thought so.”

She asked me what to do and I told her to make you tell her. I wasn't going to be letting her make a mistake.”

She did that. I just wish it was easier then for me to admit it.”

Well, you know now, so that's what matters. Angels are smiling, so you do what you need to do to be honest about yourself.”

I will.”

And drop that bull with the way you treat the boy. He didn't do a thing to you.”

I know.”


She turned to me and said, “I'll meet you at home.”

You've got Chris and that other kid waiting down there. You'll need to give them a ride. I'd let one ride in my car, but Chris would have to go with you.”

I smiled, “Let it go grandma!”

I'm not letting a thing go!”

Ok, hang onto it then.”

She smiled and said, “I plan on it.”

We went down and I saw Chris and Jared sitting on the wall. Jared looked at me and smiled. Grandma paused and said, “Well, I'll be damned.”

What grandma?”

You do know who he is, don't you?”


Do you think he feels the same?”

I think so. Now, what do you know?”

If you don't see it, then I'm not saying. A blind man could see it.”

Well, I'm seeing it, but I wanted to know about the past.”

We'll talk later. I need to get home.”

Ok, do you need anything before I come home?”

No, I'm stopping by Subway. You might stop by there too. We'll get the two for one special and we'll get them some dinner too.”


I went down and we all walked to our cars. Grandma had parked right beside mine.

Jared saw Grandma's and said, “I like yours better Mrs. Sherpa.”

Call me grandma. That's what you used to call me.”

Sure thing.”

She smiled and said, “You sure grew up into a good looking kid.”


She started to say something else and then stopped. Instead, she turned and got in her car. When she started it, the revving she did to that motor told me she was upset. She pulled out backwards and when she put it into forward, she laid rubber. That finished telling me she was upset.

Your grandma burned out!” Chris said giggling.

If that don't tell you she's upset, nothing will.”

About what?”

I'm not sure. It could be that guy up there, or it could be something else.”

Jared asked, “Me?”

No, she thinks you're fine. She'd told me if she thought otherwise.”

Does she remember me?”

She told you she did.”

I remember her. Do you remember that?”


She used to hold us on her lap together. She'd hold me like a baby and you'd lay across me and fall asleep. You'd drool and I'd just hug you tight.”

Really? You'd think I'd remember falling asleep on some boy!”

Jared wiggled his eyebrows and said, “This boy didn't mind at all.”

Chris said, “Come on, get in the car ya love birds.”

He got in and got into the back seat. “Jake, the trophies have to move if I'm going to be riding back here now.”

I got in and Jared got in the front. “Why'd you get back there anyways?”

You two look good up there together.”

I turned to Jared and saw him smiling. I thought to myself, “You did grow into a good looking guy.”

I started the car and the seat belt chime sounded. I reached over Jared and got his buckle. He turned his head towards me and his lips caressed my cheek. I looked into his eyes and smiled. His face widened into a big smile and our eyes connected as I buckled him in. Just then a sound of grandma's scream echoed in my mind.

Alarm must've registered on my face.

What's wrong?”

I swear I just heard my grandma scream.”

I buckled up and started the car. I put it into haul and drove to the Subway. I saw her car and shook my head. Was it a memory, or was it an omen?

Jared said, “Man, I'm glad she's ok. You had me freaked out.”

I know. Maybe it was a memory.”

Chris said, “Jared, he has a lot of bad memories from when he was little and his parents died.”

I imagine.”

Jared's hand caressed my arm, “I remember them. They were like my mom and dad too.”

I turned to him, “I felt like I lost you when I lost them. I've got you back now, so don't do anything to make me lose you again.”

I won't.”

His hand clasped mine and he looked at me. “Do you feel the same as I do?”


Good, I was worried.”

Do you want to make it official or just assume where we left off?”

Will you?”

Do you?”


Same here.”

You used to say 'Yeah Yeah' instead of 'same here' when we said that.”

I don't remember us talking that clearly. It's like we said it with our eyes.”

We did, but you understood me.”

I did, but you did me too.”

I know, it was neat. I want that back.”

I stopped and said, “I've got to say something.”


I won't go to your house.”


Maybe, but I get the feeling I can't go there...or shouldn't go there.”

Maybe it's memories.”

What happened?”

Not now, let's go eat.”

Ok, but that's twice I've been told not now in regards to things.”

Who else said it?”

My grandma.”

Neither one of us wants to remember the bad part.”

And neither one of you will tell me what the bad part is.”

I'll tell you what I remember when it's time. I don't want to hurt you any more.”

Anymore one word or any more two words?”

Two words.”

Good, it wasn't you then.”

He smiled, “No, it wasn't me.”

Your dad?”


Let's go inside. I just saw red when I thought of him. That tells me he's evil.”

We got out and Chris came up to me, “Dude, you're not going to get laid if you keep telling him he's the son of Satan!”

I'm not getting laid by his dad. If that man tried to come near me, I'd kill him.” As soon as I said it, I turned to Jared. “What happened?”

I can't say right now.”

SO something happened and you're not denying it.”


Your dad?”

I'll tell you later.”

You do know when I find out it was him, I'm killing him. Don't you?”

I understand.”

And you're still going to tell me?”

I'll tell you all I know. You've got to promise me you'll keep it between us.”

I will.”

We went inside and ate. Grandma really took to Jared and occasionally glared over at Chris. I had to chuckle when she left because Jared asked, “What's up with your grandma not liking Chris?”

Chris spit milkshake all over the inside of her car.”

It wasn't all over. Just on the dash and windshield.”

Jared laughed, “How come I know there's a story there.”

I said, “We went to Dairy Queen and then went out riding around in Grandma's vette. Chris saw a girl with big 'uns and had a seizure. When he got over it, he found himself at Grandma's trying to clean it up before she got out to inspect her car. Needless to say, he didn't make it. Since then, Grandma thinks he's an imbecile.”

I didn't have a seizure!”

No, it wasn't a seizure. It's just how he gets when he sees a girl.”

Jared laughed, “I understand. He's that way around them. It's a wonder if he ever gets one.”

I'll have you know I almost got one.”

When?” both Jared and I said at the same time.

Ok, maybe it wasn't close, but I had her talking which is more than you two have done.”

Jared laughed, “For your information, I've got what I want.”

Inwardly, I started to feel bad until he pointed at me and said, “We got together when we were little.”

That don't count. Seeing each other in diapers isn't cool at all.”

It counts. We kissed and even slept together.”

I chuckled, “Chris, you can't beat that logic. I'll second it and tell you I feel the same way. There!”

Chris rolled his eyes, “Well, it's cool you guys have each other. I like both of you a lot, so now I don't have to worry about getting you laid anymore.”

Like you ever worried.”

I did....a lot!” he smiled. “You just don't know this is my master plan!”

Jared looked at me and just smiled. “Do you remember him there?”

He was the one down back looking up under Grandma's skirt.”

Oh! Now I remember!” Jared said laughing.

Chris started chuckling, “Uh uh!”

If it wasn't you, then who was it?”

I don't know, but it wasn't me.”

Jared chuckled, “Now we know why his grandma doesn't like you.”

Chris said, “She'll get over it...some day.”

We got in the car and then went to my house. I got the photos and then took Chris home. After dropping Chris off, he reached over and held my hand.

You know I'm really glad you're back in my life. A huge part of me feels complete now.”


Yeah, I missed you like you wouldn't believe.”

I know. I felt it too. I'm surprised we never met up before this.”

I guess it was time.”

We got silent and he asked, “Can I look at the photos?”

Yeah, just be sure to touch the edges.”

He pulled them out and looked through them. They were blown up 8x10 and full color. I looked over and he had a tear sliding down his face.

You ready yet?”

I overheard my dad talking once about your parents. He said they were heathen and you were a faggot. Then he said the best thing he ever did was get rid of your parents.”

Who'd he have do it?”

I think it was Elder Brown.”

What's his first name?”


He still here in town?”

He still goes to church at our church, but he moved up to Jacksonville.”

Why do you think it was him?”

From what my dad said, I don't think this is the first time they've done something like that. The other person got killed too. It was a girl.”

Do you know when that happened?”

After your parents. He said she was a wanton slut and deserved to die.”

You do know I'll seek vengeance.”

Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.”

He helps those who help themselves.”

Thou shalt not kill.”

Honor thy mother and father. And turn the other cheek. I turned my cheek for too long, now it's time to do as the Roman's do...give the death penalty.”

I don't want you to get into trouble.”

Definitely not going to happen. Is there a time of day when your mom isn't there and your dad is?”

On Saturdays. She goes shopping and he prepares his sermons. He's usually in the living room pacing back and forth with mirrors.”

Ok, that's all I needed to know.”

Jake, the only reason I'm saying this is he's been really abusive towards me. You don't know how many times I've heard I'm just like you and a faggot too. He then beats me with the belt and says he's not going to spare the rod.”

He's got problems. You'd think he could deal with someone loving someone else.”

What I think is he couldn't handle it because mom was ok with it. He'll yell at her and me and say she made me this way. I don't think she did.”

Me neither. I think we were destined to be together.”

I don't want to know what you're going to do.”

You won't. My advice is to go shopping with her.”

He won't let me. He says it's woman's work and doesn't want her to do anything with me. He tells her it's bad enough she made me a faggot.”

Does he know?”

No, but he keeps saying it anyway.”

I drove over to their house and dropped him off. He patted my hand and then got out. I drove off and then went over to the Holmes' house.

When I got out of the car, I carried the envelope up to the door and rang the door bell. Mr Holmes answered it and said, “Come on in Jake.”

Thanks. Here are those photos. I've got a bit of news for you.”

What's that?”

Have you ever heard of a guy named Ronnie Brown?”


Reverend Riefsdel's son said Ronnie Brown is the person whom he thinks did it for the pastor.”

Did he say anything else?”

He said the pastor has said on a lot of occasions it was the best thing he did was to get rid of my parents. To ice the cake, they apparently have done it another time since.”


He didn't know, but it was a girl.”

Ronnie Brown is a piece of work. He got himself fired after he used the 'death in the family' absence provision too many times. Where we work asked him to give the person who died and he was dumb enough to say one of the people whom they picketed the funeral. The pastor tried to get his lawyers on them, but where we work did a complete background check on the person and their genealogy. They proved there was no relationship there and then challenged the pastor and Ronnie in court. They lost and Ronnie didn't get one lick of severance or unemployment.”

Where's he work now?”

Out in Jacksonville. He opened his own shop.”

What sort of tools does he use?”

Snap on. He's got a huge set.”

I nodded and said, “Thanks.”

This is a semi professional job. I hate to say it, but I would've done it a lot different.”

How would you have done it?”

Inside a drum brake, there are springs and ratchets. The ratchet adjusts the brake automatically when you back up. That way the system stays tight and works. If your brakes are bad, you get a grinding or squealing sound from the brakes. However, there are times when those brakes will have the ratchet break and the lock pieces fall inside the drum. The spring comes off and it's a real mess because you'll either have no brakes, or the whole thing will come apart and you'll be driving down the road and your wheel will suddenly lock up.

What that stupid ass did was he made a clean cut. Had he used a file and poked a hole in the line, it would have taken a while to leak enough fluid to have a problem. The moisture would have attracted road dust and it would've looked natural.

He cut both brake lines on the back which is a definite way for someone to know it's been tampered with. As you can see, the cut is all the way across which looks like someone was in a hurry and used a pair of snips. He could have been in and under and got it done in less than five minutes...probably three at the most.”


I'm sorry to tell you this, but sort of really cranking on the wheel and ditching it, there's nothing he could have done. The bad thing is there apparently wasn't anyone in front of them. Had there been, they could have tail ended them and lived through the accident.”

Grandma said on the 12th of every month, they went out on a date. She said they did it because that's the date they first met.”

It probably was. I don't remember the date, but it sounds like they had a really good relationship.”

I think they did. No one says anything otherwise to me.”

Your parents were good people.”

Where's Aaron?”

We had our talk and he went over to a kid named Tim's house.”

Did your talk go well?”

Yeah, it's amazing how well. I think it was a big relief to both of us to finally have the secrets out.”

That's good.”

Now he's over telling tim I'm ok with them two being together.”

The name Tim doesn't ring a bell.”

He's in your class. He's a real loner. From what I know, he lives out by the Tara Plantation house.”

Oh, I know where that is.”

Don't let it out about them.”

I'm not. I'm the same way.”

He smiled and said, “Do your people know?”

Yeah, grandma's fine with it.”


The great thing is I spoke with that guy I was telling you about and we got together. I guess you could say our going to Subway tonight was our unofficial first date.”


Grandma took us along with my friend Chris.”

Oh! I'm glad to hear you've found someone.”

You will too, it takes time.”

He smiled, “Thanks.”

Does Ronnie Brown have any markings on his tools?”

What do you have in mind?”

Killing the pastor.”

Don't do that!”

You don't know how long I've said I'd do it as soon as I found out who it was. Now I know, so it's time.”

Find a better way.”

Other than doing their car so he dies alone, there's a risk of Jared or his mom being involved in the accident.”

Why are you asking about Ronnie's tools?”

It kills two birds with one stone. If I point the finger at him for the pastor's death, then I'm out of it.”

Who knows besides me?”

Jared and everyone else I've told I'd do it.”

Then fingers will point at you.”

I can't let the man live.”

Son, let me tell you something. Condemning your soul to hell for eternity isn't something you want to do. You want to meet up again some day with your parents, don't you?”


Well, that's not the answer.”

What if he finds out Jared and I are back together? I mean, he's already abusing Jared because of us being together when we were little, and from what Jared says, he gets on rampages where both Jared and his mom get spoken to badly.”

Trust and have patience. Karma has a way of dealing those sorts blows where you find satisfaction.”

Yeah, and the second it happens, Jared is most likely going to be involved and I'll lose him again.”

Is there any way for you to have Jared spend the night?”

No. My name being mentioned would be a red flag to the man.”

How about a friend's house?”

I don't know. Why?”

Oh nothing.”

You were asking for a reason. I've been honest with you, so why the sudden questions if it's nothing?”

I'm thinking. We need to do a little investigation. It's a shame your parents car isn't around still.”

Yeah, all I know is it got hauled to Prather's and that was it.”

Let me call over there. Sometimes they take those cars out to Prather's farm. They use them for parts on other wrecks they repair.”

Do you think they'd still have it? I mean it's awfully torn up.”

There's no loss in calling to see.”

He went over to the phone and looked up on his wall. He dialed the phone and said, “Ben? Yeah, Roger Holmes here. I need to ask you a question. Yeah, I'm doin' fine. The reason I called is an old wrecked car you towed in. I've got the boy here and he said you towed his parents car in. It's Jake Martin. His parents were killed in the car as it was tampered with.”

He paused and listened, then he nodded and said, “IS there a way we could come out to the farm and look at it?”

He paused and said, “Well, we're probably going to run out of daylight today, but I want to take a look at it. He's gotten some information and brought me the photos of it.”

He paused and then said, “Oh really! When did he go and look at it?” He listened and then said, “Yeah, that's a while ago, but I'm glad to hear you remember.” He paused again and said, “Well, there would be a reason he went to look at it. He's the one who I've heard is responsible for that tampering.....Yeah, you heard right.”

He looked shocked and said, “Well that son of a ....He took the brake lines!? I imagine that would have been taken in as evidence!”

He listened and said, “Now, I need to ask you another question. What do you remember of the accident?”

He listened and occasionally said, “Um hmm, and you don't say!” He then said, “Do you have those photos you took still? Good, could I get a few copies of them? Yeah, I'm staring at the photos the state took of it. Well, I don't know how he got them, but I'd say he got them because it was his parents.”

He listened and then said, “Ok, well I appreciate your help in this. No, I don't like it either. They were some good people. Oh really! I had no idea that tire shop was yours!”

He listened again and then said, “Ok Ben, I'll get off here. If you can help him out, I'd really appreciate it.”

He hung up and then said, “Good news and bad, I'm afraid.”

What is it?”

Ronnie Brown signed in to go out there to the farm to see that car. Ben makes you sign in to go to the farm, that way he's got proof you were there. Then, he stands there while you look.”

Ok, so that's good.”

The bad part is Ronnie took the brake lines which had been cut. The good news is Ben made him sign a form and charged him for the brake lines. Ronnie paid by check and here's the best news of all.”

What's that?”

Most tow truck operators take photos of the accident scenes they work at. The reason being is there are times when a car is taken by an insurance company and then the tow truck operator isn't paid for it. If they have photos documenting they were there and they towed the car, they're sure to get paid if it needs to go to court.

The plus side of it is Ben's real particular about taking a whole lot of pictures. He's probably got more pictures of that accident scene than anyone else.

He says he's got the photos and dug them out. Sure as I'm standing here telling you, he says Ronnie Brown was at that accident scene and he's got photographic proof!”

That's good, but it's still not a smoking gun.”

Ben said he thought it was peculiar Ronnie was there, but dismissed it. Then he said alarm bells went off when Ronnie went out there. Now, do you want to know what is real nice?”

What's that?”

Ben's got probably one of the first on board dash cameras ever invented. Come to think of it, I imagine he probably tried to invent the thing. He says when Ronnie came out there to sign in, he took him out in the truck and filmed Ronnie taking the brake lines off their car.”

What about the wheels and where the lug nuts were removed?”

He said Ronnie asked a lot of questions about it.”

Would you do me a favor?”

What's that?”

Ask Mr Prather if he towed another vehicle which was done similarly. The girl died in the wreck.”

I totally forgot! I'll call him back.”

He grabbed the phone and dialed, “Yeah Ben, Jake just reminded me of something he wanted to ask. Do you recollect any other accidents since then where a girl died in the accident and the brakes were cut and the lug nuts removed?” He listened and then said, “I'll be dag-burned. Did Ronnie go to that vehicle? Sure enough. Did you film it? Great!” He listened and said, “He signed that form too.”

He listened and said, “Jake said someone told him Ronnie did both of them. It's a conspiracy and it was done for someone else. Yeah, that's right! How'd you guess?! Oh really!”

He put his hand over the receiver and said, “The pastor called about both vehicles. He offered to buy the whole cars after Ronnie had went out there.”

Probably to get rid of the evidence.”

He nodded and said, “It's a shame you don't have record of those phone calls.”

He listened and said, “I'm sure he appreciates you sayin' that. If it goes to court, I'll be sure to let you know. Well, that's what we know for now. I'll have him out there tomorrow night. You don't mind if we take some photos do you?” He nodded and said, “Ok, I really thank you.”

He got off the phone and said, “We need to get a camera and be prepared to take a lot of photos. Ben said no one has touched either vehicle except for Ronnie. He said your parents car is laying on it's top so the underside of the car is accessible.”

Why's it laying on it's top?”

It was probably that badly damaged. Sometimes if a car is too badly damaged and there aren't any good body parts to be gotten from the top side, they'll put it on it's top to get to the parts underneath.

He said to be sure to tell you not to look inside the car. He doesn't want you traumatized by it.”

I won't. I've seen those photos for a long time.”

Actually seeing and seeing in a photograph are two different things. I'll tell you now, there are going to be all sorts of memories which flood on you.”

You never did tell me why my parents had that old of a car when dad had new cars until then.”

I don't rightly know. What I think is he probably got a used car since he had you and a house to pay for.”

Do you think they did it now?”

I think all the arrows are pointing their direction. It's bad, but I'll say this. If Jared went in and gave a statement to the investigator and Ben spoke to the investigator, there'd be enough circumstantial evidence, I'd convict them if I was on the jury.”

Evidence is easily refuted and inadmissible.”

Photographic evidence clears a lot of minds of those doubts. With Ben having all the other evidence, I'd say it's definitely going to point the finger their direction.”

What'd he say about the pastor calling?”

He said he's going to listen to his phone recordings to see if he's got it. He said he used to record those phone calls with reel to reel back then, so he's going to give them a listen. He also said he'd have the phone log of when the call was made to him. He's really thorough when it comes to that.”

Man! That's a lot more than thorough.”

Not really. I'll tell you why.

Take for example you call me and tell me to come get your car as it's broken down. Then you say to fix it and you don't care what it costs. So, I find a blown motor and all sorts of problems, therefore I fix it and then hand you a six thousand dollar bill on it. Ok, you don't pay and I've got a car on my hands which is only worth forty five hundred. I call you and tell you I'm getting tired of waiting and then you tell me to go ahead and sell the car. So, I do. Then, I get forty three hundred out of it and then take you to court to get the other twenty seven hundred.

If I go that far, I'm going to need to prove I actually spoke to you and prove you told me to fix it and not hold anything back on doings so. Then, I'm going to need to have proof you were called and have proof I attempted to collect the debt. If I have the proof, that judge is going to listen to me a lot more credibly than if I didn't. That's why he does it.”

Man, I guess he'd need to, but it'd be a lot better if people kept their word.”

It would, but there are some people who just have no clue how much it could cost to repair their cars.”

Hopefully, mine will be under warranty when mine needs fixed.”

You've got a right pretty car. What I need to tell you about that car isn't anything about the engine, but the transmission could be a problem for you.”


They put that metric tranny under them instead of the old Turbo 350's. What you need to know about those trannies is they're really particular when it comes to a lot of hot rodding. My advice is to put a transmission cooler on it and then put in an inline filter to help clean that fluid.”

IS that hard?”

Do you have the bill of sale?”

Grandma has it.”

Did you keep the sticker from the window?”

It's in the glove compartment.”

Let's go give it a look. You might have one already.”

We went out and he looked at it. “It's got one built into the radiator. That's the cheap generic one they put in all of them. From what I see, you don't even have an oil cooler.”

Is that good?”

Son, let me tell you something. For a semi which goes out on the road, they've got oil coolers, tranny cooler, and all sorts of extra coolers on it. That's why they get the amount of miles they do on them.

Now, you take a truck which pulls a camping trailer. If you don't put all that on there, you'll have a bad transmission and most likely a bad engine in no time. That extra weight is going to heat everything up.

What you don't know is if you want a vehicle to last a good long time, you treat it like you would something like that truck. It'll keep all your fluids a lot cooler and it'll make your engine and tranny run better.”

How much do they cost?”

A tranny cooler cost about twenty nine dollars. That extra oil cooler will run you about forty nine. What I'd suggest is for you to put an extra fan on the front of them to help push the air through them.”

How much does that cost?”

Altogether, I could get you those for about ninety dollars my cost. I get a discount on parts.”

How much would you charge me to put it on?”

I'll tell you what. I'll give you the same deal I did your dad. If you'll help me work on it, I'll do it for free. That way, you learn something and we get to spend some time together in friendship.”

Could you get two of those kits? Grandma has a car just like this and I'd definitely want her car to last.”

Ok, you get me the money and I'll get them for you.”

Alright, what I'll do is I'll work with you on this one and then we can do hers with you watching and see if I learned right.”

He smiled and said, “You're real certain about this?”

Yeah, I want this car to last a good long time.”

Ok, now what I'm going to tell you is this too. If you flush the transmission every thirty thousand miles, it'll be good. I'd do the radiator at the same time. That way, you've got a good maintenance record for your car.”

How much does that cost?”

Let's say this...if you get the filter kit and do it at my cost, it'll be about fourteen dollars and that covers the cost of the fluid to go back in.”

What's a flush do?”

Here's what it does. As your motor runs, it has all sorts of wear and friction inside. You change your oil and that gets you new oil in it and a new filter to keep the particles out of the oil. What I like to do is put a magnet on the bottom of the pan to keep those particles down on the pan and not floating around. It's a cheap piece of insurance which doesn't cost more than a quarter at a hardware store.

In a transmission, the same thing happens, and yet, people will change the oil and not ever think about the transmission. They'll drive the thing forever and then one day, they'll lose a tranny.

What a flush does is it gets the fluid up in there and makes sure all those particles come out. If you just drop the trans pan and change the filter, you've done half the job because that torque converter will have about a gallon of fluid in it. You'll put in new fluid to mix with that old and it's done you about half the job as it could have.”

I'm learning a bunch here.”

Some places will tell you they'll put in a new filter and not flush it. I'll tell you a quick way to see if they have.”

How's that?”

Hang on a second and I'll go get a set of ramps. You'll need to have the car up in order to see it.”

He went to walking into his garage and I followed. He handed me a couple of metal things and then carried the ramps. When we got back outside, he put the ramps in front of the front tires and then said, “Put those over there. I'll tell you what they're for in a moment.”


Now, go in and start the car. When I tell you to, gently put the car into gear and drive forward. Now, do it gently otherwise it'll go off the other end of the ramp and you could mess up your car.”

Why don't you do it?”

No, you've got to learn.”

Ok, but this is making me nervous.”

Son, it takes a first time to get you over it. The one thing I'll do is teach you the right way and that way, you're doing it safe.”


I got in the car and started it. I put it into gear and then gently drove it up. He told me to stop and then told me to lock the emergency brake. I did and then shut off the car. I got out and then he handed me one of the metal things he had me carry out.

This is a jack stand. Whenever your car goes in the air, you put this thing under it. That way, it doesn't fall and crush you. This thing will catch it and you'll have time to get out from beneath it.”


Now, put it up there. The way you do it is us that thing there to get those ratchets up and then lock it. If you put it up there under your shock tower, you'll be safe. Be sure to not touch anything because it'll be hot.”

We lay under the car and he took me back. “That is your oil pan. That plug there is what you take out to change your oil. When you change your oil, I'd suggest getting a magnetic plug. It'll catch those particles and you'll be able to do the same thing as having that magnet on the bottom of the pan.

That is your transmission pan. As you can see, it doesn't have a plug. A lot of people wouldn't know how to do it, but to change the filter, you've got to undo all those bolts. A dishonest car man will tell you he did it, and not have done it. If you get under the car and those bolts haven't been undone, he's a liar and a thief. You call him on it and tell him you're not going to pay. If he wants to call the law, you tell him to do so and THEN, you call me. I'll come over and take a look and call the man out on being a thief and a liar. When that happens, he knows his days are over for doing it to anyone else in this town because I'll get word around real fast to everyone else what he did.”

Will he still try to charge me?”

If he does, you pay and I'll go with you to sue the man for your money back in small claims court. We'll photograph it and we'll have our proof.

Now, here's what I suggest. When it's time to change the filter, you should get a shift kit. What it'll do is it'll make your car shift better. It'll have a filter and that gasket in it just like a filter kit, but it'll get you better performance and gas milage.”

Why don't they do that already?”

They do those things to make money. The cheapest way for them is the best way. For me, I prefer to have the best way and spend a little money.”

How much does that shift kit cost?”

About nineteen dollars and a gallon of tranny fluid. When you drop the pan, you'll have a lot of tranny fluid which will come out. Whatever you do, don't try to save a few dollars and reuse it. It's like putting bad blood back in your vein. Use something which will be clean and give you better performance.”

Ok, that's neat.”

Now, here's what else I'm going to tell you. You see that thing back there?”


That's your rear end housing. What we'll do is we'll check that when we change this. Some people drive their car and never check the thing. I've actually seen trucks go down the road and have the things catch on fire.”


Yeah, they don't ever check them and never put any fluid in them. They run dry due to wear and dry rot in a seal and then the heat builds up in there. Soon, you've got oil boiling and hitting hot metal. It catches fire and it's a real mess. All it takes to be assured of not having the problem is a few dollars and some time spent under here.”

I need to write all this down. This is interesting.”

It's all common sense. A lot of people will pay a whole lot to have this stuff done when it doesn't take hardly any time at all to do. A Saturday morning and a few hours and you've got a car back in tip top shape.

Now, do you want to know a big secret?”

What's that?”

The transmission filter is the biggest headache on a car. There are some Fords which have front wheel drive which have a take up valve which the gaskets aren't right. They fall out and the person thinks they've lost a transmission. The Ford dealer will charge you for a new transmission and all they do is take that pan off and put in a dime gasket and put on a filter kit. They spent fifteen bucks and charge you five hundred.

People don't know, so they don't know what to look for. Me, I'll tell someone and give them the right goods. They're thankful and they think of me when they need work or someone they know needs work. That's called customer service.”

It sounds like they should do that.”

I'll tell you what and this is no lie. Some of the most dishonest auto mechanics I've ever met work in that car dealership. They say they do a whole lot when they don't do much.”

I thought they'd be better!”

Think about it. I can do the work or you can do the work or they can...what's the difference?”


Nothing. Yeah, I'm trained, but you could do it yourself and not have to pay a whole lot. That tranny fix I told you about they do takes all of twenty minutes with the right tools. With hand tools, it takes forty five minutes. It's as simple as lifting the car like this taking out those fourteen bolts and dropping the pan. Up there is a thing which looks like a hockey puck which will be in your pan. It belongs up in a hole. That o ring gasket is what keeps it up in there. When the gasket fails, it drops and your transmission slips real bad. Fifteen dollars and forty five minutes at the most and you're back on the road as good as new.”


Let's slide up here. I'll show you where that oil and transmission cooler goes. You see up there in front of the radiator?”


Well, what you do is drop that piece of plastic and you put set of coolers up there. You put in a fan to push the air and you're in there. All it takes is putting in lines to connect them to the radiator and you're good as new. What I'll do is I'll probably drain your radiator and take it out. That way, we've got it bolted in securely.

Oh, one other thing and this is a must.”

What's that?”

These are lube fittings. What you do is you put a grease gun on this and give a crank. What it does is it lubes up your suspension. If you don't, you'll wear a bushing and you'll have a car which sounds like a rattle trap going down the street because the joints have plumb wore out a bushing. That's usually caused by it not being lubed and something not moving when it should've. If it's lubed, it moves and that bushing isn't squeezed out in all the compression.”

I've heard cars like that. They go up the street and they sound like the front end is going to fall out from under it.”

Yeah, and it's expensive to repair. All it takes is a few cents worth of lube and you don't have that problem.

While I'm down here, I'll show you a few other things. I realize you might not remember it, but there's no test, so don't worry. That bar there is your sway bar. What it does is it keeps your car from plowing in a turn. Because this is a sports car, it's got a bigger one than a luxury car. This one is a good one. You'll not have much problems with that...but you see that bushing there?”


That's what wears on those. I doubt if you have a problem with that, but if you do it's because you've had an oil leak and it's dripped down here and gotten on that rubber.

Right there is your oil filter. It's what you change down here to change your oil. All you do is unscrew that and put another on and undo that plug back there and that oil comes out. A couple of dollars in oil and a couple of dollars in that filter and you're good as new.”

What brand do I buy?”

I go with Fram. They're all about the same, but Fram stands by their product. They've got all sorts of filters for cars, so it's pretty wise to buy them all at the same time and just get it over with.”

We got out from under the car and he said, “That is what I taught your dad. We'd work on his car and would have a good time spent together. It kept us friends and I valued his friendship.”

I appreciate it as well.”

He got misty eyed and said, “You don't know how I've missed those little things. Your dad was a friend of mine who made doing things for him good. What you don't know is he stayed a friend when a lot of other people stopped being a friend to me.”


My temper. My marriage and a whole lot of problems.”

You never showed him your temper, did you?”

No, he was good people.”

Well, that's all in the past. Don't beat yourself over things you can't change. Change what you can and don't let it creep up in your future.”

He smiled and said, “I appreciate it. That sounds like something he'd say too.”

You need to teach Aaron these things.”

He doesn't appreciate them the way someone else would. He thinks because I make my living doing this, I shouldn't have a problem doing it for him.”

Let me talk to him. I bet he's never thought about it as a bonding experience. If I could, you know I'd be down there with my dad.”

I know you would. We don't appreciate what we've got when we've got them.”

I did. It's just that I didn't get to know them. Now it takes me having to learn from everyone else what they were like. I'm glad you're telling me.”

Son, let me tell you something. With me, I'd tell you the bad as well as the good if there was any bad. A lot of people won't. They'll tell you all the good and let the bad stuff go.

For you, I think it'd be best for you to hear the complete personality of them instead of the sugar coated version. They were people and not saints. Yeah, they were good people, but they lived and breathed and they made mistakes like you and I. I think they'd want you to know the full version of them instead of the nice version.”

I understand.”

Good, because there's not much bad to tell. Yeah, your mom and I dated, but I also told you what happened there. Yeah, I probably would have married her to cover up my secret, but I'm glad I didn't. You're the result of them getting together and I'm just glad both of them found someone as nice as the other was to share their life.” He paused and said, “You know, I never thought about how much money that was I lent him until today. Fifty bucks was like lending him five hundred nowadays. What's funny is back then, us kids would get that much in a week in tips. We didn't know how good we had it.”

I oughta go out there and work!”

He laughed, “They'd hire you, but I'll tell you what. When you do, take a look at Grant and you'll see one of us.”


Yeah, a fine looking man and someone who really is a sweet guy.”

Why don't you ask him out?”

Nah, someone that perfect probably has someone.”

Someone like him might not have someone because everyone thinks he's got someone. There's no sense in not trying.”

Ok, I'll think about it.”

What's to think about?! If you can't do it in person, then call him!”

No, I'd want to do it in person. He might think I'm a crank caller.”

Ok, let's get these things back out from there and I'll drive you over.”

You're a pushy little imp!”

No, I know what it's like to not have someone and how it feels to know you've got a chance. It's a world of good.”

We got the jack stands out from under the car and I backed it down. We carried them into the garage and I looked around. Everything had it's place and was neat and tidy.

You keep a good garage.”

Let me tell you something. If you keep it neat, you see what's missing real fast. Tools are expensive and in a busy garage, they have a way of sprouting legs and walking off. What I do, is I've got a set of tools here and a set of tools at work. These here have my name etched into them. The ones at work have my initials etched into them right here. You can't see it, unless you look, but I know where to look I'll tell you now if I find I'm working with a thief, I'll have them out of there real fast. Things cost too much to take chances. Now, if someone comes up and asks, I lend, but by the end of the work day, I ask for everything back. It's a good policy to be sure to have the set complete.”

I nodded and he said, “I'm that way about everything. You see the drawers in the house the same way. Everything...even the kitchen utensils...have a place. I know where to look for something and I know when it's gone.”

We shut the garage door and he said, “Let me write a note for Aaron in case he comes home and finds me gone. I doubt if he comes home soon, but it's good to do.”

We went in and he took a water marker and wrote on the front of the refrigerator. “Let me give you a clue here. You see this Johnson's floor wax?”


I wax the refrigerator with this. If I didn't, the front of the refrigerator would be pink from writing on it and wiping it off. A damp rag and this wipes right off.”

Cool beans.”

Your dad used to say that.”

We went outside and got into the car. “Nice car. It's a bit fancy in the leather seating, but if you take care of it, you'll not have problems. Can I give you a bit of advice?”


Don't use Armor All on these gaskets up here on the t-tops. Yeah, it makes them shiny, but if you use silicon spray and put it on a paper towel and wipe them, it's shiny and won't ever crack. The added benefit is you can spray the door hinges with the spray and keep them from squeaking.”

Ok, I'll have to get some.”

Why don't you let me get that stuff for you when you're ready to buy it. I can get a big discount on everything."



Notes From Retta:

This story wouldn't be possible without a good person by the name of Wes. Fortunately, he downloaded it while it was still able to be gotten on the Google Groups site.

For those of you who know, my Google Groups site is shit. Please don't get that confused with “the shit”, but just plain shit.

It seems you can upload a chapter to the site and it will promptly lose the thing. When you go to click on it, you will get an error message which states the page you've navigated to is no longer available. Needless to say, I'm not please because their customer service sucks.

I'd lost the first twenty five chapters of the story, so without Wes having them, I'd be fucked. Thankfully, he had them, so he gets a great BIG HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From My Keyboard To Your Heart,


Copyright Notice - Copyright © 2009 by RettaMichaels

The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.

Trademark Notice – 2009 by RettaMichaels

From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.