Then and Now

Lost. Again. Moving to a new city was a pain in the proverbial. I’d have to stop and ask for directions. Again.

Why did I do it?

For the job, the career, to keep moving. It wasn’t really about work, just the need to keep ahead of those I didn’t want to see again. Ever. I call myself a wanderer, but if I looked closer, I’d have to relabel it as runner.

What am I running from?

Family. Not everyone loved their family, not every family deserved love. A black sheep needed to stay away when the family and their businesses and activities didn’t fit the general acceptance of the community.

Anything else? Yes, and that’s why I’m hiding in this laneway, waiting for that man to get far enough distant that I can put those running shoes on and skedaddle out of here. He wasn’t the same as the family problem. No, the problem with Carl Studdens was the opposite. When I looked at him, I wanted to nest and settle.

We’d met at some point in junior school. Enemies at first, in different strata groups, different backgrounds. My family were the enemy of his family, and he’d been warned to stay away from the McBaren clan.

But Carl was a bit of a rebel, too, and within a few semesters we were sharing lunches, stories about our families and their idiosyncrasies. He was my first kiss, on the day junior school ended. I didn’t let him see me cry as he left childhood behind and went to the city to complete his family’s expectation of his education. The privileged education to enable him to become part of them, leaders in society. Out of my life.

To see his face today, after all that time, felt like an electrician had shoved my finger in a live socket! My hair exploded out into a huge frizz. No idea why that happened. My blood pressure hit the extreme red zone and sweat flash-burned over my whole body. Even my hands shook. Some sort of sound exploded from my mouth, but it was incoherent.

Carl. The boy I’d sworn at as he left, warning him to never come near me again unless he’d broken away from his family. Not that I didn’t want to see him, but if he’s the law and I’m in with the lawless … well, it couldn’t work.

Across the street, the man the boy became smiled at a woman – his wife? – but no, she was with someone else, and a toddle of children swarmed around her – all blonde.

The dark hair was the first thing about Carl that attracted me. As black as mine, and with ocean-deep blue eyes that didn’t belong on a man with dark skin.

He looked like a politician, dressed to impress, talking to everyone, smiling, striding … getting closer. And I couldn’t move and couldn’t look away. He stopped, grinned until the dimple flared on his cheek.

“Hello, Lucy. I see you still have the same problem with your hair.”

“And I see you’re the big man in town.”

“Yeah, but it’s not the family business. You?”

“Advocate.” I watched the waves of destiny push us closer.

“I know. I hired you.”

4 responses to “Then and Now”

  1. cagedunn Avatar

    Reblogged this on Cage Dunn – Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-Tall-Tales and commented:
    A little light …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Priscilla Bettis Avatar

    Fun read. I love the twist at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sissy Dunn Avatar

      Had to be that way – I asked: Who moved the mountain?
      She set the rules and wouldn’t know what he’d chosen unless he let her know the value he placed on her over every other part of his life. As it should be (to my way of thinking).

      Liked by 1 person

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