It was a walk to the store; not anything more. But on the way home it changed. It changed into a walk in the rain. The only problem was that Stacy Woods and her sweet Megan, when it really began to rain hard, had to choose, because of their small umbrella, to either keep themselves somewhat dry or keep the groceries in the grocery cart dry. They realized that it couldn't be both. They tried a sharing thing and were actually laughing about stomping through puddles. As usual, with Stacy and Megan, they were trying to make the best of a dismal situation.
They had, by then in their lives, gotten fairly good at that. There was of course that Dan, who'd gotten Stacy pregnant and didn't hang around for anything, after he'd discovered that fact.
Stacy was good at self reliance, however. Life, her life in particular, had taught her that well enough. It had been a weak moment, when she got pregnant but she realized clearly enough that she wasn't sorry to see the back of Dan, the sweet talker.
Stacy wasn't one to put the blame on others for what might have gone awry in her life. She was clear headed that way, and from the earliest time she was determined that, since this baby was part of her creation, she was going to cherish and love it. It's the way she acted.
There was no family to help with the care. Her Momma had a stream of live-in boyfriends, both white and black and none of them amounted to much. Stacy was certainly leery of them, after she started to develop during her teen years and so, she was out and gone and on her own at an early age.
She knew only that her Momma had died, the drink finally taking her, and was one of the few at the funeral. Not even the current candidate for 'step father', named Ralph was around anymore. There was nothing left in the apartment of any particular use; Ralph had seen to that before decamping.
But Stacy was self-reliant, certainly that. The problems of her life taught her that much. Her one real 'mistake' turned out to be the light in her life because, due to her one tryst with that Dan, she now had her Megan.
Stacy got through the birthing just fine, she was physically strong and rounded up the help that she needed to get herself established.
She settled down, on welfare now, but promising herself to be free of that as soon as possible. It was a personal promise that she kept to herself, and now to her Megan. It's the way that Stacy was.
Stacy took 'on-line' courses, during those early years of Megan's life. They helped her get a job and things started to go a little more her way.
As Megan grew and began to turn into the lovely little girl that she was, she became the boon companion of her Momma, Stacy.
The job was not much and they both, after a discussion, that included a good deal of laughter and fooling with each other, they decided to go out of their way and move. Their decision was aided by the collapse of the company where Stacy was working. So, a move it would be.
The object was to move to a larger city where opportunities might be better. It's what they did.
At age 27, Stacy and her lovely 7 year old Megan were newly established. They got an apartment in a rather new building and were making it on the continued unemployment checks that Stacy was still getting.
The check had come only yesterday and that meant the trip to the store to lay in the kind of food supplies that would see Stacy and Megan to the next time that a check was due. Of course, the main problem was that there was a foreseeable end to those unemployment checks. Stacy knew that and had talked to Megan about it.
It was the way they were. They were sharers. They were clear with each other that they were in this together and would make it together.
But now it was raining and the groceries were getting wet.
John Scott was on his way home from the plant, where he'd been occupied with a problem during the night. He'd told his secretary at the Scott Foundry, Winnie, that he'd be in later. Her reply was for him to take his time, since the problem from the night before was taken care of and all was back to normal.
His intention was to stop and get a cup of cappuccino on the way home as a reward for working during the night.
John was a very self-sufficient 35 year old. He was, like his Dad and Uncle Art, fairly tall at 6'4" and was in good shape. It was one of the rules of his life. He had, of course, the example of his Dad and Uncle who'd both smoked and hadn't particularly taken care of themselves. Both were gone, like the rest of John's family. In passing, those men had given John the business at Scott Foundry. It had made John, at a rather early age, fairly well off. Among the assets that his Uncle had also given to John were three apartment buildings, in one of which he lived, and where, in fact, in the same building, Stacy and Megan had a basement efficiency also.
John certainly knew both Stacy and Megan; as a matter of fact, Megan always called him, never to his face, 'Super John', after hearing that he was in fact 'John the Super'. It was one of the things that Stacy and Megan giggled about to each other.
John had glanced at Stacy Woods any number of times with appreciation. He had a kind of inner voice, however, that cautioned him about being forward with his 'interest' in Stacy. It was a kind of voice that told him that a lovely, statuesque Afro-American women would not welcome attentions from him. He listened to the voice and kept his 'interest' for himself and his boon companion, his cat 'PoohBear'.
As soon as he turned the corner and headed down the street, John saw them, trudging along in the rain with the small umbrella only keeping them and some of the groceries out of the storm.
He recognized them both right away and pulled into the curb a bit in front of them.
"Hey," he said, getting out of the car.
"Oh, Momma," Megan said, "It's Super John." Both of them smiled at Megan's words.
"Who?" John asked.
"Super John," Stacy said, "It's what Megan calls you, after hearing that you're John the Super."
""Well," he said, "Super John is offering a ride."
Stacy looked down at Megan who said: "Momma, cold."
"Yes," Stacy said, "And thank you."
"Just being super is all," John said, getting a round of giggled from the two of them.
In just a few minutes, he had them settled in the back of his Jeep. They had put their wet umbrella aside.
"Whew!" Stacy said, "Much better."
"I'll crank up some heat for you," John said.
"Thank you, John," Stacy replied.
"John's super, is what I say," Megan said and now she got a laugh from everyone.
"Thanks for the acknowledgement," John replied.
He went on then to the coffee spot for his cappuccino. While there, at the order window, he also ordered a cappuccino for Stacy and a hot chocolate for Megan.
"Thank you," Stacy said.
"I know," John cracked, "It's super of me to do this."
"Okay," he said, "I'll stop now with that."
"So will we," Stacy said, directing her gaze at a grinning Megan. "Won't we, Missy?"
"I'm Megan and not Missy," Megan said with a giggle.
"Okay out in the rain with her," Stacy said, and they all laughed at that.
They were pleased with John's offer to get them hot drinks and enjoyed the drinks, while they sat at the coffee place.
"Okay, home it is then?" he asked, when they had a chance to get warmer from drinking their hot drinks.
"Yes, please," Stacy said. "This is so nice of you."
He smiled at the two of them and said: "No problem. But a car? Forgive me if I'm too nosey."
"No, not nosey at all," Stacy said, "It's like a new beginning for Megan and me. We both decided on it, to leave the old place and get a new start. Came here by bus and get around fine here in town. It's all starting over for us."
"A story there I bet," he said pleasantly.
"Yes," Stacy said, "Maybe for another time."
"Yes, sorry," he said.
"No, not necessary; old history for us now. It's new here for us in town. Job hunting is next on the agenda and we're getting ourselves straightened out very nicely."
It was a few weeks later. The ensuing time had John thinking about the meeting with Stacy and Megan all the time. It had been in effect the answer to an unsaid prayer for him.
John Scott was a successful manufacturer; he was a successful business man. He had three well kept apartment complexes but, at least mentally, he fell short in his attempts to talk to, relate to or get close to the fairer sex. At least that was the story that he told himself time after time.
His vague, at least vague until he gave Stacy and Megan a ride from the store due to the rain, longing to get to know Stacy Woods better receive a badly needed shot in the arm from that rainy day rescue. It stayed in his mind and he played with all sorts of ideas, plans and strategies to move that whole issue ahead. His own inbred reticence kept him only in the planning, and, at times, mooning stage over it.
It was a few weeks later. John thought of his big opportunity, born of that rainy rescue, had been squandered and was on the very verge of sighing and giving in to the ennui of it. He was on the way home from the plant, where he needed to spend time during the night on an issue. He'd stopped long enough to tell Winnie that he was going home for a rest.
"Let Poobear take care of you, boss," Winnie said with a grin.
"The best idea yet," John answered and left.
.... There is more of this story ...