Tuesday Tales – Speak
Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “speak”. I’m continuing on from last week with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.
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She glanced around the bar. “Where is he?”
“Rehab in Waterloo. Answer my question.”
Lily looked down at the stained wood of the bar. “I came in to buy a bottle of beer. One of the ones you donated broke all over my office floor. Before I could step in here I could see him laughing and hugging your waitress. She kissed him on the cheek.”
Buddy started laughing. “That’s why you dumped him?”
“Why wouldn’t I? I was obviously just a fling to him.”
The door to the bar was flung open. Lily squinted against the sunlight to see who stepped in. Her heart slammed in her chest. It wasn’t Reese but the waitress who she saw him with. The girl was juggling an armful of bags of pretzel buns from Merryn’s bakery down the street. She glanced from Buddy to Lily as she dropped the bags on the closest table. “What’s up?”
“Jenny, why did I hire you?” Buddy interrogated.
“Because my charming personality brings our customers back and makes you loads of money.”
“The other reason, smartass.”
“Because my cousin is your best friend.”
“And your cousin is?”
“Reese, you moron.”
Buddy grinned at Lily. “Make sense now?”
Lily looked at Jenny. “I know your entire family, Jenny. They’re not related to Howard Cooper.”
“True. But my mom was Susie Cooper’s sister,” Jenny returned.
Lily frowned. “Was?”
“Aunt Susie left when Reese was one and a half. She didn’t want to be a wife and mother. They found her six years later dead in a motel with another guy in Oklahoma City. It was a murder/suicide I guess. Howard blamed Reese for her leaving. It of course didn’t have to do with his drinking and sleeping around. Here.” Jenny hurried around the bar to get her purse. She rummaged around inside, pulling free an old photo of three children swinging in the park, two girls and a boy. A woman stood near them. “That’s my mom. The girl on the left is my older sister, Jane. I’m in the middle. The boy is Reese. Howard would drop him off at our house for weeks at a time. Told my mom that he was her problem since her sister left Reese with him. My mom had to call human services and report him for him to come get Reese. It was probably better for him just to stay with us. It took days for him to speak to anyone.”
Lily gazed at the photo as she lovingly brushed her fingertips over the image of the boy. Jenny slipped onto the barstool next to her. “He’s told me all about you. I mean, I already knew who you were. I’ve never seen Reese like this. He’s so crazy in love. Lily, whatever stupid thing my cousin did, please forgive him. He really loves you.”