Your cool thing from the Internet. The table of contents is here. This section wraps up Sam's confusion over Rusty/Mortimer, but leaves him confused. It's so terribly weak that I kind of wanted to not post it, then I realized I'd been hacking it for days. I really, honestly, think this story started so strong, and it is going to finish weak. I hate that about my writing. Time to close out our morning with Sam, deal with Lucy's afternoon, and then jump back to Sam for the start of the night.
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The garage was pretty empty; business was bad. It was bad pretty much everywhere, I think. I blamed the economy, Kenny blamed tightwads. Tightwads were the cause of so many problems in Kenny’s life. Why didn’t he have a nice bike when he was a kid? Tightwads. Why does he eat ramen noodles so often? Tightwads.
I tried to tell him he can pay his own way, but then he just sighed at me. “I’m the biggest tightwad I know. I get it from my dad.”
I couldn’t argue with that; that’s why I needed a second job even while working at the bowling alley. I mean, I knew I could be replaced by pretty much anyone, but, you know, my time served really should account for something. Kenny agreed, but he made a good point: “I’ve worked for him for practically 30 years man, and you make more than me. So, there’s that.”
“I don’t show up late and stoned,” I said. Which was a low blow, and Kenny just nodded.
Mortimer was sitting outside looking at the sky, waiting for a car to come in, I guess. He saw me and stood up, wiping his hands.
“Hey, Mort,” I said. “I want to talk to you about something that’s been bothering me.”
“I noticed you had a chip on your shoulder. Something wrong with the car?”
“No, look, I know what’s going on with Lucy,” I said. I saw no point to pull any punches. He didn’t seem to even flinch.
“I don’t know what it matters to you,” He said. “You have a little obsession with her, don’t you?”
“That’s entirely beside the point. I just want to know if you’re going to be honest—”
“We’re just keeping it between ourselves,” He said. “Like I said, we worked it out. It’s probably better off now than before.”
“Well, what about Fiona?”
“What about her?” Mort asked. It wasn’t an angry question; he honestly seemed puzzled.
“Does she know?”
“Why would she care about Lucy’s accident?”
I balked, I admit. I snapped at him: “She’s just an accident?”
“If she hadn’t stopped in the middle of the road, it wouldn’t have happened!”
Mortimer and I both paused and reassessed the current situation. “I think we’re talking around each other; you’re not Rusty?”
“Who is Rusty?”
I held my hand out to Mortimer. “Look, minor misunderstanding here. Let’s let bygones be bygones.”
He shook my hand, and I told him I’d save him a seat with Kenny, the girls and me tonight. He seemed thankful, but I’m going to be honest, I don’t think he was going to join us. As I made my way away from the garage, I tried to put the last few days in this new light. If Mort isn’t Rusty, who the hell is Rusty?