Pat returned home, found Andy’s phone not operating so she assumed he had gone on a business trip. She was tired so she slept, then went to the Fitness Center, worked in her yard and savored the good memories of her week with her son and his family. She too became engulfed in bills, yard and working with the pictures she had taken. He would call or come round to do the yard when he returned.
She had been to the supermarket and as she drove back up Columbine, she spotted the little blue Datsun, so she slowed, hoping to see and wave at Andy. “Wonder when he got back, he is back at work,” she saw the truck. Then it was, “What the, huh, he and Imelda,” Pat gasped as she saw Andy arm in arm with that woman walking into the back of the house. “Why, that Casanova, that danged Lothario,” she yelled aloud. She was so mad she hit the gas and shot into the intersection, failing to obey the stop sign. Crash, she T-boned a big black Lincoln Limo that happened to be driving West on Sycamore toward the freeway. Poof her air bag deployed and she came to an abrupt halt.
Shattered glass was everywhere as the Camry put a big dent in the Driver’s side of the Limo. As soon as the impact noise subsided she heard loud cursing in Spanish; Pat reached for her door handle to see if anyone was hurt.
A stream Spanish expletives emanated from the rear of the Limo whose driver side windows had been shattered. Just as she alit and started toward the other vehicle she heard the engine roar to life then a screech of tires as the limo roared away, Loud Spanish being heard from within. “Ah, wait, wait, it was my fault,” she yelled as the Limo sped up the street racing across the intersections toward the Freeway. Pat stood there, then she spied the stream of greenish water running across the street as her radiator had been punctured.
“You OK, you hurt,” a voice asked. Pat turned to see a panting Andy close to her. “What happened, Mrs. Macarbo called 911,” you OK?”
Pat looked at Andy, as she spoke she swung her arm. Her first blow caught him upside his head and the second and third were to his shoulders. “You, you yo . . ., how could you, you and that woman,” she stammered. Andy canted his head as he heard sirens. “Get away from me, go back to her, get away from me,” Pat screamed as tears rushed down her cheeks.
“What happened here, anyone hurt,” the overweight black policeman asked as he walked up to them. The siren of an ambulance was heard coming down the street.
“I am OK, but my car is a mess,” Pat said. She looked at the policeman, “Tell that thing to get away from me, go, get lost,” she yelled.
Andy raised his hands and backed off, “Officer I am in the blue Datsun if you wish to speak with me.” He turned and went back up the street and back to work trimming and working in the front yard of Mrs. Imelda Macarbo.
“Something flashed, uh, ah, just a minute.” Pat paused. “Officer I was driving up Columbine and as I approached the intersection, something blinded me and I did not see the stop sign, so I broadsided a black Limousine. As you can see we hit hard. I got out of my car to see if anyone was hurt and heard a lot of foreign speaking, cursing, well I assume it was curses for I would have been if it were I. As I went to the car, the engine started and it screeched it tires and tore off that way toward the freeway. I did not get a name nor did I get a license number. Obviously it was my fault, but they just drove away.”
“What about the man you were striking when I approached,” the mild, quiet talking officer asked.
“Oh him, That man, oooooooooooh, he is my yardman,” Pat replied, realizing what a dang fool she had made of herself; by first running the stop sign and then striking Andy in the middle of an intersection with a police officer there. “He, he . . ., he made me mad.”
“Maam, I must administer a balloon test and then run some other tests. Where do you want your car towed? May I see your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, please?” The big policeman was so calm, talked in a low smooth voice; guess he was used to all sorts.
“Take it to the dealer whose name is on the back, that is where I bought it and where I have it serviced.” She went to the Camry; got her purse, then she got the little black packet that held her registration and insurance paper. She handed them to the police officer.
“Please sit in the car maam,” he asked. “Oh maam, do not say you were at fault, for the other car left the scene of the accident and now they are the bad guys, but if you say that I will have to ticket you for reckless driving and it will go down that way.” She smiled as he added, “Just say you struck the car in the intersection, no more, OK?” Pat thought that so nice of the Police officer.
The ambulance left and a wrecker appeared, loaded her car, the driver cleaned up the street and left. The police officer after running his sobriety tests, took her groceries from her car, put them in the patrol car and drove her home. Pat walked into the house ripped off her shoes, blouse and skirt, then she poured herself a large glass of booze. She did not know what it was, she just poured some brown liquid into the glass and drank it, nearly retching. “Damn him, damn him anyway she kept saying. She put her groceries away, flitting about in her underclothes. The ice cream and frozen stuff was thawed.
“Knock, nock,” she heard that voice, “May I come in?”
Andy walked in and saw her standing there in her undies, her hair a mess, barefooted and torn paper grocery bags laying about. “You, you, oh I hate you, how could you,” she yelled.
Andy walked over, took Pat by the shoulders, moved her to a chair and sat her down. He went to the cupboard got a glass and filled it with water, “Here drink this, drink it slowly and say nothing until it is all gone.” She did; “Now what did I do, what is wrong with you that you would run through a stop sign and ram another car?” He stood above her, “Slowly, slowly, just keep calm.”
“You and her, you and that woman, how could you?” She looked down and saw that she only had on her panties and bra, even though they were bright red and lacy, her face turned red. “Want me to take them off so you can see it all, you Romeo you?”
“Mrs. Macarbo, fell and she called 911 last night. They took her to the hospital, I took her home and helped her inside since her equilibrium is still off. She like you lives by herself and she called me to help her as I do and would and will do for anyone who asks my help.” He stepped back, looking at her from the tip of her toes to the top of her head then back down. “Mrs. Skidmore, I have seen women’s bodies all of my life, yours is the same as any other except I do like your undies and you do have a nice body.” She glared at him. “I will leave you now since you are obviously in one dang foul mood. If you wish any help, or need anything please call. If I do not hear from you, I will assume you do not wish to see me or avail yourself of my services. Mrs. Skidmore, have a nice day.” He turned walked to the door, then closed both doors as he departed.
Pat felt like a dang big fool, a really damn big fool. She sat there for five or ten minutes, then she picked up the glass, poured another dollop of whatever it was, took a drink, then she removed her undies and walked into her bedroom where she stood in front of the mirror looking at herself. “Damn what a fool I am, well sometimes.” She lay on the bed and was soon fast asleep.
When Pat awoke it was dark, she looked, she was buck assed naked and there was a glass with a big ring under it on her dresser. She put on her housecoat, removed the glass and put Old English on the spot. She went into the kitchen, straightened up, then made herself a sandwich and drank a glass of milk with her sandwich. When she thought of him standing there looking at her in those red lacy undies, she grinned for she liked it; “Wonder what I will have to do to get him to look again and then take them off,” she said aloud. Then she thought, woman, old age and this yardman are getting to you, you are an old Grandma, not a young sexpot, you were never a sexpot. You haven’t had a man or a man has not had you in ages, forget it and dream of the pat.
She brushed her teeth and went to bed. The next morning she called a cab and went to the Toyota Dealership, they had done an estimate on her car. It was six years old and the repair bill would be about as much as it was worth. “Would you page Mister Ellison please,” Pat asked the repairman, “I may just switch.”
“Mrs. Skidmore, I heard you were in an accident. I looked the car over and I think you would be better off replacing the Camry instead of having it fixed.” Jim Ellison was about her age and she had dealt with him after her husband passed on. “Lets go over to my office and let me do some figuring.”
As they walked through the showroom, Pat saw this funny looking little car, it looked like a wooden child’s toy, “What is that, it is cute?”
Jim grinned, “Oh that is the Scion, a car targeting the younger set. It is small, gets good gas mileage and it will really scat. Ideal for around town, but not one you would want to drive on a long trip.” He looked at her face and saw she was awed by them. “Want to sit in that Red one?”
“Oh this is so neat, but isn’t it a little too juvenile for an old woman like me?”
“Want to take it for a test drive, if you like it Mrs. Skidmore, to heck with everyone else, get it, they are so cute, my wife, Emma has one and the girls are trying to talk her out of it.” He thought then added, “If you buy it remember if you are not happy after 30 days you can trade it in for a new Camry. You will not lose money.”He looked at Pat’s face, “Let me get a plate and have someone take it outside. Every since we had a salesman drive into two other new cars and out through that glass wall, management says only certain people can move cars to or from the showroom.”
“It isn’t my Camry, but it is fun, it scats, it is so easy to drive and to be honest I think it is quite juvenile but I like it,” she said as she turned off the interstate and drove back to the Dealership. “Now can I afford it?”
“No financing, but first give me a rough estimate, I know it will be rough.”
“We have people waiting for good used Camry’s so we can get a premium for them; oh as a SWAG I would say nine or ten, somewhere in there, up or down.”
“Ok, at Seven but eight max is my limit,” she replied. Pat got home, put on her walking shoes and went out for a long, extra long walk. She was sore from the impact so she walked slowly. As she walked along Columbine, she saw Andy’s blue truck a street or two over, so she walked that way.
“Hi Mrs. Skidmore, see you are OK, out exercising,” Andy said with a smile.
“Mr. Dray could you or would you give an old lady with a hurting hip a lift home?” He grinned, took her arm and walked her around the truck, opening the door. They said nothing as he drove the half mile or so home. When they stopped, he started to ask where her car was but remembered. Quickly he opened the door and helped her inside.
“Andy, I was a damn jealous fool yesterday, can you forgive me?”
“Sure, Mrs. Skidmore, but forgive you for what?” He smiled at her in that way he had his brown eyes twinkling. He knew that older women can get much more jealous than younger ones, but why him.
“Care for some lunch, how about a glass of water,” she asked.
He leaned over and kissed her cheek, “I have lots of work, I liked you better as you were dressed yesterday.” He stood, “May I take a rain check on that and until your car is back, you want me to bring my car over so you will have wheels?” She laughed and waved him off, shaking her head no.
The telephone rang she answered, “Oh hi Jim, what is the verdict?” She listened attentively then replied, “Seventy six fifty three fifty, OK, I will take it, when do I pick it up?” She motioned to Andy to stay, “At three, OK, I have to go by the credit union; I will be there at three.” She hung up. “Can I again impose on you,” she paused, “Oh, you have work to do.”
“Mrs. Skidmore, I will take you where you wish to go. Which Credit Union do you use?” They had a lunch cheese and apple, with saltines and he drove her. “Wowie, that is one neat looking little matchbox car, everyone will surely see you,” he said as she insisted he look at it and sit in it.
“Now get back to work Andy Dray,” she said. “Reckon you will be home by six thirty, if so I will bring some supper if you will allow an old lady to come to see you.” He nodded and was off. She signed the papers and drove around in her new little Scion, her own little matchbox car. It was neat and fun to drive.
Their evening was a good one until Andy received a phone call. He talked and talked, then it was a conference call and after an hour Pat went home; again she had too much wine and was sleepy. “Be careful little Scion,” she laughingly said as she carefully drove home and went to bed.
He called her at one thirty, “Sorry about that, but one of our top theoreticians has been arrested as being part of nine-eleven. I am leaving within the hour, I will call when I get back.” He hung up.
Pat called her son in California, “Hi son, what if mom came out for a few days, I will take care of the children and you and Nancy take the weekend off and go someplace, if you will leave me a car.” He thought that a good idea, then when she told him she had just bought a new Scion, he laughed and said Nancy wanted one. “Be there tomorrow night, will E mail you the airport, flight and time. Bye, love you,” she hung up. She called Andy back, but she got the answering machine, she left a message and got on the computer to get a reservation.
Pat stayed nine days. She and the grandchildren had a ball as she wheeled them here and there in her daughter-in-laws brand new Orange, er burnt Orange little Scion wagon.
“Andy, I am home, would you eat dinner with me tonight,” is all the message said when he returned home and checked his new answering machine. Pat had convinced him to install a simple answering service, the selling point being when he was home and did not want to answer he could hear the caller and then respond if he wished.
He repaid Pat in kind by bringing a five liter jug of the same wine, two large crystal decanters and a gallon jug of Rolaids to her house. She was glad to see him and didn’t notice the Rolaids until after they sat down to dinner, an apple, salad with diced chicken, nuts, raisins, celery and a light mayo dressing with crispy Chinese noodles on top. After dinner Andy showed Pat his new building and the lot he had bought. “What on earth are you going to do with such a large building, what will you do with a 20 acre lot,” she asked. Why plant all the trees and put in a sprinkler system so quickly?” She pelted him with questions.
Finally he kissed her, “If you will pause a minute I will tell you.” She faked a slap, then he continued, “I put the trees so it would not spoil their view and I landscaped the building with trees and bushes because this is my place of business and nothing is worse that a big old building on a large clear area. This way it is easier to take.” He paused then continued, “If you noticed on the front half of the inside has a floor, the back half will house office space. The office space will pay for the building and lot within a year, so I will be making money and the guys will have a place to play softball, volley ball or football, for the field will be grassed and have a half mile running track.”
“Smartie, smartie and who will rent this place, who will work here,” Pat asked.
“We are starting a strategic planning group, five or ten Scientists and thinkers and they will work here, out in the sticks, yet close enough to run into the Capitol for meetings. A casual work atmosphere will prevail and a man can think playing football or running easier than sitting in a stuffy office.” She shook her head. “Oh in the back there will be a long building, a garage for their cars, so this place will be unobtrusive with few if any visitors to the facility.” He looked around. “at first there will be no fence, but if required I will put up a chain link one.”
“Is this a CIA, NSA or FBI contract operation,” Pat laughed, “I can see all of these little egg headed men playing gardeners running around and the North Korean spies in those trees.”
They drove back to her house it was getting near dark so they took along walk, holding hands and just chatting. When they got back, they had a drink and Andy said he must go. Pat walked to the door with him, then hugged him and after a deep kissed whispered, “Andy make love with me, stay and make love with me, I want you.” He did. And so the story ends.