Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cold Clean Up

I’m sitting alone at Olive Garden… fucking Olive Garden.
“Would you like to try our eggplant parmigiana?” the waiter asks for the fourth time in three minutes.
“No I don’t want any of your greasy garlic food Mr.….Elliot.” I said impatiently.
“Uh well excuse me.” The waiter said with disgust.
He then takes a piece of garlic bread out of his pocket, defiantly ripping a piece off with his teeth and marches back to the kitchen.
Not sure whether to be offended or amused, my attention turns to the front door as Sir Carter James comes strolling in.
“Hey there! No worries, you’re only 45 minutes late. I was just leaving.” I say as I start to walk out the door.
“Wait, Jackie. I’m sorry, I got caught up at the office. Please let me make it up to you.” He says, following me out the door.
Turning around, about to say some rude remark and walk off, I look into his eyes and see that he genuinely is sorry.
“What did you have in mind?”
He smiles…

“Ice cream in January huh?” I say as we walk through the park holding waffle cones.
“It’s never a bad time for ice cream.” Carter replies with a grin.
Suddenly something rustles in the bushes.
“What was that?” I say startled
“I’ll go check it out, stay here.” He says hesitantly walking over.
A man in rags emerges…
“AHHHHHH!!!!” Carter screams.
“AHHHHHH!!!!” the rugged man responds.
“Wow how courageous of you to protect me.” I say with a smirk
“I was just…uh defendi-“
“Hey is that you Man Low?” I say squinting in the dark at the strange man.
“Uh why yes, I’ve been called that in the past.” He says stumbling to the ground and letting out a drunken hiccup.
“You know this guy?” Carter says?
“Yes..well sort of.” I say
“He used to live at the Victorian but Ms. Davis kicked him out after not paying rent, he fell off the grid after that.”
“What will come will come/Even if you shroud it all in silence!” Man Low says with a cry pointing at me. Then shuts his eyes, slumps over and begins to snore.
“Fell off his rocker too I suppose.” Carter says.
We keep on walking and get to Rainbow River.
“How did you know that guy?” Carter asks
“I know everyone at the Victorian.” I say
“And all their secrets too.”
Carter looks at me questioningly
“Oh yeah, like what?”
“Well, Elliot Varane keeps garlic bread in his pocket at all times.”
Carter laughs
“Well everybody knows that.” he says
“Okay well did you know that Harvey Potter is in love with Ellen Davis? I sometimes look through the letters he writes but never gives to her when I clean his desk. Also, Jamie Medina has a crush on Sasha Tary but Sasha doesn’t feel the same and is a little creeped out so she got Wren Henry to punch Jamie in the face…

“Haha well that’s all interesting but what’s your secret Ms. Jackie Wackerman?” Carter asks.
“No secrets here.” I say quickly.
We walk in silence for a bit and I gaze into the river, looking at my reflection. For some odd reason I can still hear Man Low’s drunken prophecy in my head…
“What will come will come/Even if I shroud it all in silence.”
Looking closer at my reflection I see wings coming out from my back. My hearts starts to beat faster and I’m transfixed by the water. I lean closer and closer, reaching out to touch the reflection.
“Jackie!?” Carter says
Suddenly I lose my footing, and plunge into the river.

Hypothermia is a bitch. I’m not sure I have it but if it’s worse than what I’m feeling right now then it must be one hell of a bitch.
“Hey, my house is right across the tracks, I can take you to my place and get you some warm clothes.”
I get a sudden chill down my spine not from the river but because of the railroad. We pull up to the stoplight at the railroad tracks on Ellis Crossing…the last time I was here was in the second grade leaving town for the first time with my mother. After that night it was known as Killer Crossing and I had never left the city since.
“No that’s fine, if you could just t-t-take me home that’d be great.” I stammer.
“Oh please I insist. You don’t have to stay” he says as the light turns green.
The car inches forward.
“NO!” I scream
Carter slams on the brakes.
“What’s wrong? I’m sorry I won’t push it I’ll just take you home.”
I begin to cry
We get to the Victorian and I jump out of the car and rush inside.
“I’m so sorry Jackie, I didn’t mean anything by it!” Carter yells