I had a dreamless sleep. Still, echoing noise woke me up. ‘What time is it?’ I rolled over an looked at my phone. Dead. ‘Crap.’ I forgot to charge it last night. First plugging it in, I swung my legs off the bed, and sat there until my head stopped throbbing. ‘Man I wish I could have slept more. My head is killing me.’ Instead I pull myself up and head towards the meaning of life… the kitchen.
“Hello?” I yelled into the silent house. ‘Really?’ “Again I am home and no one is here,” I shook my head and continued my way to the fridge that held… food. There were three sticky notes plastered on the right handed door. ‘Smart. They made a point to stick them on the side with the milk.’
“Son. Had to go to the studio for the morning, and then I’ll take the rest of the week off. -Dad”
‘Okay. I assumed as much; especially since my trip was a spur of the moment.’
“George. I had some errands to do this mid morning to late afternoon. Text me what you would like for dinner. -Mom”
‘Sweet. I know what I want. I want her six layered mac n cheese dish!’ It’s heaven. Each layer has a different cheese and crumbled bacon… my mouth is watering just thinking about it. And the last note…
“Dude. Went for a fifteen mile run. Left at eleven fifty-nine. Come pick me up at the high school once you wake up. -Jeremy”
‘Wow! Jeremy is exercising without being told…weird.’ I put my breakfast dishes in the dish washer and glanced at the clock. Twelve ten…Jeremy only left ten minutes ago. Sweet! I ran upstairs grabbing our swimming gear. ‘Haha Jeremy thinks he is being good, but I’m about to give him a surprise.’
I did see Jeremy jogging to the school as I drove by, but I didn’t acknowledge him; instead I continued to the school and waited for his tired butt to get there.
Finally, the exhausted looking Jeremy arrived. I hopped out of the jeep and walked towards him. “You good dude?”
“You…are….already here?…” Jeremy was wheezing and coughing every other word. “I didn’t even see you drive by…”
“Of course. I wasn’t about to stop your one man endever. How was it?” I tossed him a gatorade as a reward.
Jeremy guzzled down the bottle before answering, “Not too bad, but man, it’s hot!”
“Glad you said that; I have a special surprise for you,” I turned and walked back to the jeep.
“Cool. Didn’t know you were this type of guy,” Jeremy followed me with a little pep in his step.
‘That pep is going to disapear in…three…two…one.’ I pulled out our bags of swimming gear, and threw his bag at him.
Jeremy spazily caught the bag but looked quizically at it, “What does this mean?”
I didn’t answer him; instead I locked the jeep and started walking towards the front building of the school.
“What are we doing?” Jeremy followed me out of curiosity.
‘Wow, he is slow today. I’ll wait for the oxygen to reach his brain again.’ I pulled open the front door, and I followed Jeremy inside.
“Ahhh…this feels amazing,” Jeremy hung his arms out to let the sweat dry from his armpits.
“Dude. You stink,” I shoved his arms back down to his sides, “keep your arms down!”
“Whatever. But seriously bro, what are we doing here?” Jeremy begrudgingly put his arms down, but continued to enjoy the freezing AC.
A petite mid fourities older woman approached us, “Do you need any assiastance?”
‘I know who she is. What was her name again…’ “Yes. Whom do I need to ask about renting out your swimming pool for the week?”
Jeremy let out a low groan; she looked at him before answering, “Umm…I don’t know if that is a possibility. I will have to ask my supervisor. One momment please,” and the woman disappeared through the door she had entered.
“Seriously!?! I just ran here, and now you want to kill me even more!?!” Jeremy sank to the floor.
“Stand up will you,” I yanked Jeremy back into a standing position, “Running is fine, but we need to swim. If this doesn’t work we will be heading back to the house, and we will die there,” I stopped talking just as the woman was coming back. ‘Who is she?’
“Well, I asked my supervior, and he said that you must be eighteen or older, show ID’s, one driver’s license, and prove you can swim unsupervised. Then we can talk numbers and proceed with renting. Do you approve?”
“Yes Mam. Do you want us to hand you the ID’s here? Or…” I started to dig my wallet out.
“Oh. No. Let’s head into my office; it will be better that way,” she turned and walked back through the door, and paused enough to wave us to follow.
Her office was more like a cubicle. It had photos of her grankids and I assumed kids. She had a small potted daisy plant next to her… and then, there was what I was looking for. The
plack on her desk with her name. Mrs. Bradey. She was the older office worker that was there that day when Jenny was cornered my John. ‘Wow! That was so long ago.’
“Now. Your ID’s please. Whomever will be presenting their driver’s license, be last please.” Jeremy handed her his ID first. She quickly placed it on the copier and then
handed it back to him. “Please sign and date this paper for me. Thank you. Now you,” she sretched out her hand for my ID.
‘I wonder if she will remember me?’ I placed the ID in her palm.
She didn’t seem to notice; instead she was in her efficient office mode and repeated the same steps as she did with Jeremy. “Okay. Since you are the driver license, I will need to see the bank card you will potentially use if you choose to rent from us, Mr. Matthe…ws…” She stopped talking and her head snapped up. “Are you really the George Matthews that went to this school?”
“Yes, Mrs. Bradey. I didn’t know if you would remember me or not,” I smiled, happy that I was remembered.
“Of course, I remember you. You are a celeberity here,” she was proudly smiling like she had something to do with my celebrity status. “Did you go to this school as well?” She doubled checked Jeremy’s name.
“No Mam. I went to the rival school. But I’ve been George’s roommate up in Montana these last two years,” Jeremy slapped my shoulder, trying to take credit as well.
“Wonderful. I am so happy to know that our pool will still be useful for you. Now let’s talk numbers,” Mrs. Bradey open her second drawer and pulled out a notebook. Flipping throught the pages until, “Alrighty…the normal price would be fifteen hundred for the next five days, but seeing as you were a student here…I’ll drop it to one thousand. I dropped it a bit more because it’s you George,” Mrs. Bradey smiled and giggled as she stowed the notebook back in it’s place. “Is it a deal?”
Jeremy whistled behind me; only loud enough for me to hear. ‘He was right. That was a bit steep for the five days.’ “If a few more old students would also like to come and swim, would they be allowed?”
“Yes. As long as they come into the office and give me their ID’s. But they would have to do it today. No later than six o’clock. Is it a deal?”
“Sure let’s do it,” I pulled out my wallet and settled the bill.