So, we the reader know there is no such person as Rusty. Sam, however, is unaware of this fact. Therefore, he is prepared to reach some incorrect conclusions when his morning takes an awkward turn. The fun thing about misunderstandings like this is that you can have a character say perfectly innocent things, while the audience is fully aware that everyone else in the scene is hearing something else entirely. It's a bit harder to do in text, and I hope that it translated well.
This is one of those scenes that worked really well in my head, because I kept thinking things like "Then he says something funny, and it is funny." That does not work as well during the actual writing process. Fiction below the link; check the links if you've missed a beat.
Poor Mortimer. Poor Lucy. Poor Sam.
1. Start of Lucy's first chapter
2. Conclusion of the first Lucy chapter
3. Start of Sam's chapter
4. Sam's story continues with an unfortunate evening
5. Our two main characters interact as Sam gets shot down.
6. We're back with Lucy as she reflects on her new boyfriend
7. Lucy has a little crush; isn't it adorable?
8. Lucy never gets any peace.
9. Sam gets a phone call.
* * *
One thing I do for my parents while I’m home is that I take care of some of the chores they don’t like dealing with. Like getting my mom’s car tuned up. She hates going to the mechanic because she either has to wait all day or take the bus, so I always do her the favor. I don’t mind the walk or the bus. Some of my least embarrassing attempts to hit on women have been on buses.
Whenever I drive my mom’s station wagon, I also wear my darkest shades. I try not to be seen because what little appeal I might have to the ladies would evaporate in the heat death that is the station wagon. If there ever were Transformers, the station wagon would be the nerd of the group that nobody likes. Take into account, mind you, that this is a group of scientist robots, one of which, is a yellow Volkswagen Bug. That’s how lame the station wagon is.
I was bringing the car around to the shop early so that it could be first in line. Then, I’d hitch a ride to the O.G., work Fiona’s shift, then be back in time to pick it up to get it home before rush hour. It was a solid plan. Even though the shop opened at God awful in the morning, I was the only one ever there early enough to take advantage. Except today.
Today, as I was pulling in, there was a woman standing in front of the shop, anxiously looking at her phone. She was wearing a tight black skirt one of those red, fuzzy half-trenchcoats that were all the rage a year or so ago, with shiny heels that drew attention to her feet. I was only just then turning in when I recognized Lucy and stopped staring. A taxi pulled up, while I was still hiding in the car to make sure she didn’t see me driving this heap. She climbed in and it pulled off.
That’s when it hit me. “Rusty” wasn’t his real name. That was just a nickname. Why? Because he’s a mechanic. My mother’s mechanic. Small world. Who knew, right? I was just trying to sort through this sudden inconvenient reality when Mortimer, the mechanic, came into the garage. A car, an overnight job, was already jacked up in the first bed.
“Hey, what’ll it be today my man?”
“Mom says there’s a noise under the hood, that it skids into the turn and that she smells something when she hits the gas,” I said. “None of those are apparent to anyone else who drives it. If you could take a look and banish the gremlin, much obliged.”
He nodded, spit out of the garage and looked to the curb. “Well, I can have that done this afternoon if you like.”
“She already left,” I said. “Saw her get in a cab.”
Mortimer looked at me and then shrugged. “No harm in looking, right?”
I guess if my name were Mortimer, I’d want a nickname too. I figured I’d help to break the ice a little. “I actually work with her.”
“Really? Small world, isn’t it? I bet she’s going to be bitching about me all day today,” He said. Never let it be said that I do not have a compassionate bone in my body. Some might say that I was fishing to see if there was trouble in paradise, but I was not. I mean, if she was with him this morning, they’re probably getting along fine.
“Just a rough morning, don’t worry too much about it.”
“I’m all ears, and you’ve got time before you have to take a look, lay it on me.”
He seemed to think about it and shrugged. He went over to his bench and started sorting the tools and taking inventory. “It all started this morning. It’d been a long night, if you know what I mean.”
And here I thought her a nice church girl, I thought. But I just nodded.
“So, anyway, I’m running late, right?”
“Who can blame you?”
“Right. Ok, so even after last night, I got up early, and frankly, I was raring to go,” He said. “I was going like, a mile a minute, I think. Then, there she is, right in front of me, and before I can stop myself, well, you know.”
I nodded, a bit numb. I mean, I didn’t know, but I didn’t want to know.
“It was a rude wake-up call for her,” He said, looking at the report for the car that got there before me. “It was rough, but everyone’s OK and wide awake now. Have your car ready by one, got another I have to look at first.”
“Well,” I said. Then I looked at my watch said: “Look at the time,” and was out of there before Rusty could tell me any more about his sex life. Frankly, I’m never one to kiss and tell. If I ever got a kiss, I wouldn’t tell. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to say about this, except that, I guess, it is always the nice, quiet church girls. Who knew, right?