Edward felt a beat in his step he hadn’t felt in a long time. He jumped into his old Camaro and gunned the engine. It seemed that parole was working with him this time. He had a job, his brother housed him and he had just met the perfect woman.
Despite the considerable weight he noticed behind that desk; her eyes were intense and playful. She didn’t seem to be too self conscious, but she probably hadn’t had many meaningful relationships. While his brain ticked off possibilities he careened around a corner and screeched to a stop in front of a big construction site that had traffic diverted and dust flying so thick he could hardly make out the different people walking around.
He scanned the different men to find the foreman. Edward knew the right man would either wear a different color hardhat or be the one doing the least amount of work. From where he stood, it appeared no one did much work at this site. He shrugged his shoulders back and strode into the direction of the fattest guy, job slip in hand. A tall skinny guy with his hard hat in his hands pointed in Edward’s direction. The fat guy turned around and looked him up and down.
“You in charge?” Edward asked with a slow southern drawl.
The fat man spit a dark stream of tobacco into the dirt. “Who wants to know?”
“I gotta job slip here. I figure ya need some help out here.”
His eyes narrowed. “Fat Jim, but you can call me Jim.”
“Jim.” He barely nodded. “Well, sir, they call me Eddie and I can do whatever ya need me fer.”
Fat Jim cocked his head to the side. “How long you been out of the pen?”
Edward cleared his throat. He hadn’t expected hillbilly Jim to peg him so quickly. “Six weeks, but it ain’t a problem.”
“Yeah, I know it ain’t.” Fat Jim spat again and dirt jumped in the air.
Edward wanted to punch him. He kept his mouth shut and waited for fat ass to give him orders.
“Can you mix concrete?”
“Alright,” he jerked a beefy thumb over his shoulder to the tall skinny guy, “Johnny here will take you with him. Quittin’ time’s at four o’clock and I don’t pay overtime.”
Edward shook on it and hoped the guy didn’t have any body lice or weird skin disease. He felt like one of the worst parts of having to be a man was the expectation to shake hands. It was gross. He hated other people touching him or his food.
“Don’t let the boss get to you. This here’s the biggest site he ever overseen, ya know?”
“No, I don’t know.”
“Well that’s fine, mister. Don’t get yer feelers hurt.” Johnny threw his head back and cackled like he’d told the best joke he’d ever heard.
“I gotta make money for my girl, ya know?”
Johnny sobered. “I know what ya mean, bro. My girl gets expensive too.” He howled with laughter again and slapped Edward on the back.Edward caught himself before knocking Johnny’s teeth right out of his mouth. He kept pushing it down, saving it for the right time. Maybe after a few dates with Cassandra. He liked the way her name rolled off of his tongue. It wouldn’t be too long before he called on her again.
I welcomed the rush of cool air when I walked into my mom’s house. I could hear Lily laughing and smiled. Her joy brings me more happiness I ever thought imaginable. Then I heard a tiny, high pitched bark.
“Come in, honey. We found the most adorable friend for Lily!”
I walked into the kitchen and was greeted by Lily and a little white Chihuahua. “Hello Little-Lily!” I wrapped my arms around her while I shot a look at my mother.
My mom patted her stiff blonde hair. “I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to get this little guy for free. You know, he’s a Teacup Chihuahua and he’s the runt. I know he’s not worth a lot of money, but I didn’t spend any money to get him.”
“It’s not about the money, but we already discussed this, didn’t we?”
“I remember and we’ll just keep the little guy here if you really think that will be too much trouble to care for.” The tone in her voice rose a notch.
“Alright, alright.” I rolled my eyes and patted Lily on the head. “Go take care of your little friend.”
My mother stood up and wiggled her nose. “The floors must need cleaning.”
I sighed; she was referring to my inability to clean them since I had vacuumed, swept, mopped and waxed her floors two days ago.
She raised penciled brows. “Are you gaining weight? Lordy, Sandy, that ass!”
“I hate it when you call me Sandy.” I rummaged around the fridge and found a leftover piece of pie.
“When do you start that membership at the gym?”
“I don’t go to gyms, mother.”
“I just thought Lily was enough to make you more concerned about your health. You remember the complications you had.” She poured a glass of whole milk and handed it to me.
“Why did you get the dog, mom?” I finished off the slice of pie with the creamy liquid.
“I suppose I could go with you every now and then, but with my arthritis, working out isn’t good for me, you know?” She took my dishes and washed them in the sink. I watched her busy herself and tuned out the rest of the noise coming from her mouth.
So, what do you think?