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Sunday, August 11, 2013

THE RACER Chapter 22

Rita's Grandpa 
The news about John’s death put a damper on everything. The next few days were spent doing what you have to do when tragedy hits.

After the funeral, the minister came over to the family and stated, “Give yourself time to heal.  The best way to do that is to get on with your life doing as much as you would normally do.”

Lucas thought back to the time before his dad fell ill and he and Rita were planning to go to the movies.  

Though it was hard he called Rita and said, “I believe we were going to the movies the last time we talked.”  She was surprised by that but said, “I believe we were.”

Lucas checked the time and decided if he and Rita were going to make the movie he had better get home and shower and pick her up.  When he arrived at her house there was a man who was quite elderly on the front porch.

Lucas approached him and said, “Hello I'm Lucas.”  The old man just stared at him not saying anything just looking with a fixed gaze.  Lucas repeated what he had said, “Hello, I'm Lucas,” and there was still no response from him.  

Lucas moved closer to where he could shake hands with him and once again said, “Hello, I'm Lucas.”  

Rita watched the whole event and was enjoying the way it was being played out.  She thought Lucas will be embarrassed for grandpa was good at putting people at dis-ease.

To her surprise he just walked by the old man and greeted her.  After a couple words of greeting she stuck her head back into the house and yelled, “I'M leaving, I won't be home late!”

The old man still stood there and they had to walk around him. As Lucas started to pass the old man he reached out and touched Lucas on the shoulder and spoke.  He said, “What are your intentions?”

Rita started to speak but the old man cut her off saying. “Let him answer.”

Lucas abruptly faced the old man and said, “My intentions are to go to the movies and take Rita with me, and if you will, please hinder me no longer.”

With that he took Rita's hand and they got on the motorcycle and left.

When they were out of sight of Rita's house Lucas pulled over and said, “What was that all about?”

She answered. “Don't pay any attention to grandpa.  He is a little strange and he freaks people out with his strange behavior.”

Lucas said, “I must agree he is a little different from most.”  

Lucas continued, “There is something I have meant to talk to you about and didn't know how to approach the subject.”

Rita thought, “Wow. What does he have on his mind?”

He said here goes, “Do you have another name besides Rita?”

“What on earth,” she thought.  She said, “As a matter of fact I do.”

“What is it?” he replied?

“Well it is Rita Jo.”  Lucas repeated, “Jo, I like that a lot better than Rita and would it be alright if I called you Jo from now on?”

“Well if it makes you happy then go right ahead.”

“Okay, good, then, Jo it is from now on.”

The movie wasn't the greatest movie because the story line was a familiar boy girl thing.  
He asked her if she would like to have something to eat before they headed home and she asked if he had any money for she was broke.  He said sure I always have money.   

He went on and told her that Marley had put him on salary a few weeks ago and he was now able to help his mom with her bills.

The first few times he called her Jo it seemed strange but now it was becoming normal for him to do it.

They arrived back at her house about ten, and the old man was sitting on the porch waiting or so it seemed.

Lucas thought, “No not this again,” but when they got up close to him they could see he was asleep on the porch swing.  Lucas said, “Shall we wake him and get him to bed?”

“Naw just let him sleep.  When he wakes he will realize I am safe and he will go to bed.”

Most of the time Lucas didn't ask questions concerning other people's family but he couldn't help asking about Jo's grandpa.  He asked, “What is it with him?”

Jo answered saying, “He is fine it's just, we lost grandma a while back and he can't cope with it.  He has moments where he isn't all there and he reverts back to his stringent upbringing and tries to hold everyone to that standard.

Those times make him seem to be a little odd but in fact he is a very caring and loving person.”

With that understanding Lucas decided he needed to be more considerate of the old man’s condition and not get uptight about something the guy couldn’t help doing.

To be Continued


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