Rachel and Beth

Readers; For the last few weeks I’ve been posting installments from my forthcoming novel telling the story of Jacob’s life. The following bit is a little from the life of Rachel. Happy reading. Likes and comments are appreciated.

The café fronted on the old main street and in the warm months the management kept a few tables on the sidewalk.  Beth was already sitting at one of the outside tables as Rachel approached.

“I can never make up my mind,” she looked at Rachel.  “Both of these salads are so good.”

“You get the Caesar; I’ll get the garden.  We’ll share.”

The young waiter was at their table momentarily, bringing water and taking their orders and gathering the menus.

Beth took her phone from the tabletop and placed it in her handbag under the table. She leaned in. “So, girl.  How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, really.  Better than I thought I would be.  Better than I should be, maybe.”

“John was a good man.”

“I know.  He was.”

“Jim is still torn up about it.”

Rachel did not respond.  Beth sipped from her glass of iced tea and spoke again.

“Have you thought any more about what you’ll do?”

“I have.”

“Since we last talked, I mean.  Since things have settled down.”

“I haven’t changed my mind.”

“You’re still thinking about buying that house?”

“Yes.  I think I will.”

Beth sat back in her chair. “You know, I remember that old place, too.  Those were good times.  Great times, really.  But you can’t bring that back.  You know that.”

“I do. I guess I do.  But I think I could do something with it.  Bring something back, maybe.”

“There really isn’t much left here to bring it back to.”

“I know.  I do get that.  But I don’t see anything else that really attracts me now.”

“Well, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you.  You know that Jim and I have bought a place down on Jekyll Island.”

“I did know that.  It sounds wonderful.”

“It is wonderful.  We’ll be spending the winters down there from now on and probably move there permanently when Jim’s mom passes.”

“Sounds great.”

“The thing is, we couldn’t have managed it without Dave Dunnigan’s help.  He’s been in the real estate business down there for twenty years.  Made a fortune.  Knows everybody and everything. He got the deal for us.  It’s better, much better, than we could ever have afforded otherwise. We just couldn’t have done it.”

“Good old Dave.”

“Rachel, you really ought to let that go.  He’s a different man now.  A different person.”

“I hope he is, but I want nothing to do with that man.”

“He still thinks about you.  He’s always asking how you are.”

“This subject is closed.  You know what he did.”

“I do.  It was awful.  But he was just a kid, really.”

“No, he wasn’t.  He was over twenty-one.  More than two years older than me.  Than us.”

“You and Jacob?”


Neither woman spoke for a while.  Beth stared away down the empty main street.

“We don’t forget, do we?  None of us really ever forget those days.”

“I won’t forget that.  I’ve never been so upset in all my life.”

“How about Jacob?  You ever think about him?”

“Only at the dim edges of consciousness while I was married.  Like you would remember anything and everything else.  I did right by John.  He deserved it.”

“But now?”

“The truth of the matter is that he came by the house the other day.”

“He was here?  In town?” 

“Knocked on my door.  Came in and made his condolences.”

“How did that feel?”

“I don’t know how to say it, other than it did feel.”

copyright 2023

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