The author would like to thank the following authors for their inspiration in the creation of this work.
MWTB and his work “Growing Up A Master”
Storm and his work “A Little Help”
While my work is unique from theirs it started with a fascination I developed with two of MWTB’s character’s, Cheri and Suzy. I found the opening scene of Storm’s work to be interesting as well as the story’s flavor of everyday life with a touch of innocence. Between the two and my own imagination “Learning Together” came to be. I hope you enjoy it.
The plump older woman looked at her register and merely shook her head. “I’m sorry, hon. It’s still declining it.”
“C’mon mom let it be.”
“No! There’s supposed to be $60.00 here, and this only comes to $42.00.” The beautiful middle-aged woman looked at her card with fearful eyes and started to swipe it again.
“Here use this one.”
She turned to see a tall bearded man reach across the old conveyor belt and hand his credit card to the cashier.
“I can’t let you do that.” She said.
“It’s no problem. You’ll do the same for someone else sometime. Oh, hi Carly.”
Carly blushed furiously as she said “H ... hi Kevin.” and turned her face.
“Do you know each other?”
“Yes, Ma’am. We go to the same school.” Kevin said.
“You’re in High School? You look like you’re in your late twenties with that beard.”
He smiled and said “I get that a lot. I am graduating this year. Then I’m studying mechanical engineering.”
The cashier spoke: “Here’s your receipt, ma’am.”
“Thank you, ma’am and thank you, Kevin. I’ll have Carly bring you your money when I get paid.”
He smiled. “Like I said, Ma’am, no worries. You have a good day. See you later, Carly.”
Carly mumbled, “See you.”
A few minutes later, Kevin walks out of the store and sees Carly’s mom looking under the hood of an older car. He walks over to her.
“It won’t start. This just seems to be my day.”
“Let me take a look. Hold my bag, please. I never did catch your name.” Kevin said.
“It’s Meghan, Meghan Patel.” She said.
“What do you prefer?”
“You can call me either Meghan or Mrs. Patel.”
“OK. So let’s see what we’ve got.” Kevin pulls on the spark plug wires and two come off. He re-seats them and tries again. They each hold firm. He twists the battery cables, and one makes a quarter turn before stopping. Kevin pulls a small crescent wrench out of his back pocket and tightens both cables. “Get in and try it now.”
The engine groaned a few times as it turned over and started. Kevin listened to it idle for a minute then shut the hood. He went to the driver side window and told Mrs. Patel, “It’s running, but I’m unsure for how long. Let me get my car, and I’ll follow you home.”
About fifteen minutes later, they came to an older, somewhat rundown home in a poor area on the outskirt of town. The house set in a transition area wasn’t far enough out to be in the country. But the next closest homes would be a several minute walk. The corner store was on the main road which was a half mile away.
He got out and knocked on the window of Meghan’s car. “Go ahead and pop the hood, and I’ll take a better look at it while you put up your groceries.”
She nodded and pulled the lever as Kevin walked back to his car. Grabbing his toolbox and wrench bag, he went to work. When he was through, he knocked on the door. Carly led him to the kitchen, and he sat on one of the chrome chairs with thin red vinyl cushions that had seen better days.
“Well?” Meghan said.
“It’s nowhere as bad as it sounds. It just needs a little TLC. Some plugs and plug wires with the timing adjusted. An oil and filter change and she’ll be purring.”
“How much will all that cost?” She asked.
“Can you make greasy potatoes?” Kevin said.
“I don’t know the right name of them. My grandmother is German, and she makes them in a skillet. They’re not fried or boiled. They’re cut up and really soft, they have small pieces of onion and have a vinegar taste to them. Can you make those?” He asked with hope-filled eyes.
Kevin got up and danced a little jig. “Hot damn. I love my mother, but she can’t cook them for shit. While I’m working on the car you make us a nice lunch that includes greasy potatoes and we’ll call it even.”
Meghan leaned back, her eyes wide. “You can’t be serious.” She said.
Kevin nodded and laughed as he answered. “You have no idea how serious I can be over potatoes. I’ve been wanting some good greasy potatoes for months.”
“I don’t think I have everything here to make them.”
“Write me a list and I’ll go get it when I get the parts.”
When she had put together a list, she handed it to him.
“Thank you. C’mon, Carly.”
When they were in his car Kevin said “I have to stop by the ATM. After that, we can hit Jake’s instead of driving all the way back to Reynold’s, OK?”
“Thank you, I was so embarrassed this morning.”
“No problem. After Jake’s, we’ll hit the auto place and come back.”
After a quick stop at an ATM, they pulled into Jake’s. As they went in Kevin grabbed a cart.
“It figures. I always get the one that squeaks. Why don’t you grab a hand basket and put it in the cart?” As they through the aisles, Kevin would drop in items: some coffee and creamer, a few loaves of bread, spaghetti sauce and noodles, a few cans of veggies. When they got to the meat aisle, he asked Carly “Do you guys like steak?”
Her eyes narrowed a bit as she answered a bit slowly. “Uh, yes.”
Kevin picked seven thick steaks and throws them into the cart. “While you’re standing there, grab two of those ten-pound hamburger rolls please.”
“What are you doing? Carly asked as she put them in.
“Getting stuff for lunch. Your mom might want to make hamburgers instead.” Kevin replied.
“We can’t eat all this for lunch.”
“Hush, we have to get this done. I have a car to fix.” He glanced around. “Where’s the cheese?”
They moved into the chips and soda aisle.
“Hey, here’s the chips. Get us two or three bags of the good stuff. Do you and your mom like Pepsi or Coke products?”
“We both like Dr. Pepper,” Carly said.
Kevin shook his head and put three bottles of Dr. Pepper then two bottles of Mt. Dew into the cart. “Some people.”
“There’s no accounting for taste. I’ve never been able to drink that stuff. Now, a superb beverage like Mt. Dew I can sip all day long.”
Carly scrunched up her face and stuck her tongue out at him.
He laughed, then gave her the hand basket and $50.00. “There are only a few things left on the list. While I finish up, I want you to go buy you and your mother any lady products you might need or want.”
Carly’s face flushed indignantly. “WHAT!”
Kevin looked at her with a firm gaze and spoke with a gentle, yet insistent voice “Do not argue with me. You will lose. I’m sure you and your mother could use or would enjoy some new lady products. So buy what you want and keep the change. I’ll meet you on the other side of the checkout line. I had better see some bags. OK.”
Carly lowered her eyes. “Yes, sir.”
Kevin’s voice was warm when he spoke: “Thank you.”
Carly’s step seemed a little lighter as she walked away.
Awhile later, they had finished bringing all the groceries in, when Meghan walked in from the back of the house. “What’s all this?”
“Stuff I picked up.” He held up a twenty-pound bag of potatoes. “See, I made sure we have plenty of taters. You can put this away while I get started on the car. You might need to cut up the hamburger rolls to fit in your freezer. I bought some foil in case you didn’t have any.”
“Wait a minute. I can’t take all this.”
Kevin just waved as he walked outside.
A few minutes later, Meghan came out to the car. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m putting these plugs in after I gap them,” Kevin said.
Meghan stamped her foot, causing her ample breasts to jiggle which distracted Kevin. “That’s not what I’m talking about, and you know it. Why are you being nice to us? If you think you’re getting into either of our panties. You’re wrong and you can take all this shit and get out of here.”
Kevin’s shoulders squared and he stood ramrod straight as his eyes bored into Meghan’s. When he spoke, his tone was serious without a hint of the playfulness he had shown earlier. “Never accuse me of that again. I am not some low life predator. As far as I’m concerned, we made a deal. You fix me greasy potatoes, and I do a tune-up on your car. This morning I saw a woman so desperate to feed her family that she was about to cry over $42.00 worth of food. That tells me they need more. Next, I find out their car needs some work. I happen to be good with cars.”
“When I saw the inside of your house. It was clean and well kept. No booze bottles or trash lying around. You and your daughter’s clothes are neat and in good repair. You are good people who need a hand and while I’m not rich I am far from being poor so I’m giving it. I’m a senior in high school so of course, I instantly noticed you’re both beautiful. That doesn’t make me a rapist.”
“Carly’s scar,” Meghan said.
“What of it? It’s paper thin and adds a unique beauty to her.”
“She has more.”
“One, I don’t need to know that though that explains why she dresses the way she does and the limp. Two, while hot is awesome, it’s the person inside I’ll care about. As I was saying, If you like, after I finish the car and we eat, I’ll leave and not come back. I do see some other things I’d like to work on and I’d appreciate the chance to know you better. But if you ever say anything like that to me again I’m gone. Understand?”
Meghan bowed her head and started to push her breasts out as her hands went behind her back. She blushed as she stopped herself. Kevin’s mouth dropped with shock, but he shut it as she answered in a meek voice. “Yes, Sir.”
Taking a quick breath, Kevin spoke with tenderness “Very good. Go inside and get things put up and lunch started.”
Meghan preened and a happy glow filled her countenance as she replied “Yes Sir!” and raced back into the house.
Kevin turned back to the car and stared thoughtfully at the engine. “I’ll be damned,” He whispered, “she’s acting just like a Kajira.”
A few weeks later, Kevin was sitting at the Patel’s kitchen table rubbing one of his shoulders.
“Here,” Meghan said as she grasped his shoulders and kneaded them.
He laid his head back, resting it on her firm breasts. “That feels so good,” Meghan smirked.
Carly pouted and said, “Hey, I was going to do that.”
Meghan grinned at her and said, “If you snooze, you lose.” She massaged him for a few more moments then turned back to the stove. “Work on him while I finish lunch.”
Carly stepped behind him “Lean forward and I’ll do your lower back.”
Kevin laid his head on the table. Carly worked her thumbs along each side of his spine. She gave each little knot special attention. She was halfway up his back when she found a larger one. As she worked it, Kevin moaned and said: “Oh my god, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.”
Carly glanced back at her mom and smiled. Meghan smiled back.
Meghan said, “Well, the dead better rise if they want any greasy potatoes.”
Kevin’s head popped up. “Greasy taters?”
“I’m sorry. I mean fries.”
Meghan and Carly burst out laughing at the look of horror on Kevin’s face.
He turned in his seat. Driving his index finger in the air, Kevin declared in his best Daffy Duck voice “Woman, you’re despicable.”
Meghan stifled another laugh and said “Aw, I’m sorry. How about this, If you stay for dinner this evening I’ll make a big batch of greasy taters for you.”
Kevin’s face lit up. “I’m all better now.”
“Carly, why don’t you grab the plates. Kevin, would you prefer water or soda?”
“I’d like both please. A cool, not cold glass of water to help me cool down and then some Mt.Dew with a little ice.”
After they had eaten, Kevin sat back and sighed, then said “Lunch was great, but I better get back to work. If I sit here too much longer I won’t want to get back up that ladder.”
“What do I owe you for the shingles?” Meghan asked.
Meghan’s expression darkened, “What did I tell you?”
Kevin glanced at her “I know what you told me. They didn’t cost me anything, so they don’t cost you anything.”
She sat back, folded her arms and glared at him “Uh huh, how does that work.”
“I have a buddy who’s a contractor. He landed a large commercial job that’s going to keep him busy for about two years. The shingles were left over from his last residential job. He didn’t need them and owed me a favor, so he let me have them.”
Meghan looked off to the side for a moment then, relaxed “OK.”
“Oh,” Kevin said, “while I’m thinking about it. I won’t be here next weekend. I have a trip with my dad. Which is why I need to get done today.”
“Where are you going?” Carly asked.
“We’re meeting some of his suppliers in Montana. They have a new product line they want us to look at.” He grinned and said “That’s code for taking us fishing and try to write an order. We go once or twice a year.”
“Must be nice,” Carly said.
“It is. I’ll bring you back a bucket of nice smelly worms.”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Children,” Meghan said.
“How about if I bring each of you a nice t-shirt?” Kevin said.
“That’s better,” Carly replied.
Carly grimaced as her shoulder slammed into the lockers. Her eyes teared as her bad hip took the strain of keeping her upright. “Leave me alone!”
Her tormentor laughed and said “Why? What are you going to do, cry?”
A deep baritone voice spoke “Actually, it’s not her you need to worry about. It’s the motherfucker standing behind you.”
The bully twisted and craned his neck to look into Kevin’s face. “Oh, shit.”
Kevin used his index finger against the smaller boy’s forehead to push it as far back as it would go. He leaned over until he could look into the bully’s terrified eyes. “You’re going to tell every cocksucker at this school. Male and female alike, that anyone who bothers Carly Patel will talk to me and I won’t be using words. Got it?”
“Y ... yes.”
Kevin slapped him to the ground. “Get out of here.” The boy scrambled to his feet and ran away holding the side of his face.
Kevin wrapped Carly in a gentle hug. “You OK?”
“What do you have next period?”
Carly sniffed and said “Lunch.”
Kevin said, “Cool. Let’s have lunch together.”
“OK. Aren’t you worried about being seen with the gimp?”
Kevin face hardened and a muscle ticked in his jaw. “Don’t ever call yourself that again. You are not your injuries. You are a beautiful young woman. Who cares if you can’t run a four-minute mile?”
“It seems like everyone else cares.”
“Then forget them.” He looked at her and his voice softened “Listen, I don’t feel like arguing. Let’s go eat. I heard we’re having pizza today. It’s about the only thing they get right except for the soybean burgers.”
“You like those?”
“Well, they’re not the best, but they’re better than most of the slop they serve.”
Carly wrinkled her nose. “They taste the same to me.”
“Note, no soybean burgers for Carly,” He let her go first and handed her a tray as they got in line.
An older cafeteria lady asked her “What would you like, sweetie?”
Kevin replied, “She’d like two hamburgers, please.”
Carly slapped his arm. “I would not, meaner.”
Kevin laughed and said “ I’m sorry. I meant to say she would love two slices of that lovely pizza. I’ll be paying.”
Carly smiled. “That’s better.”
The Cafeteria Lady grinned and said, “What would you like?”
Once he had paid for their meals, they went into the lunch room. “There’s Don and Margaret, would you like to sit with them?” He asked.
Carly shrank back “They wouldn’t mind?”
“Nah, they’re buddies of mine.” Kevin led them over. “Hey guys, This is Carly. She’s a friend of mine.”
The attractive blonde smiled up at her and said: “ Hi Carly, I’m Margaret and this is my boyfriend Don.”
The rugged looking guy beside Margaret gave Carly a smile. “Hi.”
Kevin and Carly no sooner sat down when Margaret jerked her head “Don’t look now. Here comes Mr. Leonard.”
Kevin puckered his lips a second and said: “That didn’t take long.”
Don laughed and nudged Kevin’s shoulder “What did you do this time?”
Mr. Leonard stared at Kevin over his gold rim glasses as he adjusted the buttons of his suit coat then spoke. “Mr. Rogers, Jimmy Rutger told me you threatened and struck him awhile ago. Is that true?”
“Yes, sir. He pushed a girl into some lockers and was taunting her. I stopped it. Did he mention that when he told you?”
“No, he didn’t, but I can’t allow students to threaten one another. I’m suspending you since you admit to doing it.”
Kevin took a deep breath and let it out slowly then said “Are we really going to go through this again sir? I can have my father and our lawyer here in fifteen minutes. Shall I call them?”
“It’s an open and shut case, Mr. Rogers. You admit to threatening a student.”
“Who was physically and verbally abusing another student at the time.”
Mr. Leonard shrugged “I don’t know anything about that. Nobody has reported anything to me.”
Carly said. “It was me, sir. Jimmy was picking on me when Kevin stopped him.”
Mr. Leonard glanced at her and said: “You’re not just saying that to protect Mr. Rogers?”
Carly shook her head.
“Why didn’t you come to me?”
Carly trembled, and Margaret put her arm around her. Carly’s voice cracked as she spoke “My mother and I have come to you several times. It only gets worse when they come back to school. Somebody even slashed my mom’s tires once. So I live with it.”
A look of shame crossed Mr. Leonard’s face followed by one of anger. “I see. Well, Mr. Rutger and I are going to have a meeting.” He gave Kevin a hard look. “Excuse me.” He spun on his heel and left.
Don turned to Kevin “Did you his face? You better be a saint for the rest of the year. If he gets the slightest chance, he’s going to crucify you.”
Kevin shrugged with his hands palm up “He can try, but there’s some debate on who will end up on that cross. I heard my dad say his contract is coming up for renewal. A lot of parents aren’t happy about how he’s running things. He needs to keep his best foot forward if he likes his job.” He picked up his pizza.
“Carly, what year are you in?” Margaret asked.
Meghan opened the door to Kevin’s knock: “Hello, c’mon in.” She turned and went to the kitchen.
“Margaret and her ran over to the mall for a while. Thank you for introducing them. It’s been a while since she’s had a friend her age.”
“I’m glad. Margaret’s a good person.” He grabbed a seat in the living room. “She and Carly will get along fine. Will you come in here, please? I want to talk with you about something since she’s not here.”
She stood in the doorway and looked at him. “What?”
Kevin looked at her: “Sit down, please. I have an idea I want to run by you.”
Apprehension filled her face. She perched on the edge of the couch with her head bowed and her hands in her lap.
Kevin studied her a moment, then spoke with a firm voice “Look at me.”
Meghan raised her head. Her soft eyes filled with unshed tears. “Yes, sir.” She whispered anxiously.
“You are always safe with me. I am never going to touch you without your permission. OK?
“The reason I wanted us alone is I think I’ve found a way to make some college money for Carly. I wouldn’t want to raise her hopes if you didn’t agree.”
Meghan twitched. “Really? What is it?”
“That piece of junk?”
Kevin smiled and said: “That piece of junk is a classic. If we restore it, you can sell it for enough to get another used car and put back enough to get Carly started at college.”
“I can’t pay for that.”
Meghan’s eyes flashed, and she spoke through gritted teeth: “I pay for what I get. There’s only one way I can pay for that, and I’m not doing it.”
Meghan dropped her head and trembled. “Yes, sir.”
“Thank you. What I am suggesting is I pay for the restoration. It wouldn’t be near as steep as you think. I can do a lot of the work and it doesn’t need that much. Then when the car sells, I get my money back. You get a better used car, and Carly gets some money for college. I’ll help you put it in a trust that you and Carly have complete control over. You can add to it without worries of somebody trying to take it from you. We’ll have a simple contract in plain English, so you know I’m not trying to take advantage of you. You can have your own lawyer look it over to make sure it’s good.”
Kevin gave a sad look then said “I know one thing though, I wish to god I could find the man who hurt you so badly. I’d beat the living hell out of him.”
Meghan wiped her face. “Thank you. May I ask a question?”
“Where do you get your money? You obviously make a lot more than I do, but you’re still in high school.”
Kevin sat back in his chair. “Well, I make money a couple of different ways. Since I’m not eighteen, I can’t sign a contract so I have to have a partner who is my father. Together, we own a wrecker service and a dump truck hauling service. We also do some livestock breeding. Plus, we invest in local businesses and the market.”
“So your father floated you.”
“No Ma’am. He showed me what to do with my money, but I earned every single damned penny myself. When I was ten, I saved up my birthday and odd job money and bought a ragged ass lawn mower. My dad taught me how to rebuild it. Then he hired me to cut the grass at his business sites. He paid me going rates and if I didn’t do it right, he cussed me and made me do it again.” Kevin laughed and shook his head “You haven’t been cussed until my father cusses you.”
“I saved up almost $3,000. He talked me into buying an old car, and he taught me to restore it. I made $10,000 off of it. Then he talked me into going shares with him on some bull sperm, and the rest is history. He talks and I learn and we make money hand over fist. That doesn’t even count the money he makes with his own businesses.”
Meghan said, “He must be brilliant.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better father. So you wanna fix a car?”
Meghan smiled and said, “Let’s do it.”
A few days later, Kevin held the glass door for Meghan as they entered Hamilton’s Auto Group.
A well-appointed salesman approached them with a genuine smile. “Good Morning, my name is Jay. How can I help you?”
“Good morning,” Kevin replied shaking Jay’s hand. “We’re here to see Frank. Oh, there he is. Excuse us.”
“Absolutely,” Jay nodded his head at Meghan “Ma’am.” She smiled in return.
“Hi Kevin, This must be the young lady you told me about. How are you, ma’am?”
“I’m doing fine, sir,” Meghan replied.
“Frank, this is my friend Meghan Patel.”
“It’s a pleasure to have you with us today, Mrs. Patel,” Frank said.
“You can call me Meghan, sir.”
“Call me Frank, please.”
Kevin asked, “Were you able to find anything for us?”
“I most certainly did, If you’ll walk this way.” He led them out a side door to the lot. “I have six that are in the price range we talked about and in excellent mechanical and physical shape. I had my boys line them up over here.” Frank swept his arm towards six beautiful newer cars parked in formation by themselves. “The keys are in the door. Look them over and take them for a spin. If you find one you like let me know and we’ll do the paperwork. I’ll be in my office.”
“Thank you, sir,” Kevin said.
Frank nodded and grinned “Anytime.” And went inside.
Meghan looked at Kevin “He wants almost $13,000 for these cars. I can’t afford this and neither can you.”
“Don’t worry about what the stickers say. Those aren’t for us.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means you get to pick one of these to own. Which one of these would be best for you and Carly?”
Meghan crossed her arms, and her voice held a hint of warning when she spoke “Kevin.”
Kevin rolled his eyes, and he heaved a sigh and faced her “Look, Frank also owns a construction company. Last summer, he got behind on a demolition job. We ran our dump trucks for forty-eight hours straight to prevent him from defaulting on his contract.” Kevin drove his index finger into the palm of his other hand. “We saved his reputation and kept him from paying a butt load of money in penalties and fines. He’s more than happy to give me an awesome deal on a good car.” He pointed at the cars. “Pick!”
Meghan lowered her head and put her hands behind her, “I’m sorry, sir.”
Kevin took a couple of breaths then spoke in a gentle voice. “It’s ok. I get it. You’re used to men trying to put you into situations. I can deal with it, but you have to deal with the fact I’m going to get frustrated sometimes.”
“Frank assured me that he would have the creme of the crop for our price range ready. None of these have any major motor or transmission issues. They all have 50,000 miles or less and are less than three years old. If you keep up on maintenance, you will get a number of years out of any of them.”
Meghan chanced a smile “Can we look at the blue one?”
Kevin grinned. “Sure, hop in.”
After testing a few more they went to Frank’s office. Kevin knocked on the door frame.
Frank looked up and smiled “Did you find one you like?”
Meghan said, “I like the blue one.”
Frank got up and ushered them into seats. “Excellent, Do you have the keys?”
Kevin handed them to him. Frank stepped out of the office. He glanced around a moment then, called out “Tim.”
A lanky young man wearing a neat blue service shirt walked over “Yes, sir?”
“Take these keys. They go to that blue Mazda sedan parked there.” Frank pointed “Take it to the back and put the speed team on it. Tell them I want it yesterday. I want the presidential package, new tires, new battery, new oil and fluids, the works. Ok.”
“The presidential? You got it.”
Frank returned to his desk. “I’ve got a lot of the paperwork already done. Whose name is the car going to be in?”
“Hers,” Kevin said.
“Everything stays in your name. Pay attention.”
Frank glanced at Kevin then said, “May I see your ID and proof of insurance please, Meghan.”
She pulled them out of her purse “Here they are, sir.”
“Thank you,” Frank raised his voice a bit “Linda, come here, please.”
A middle-aged brunette came into the office. “Yes, sir?”
“Will you make a copy of these and bring a presidential package to me when you come back?”
“It will be a couple of minutes. I have to go to the second floor.”
“The repairman still hasn’t shown?” Frank asked.
“When we’re done with these wonderful people. Call them and inform them if there’s not a repairman here in two hours we’ll have to end our agreement.”
Linda smiled and said “Happily, sir” She danced out of the office.
“Those machines have been a problem for a couple of months, and she bears the brunt of it. Would either of you care for a coffee or soda while we wait?”
Kevin laughed. “ No thanks. I’ve drank your coffee before. Now, you might be able to talk me into a Mt. Dew.”
Frank laughed and slapped his desk “You better be glad I like you. I had Shirley pick up a six pack because I knew you were coming in. How about you Meghan?”
“I’ll have a pop, please.”
Frank’s eye’s widened and his mouth dropped in pretend terror. He put both hands on the desk and snapped his face toward Kevin. “Where did you find a Yankee?”
“I AM NOT! My grams called them pops, and I do too, so there. Hmmph.” Meghan crossed her arms and looked away grinning.
Frank bursts out laughing “Whee, she told me. I like her. Here, let me get our drinks before she strokes me out from laughing so hard.
A few minutes later, Linda came back and laid the paperwork on Frank’s desk. “Here you are, sir.”
“Thank you, If you would, wait a few moments and I’ll have something else for you.” He handed Meghan her papers “Ok, Here’s these back.” Then he turned the paperwork toward them. “This is what I can do including taking care of Tax, Title, and License. Now, Kevin, you said this would be a cash deal with, no loans correct?”
Frank looked at both of them and pointed at a line on the paperwork. “With that being the case, we can do it for $5,200. Does that sound good?
Kevin said. “Yes, sir, it does. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Will that be folding or plastic?”
Kevin handed Frank his credit card.
Frank gave it to Linda “Go ring this up for $5,200 even, please. Did you bring the Presidential package I asked for?”
She handed him a small blue folder.
Frank smiled at her “You’re the best.”
She grinned and said, “Remember that when bonus time comes around.”
“I surely will. Now, scoot.” Frank turned back to Kevin and Meghan “I am lost without her. She’s the reason this place runs as well as it does.” He held out a pen toward Meghan “Could I get a few dozen of your signatures, please.” Once she had finished signing he moved the paperwork to one side and opened the small blue folder. “I’d like to draw your attention to some of the perks that come along with your vehicle. You’re enrolled in the Presidential plan at no extra cost. Even as we speak, Brand new top of the line tires are being placed on your vehicle. All the fluids and filters, including the oil, are being replaced with a premium product. A brand new Heavy Duty battery is being installed. The electrical and air conditioning systems are being inspected again. If anything is wrong, it will be fixed. The car will be washed, waxed, and detailed before being brought back out to us.”
“Oh my god, thank you,” Meghan said.
Frank smiled and said “We’re not done. You have the full 100,000-mile warranty that starts from the mileage on the odometer when they bring it to us. It covers the engine, transmission, air, and electrical, but excludes routine maintenance. You also receive your first four oil changes free and last, but not least here’s a $500 gas card usable at any gas station.”
Meghan wiped her eyes “I don’t know what to say. Thank you, Frank.” She gave Kevin a long hug. “Thank you.”
When Meghan let go Kevin reached across the desk and shook Frank’s hand “I really appreciate this, Frank. You went above and beyond.”
Frank blushed a little and said “Here at Hamilton’s we love to do everything with style. Let me give them a call and see where they’re at.” While Frank was on the phone Linda came in and laid the paperwork on the desk.
Frank gave her a nod. When he hung up, he said, “Tommy says to give them about thirty more minutes or so.” He gave Kevin his credit card and receipt and Meghan a folder with the auto info in it. He said “I’m walking over to Mama Ann’s for lunch. Why don’t you guys come with me? My treat.”
Kevin said “Ok, but I’ll buy.”
Frank laughed. “You win, but you’re going to regret this.”
Thursday morning Kevin walked into history class. His ass had no sooner hit the chair when Jenny Morgan called out: “Hey, Kevin I hear you’re dating the gimp.”
Kevin turned to the cheerleader and said: “Not that it’s any of your business, but if I am it’s because she’s a better person than you. At least, she’s not training to be an engineer.”
Jenny shot him a puzzled looked.
Kevin said “You know,” He pumped his arm up and down a few times, “Choo, choo. ALL ABOARD!”
“That’s enough, class.” Mr. Davis, the history teacher said.
“You bastard. I’ll have Roger kick your ass.”
Kevin chuckled and said “Angela tried that last summer. It didn’t work out too well for Tony, and he’s bigger than Roger, in all departments, so she says.” The class snickered causing Jenny’s face to get even hotter. “Do you want Roger back in two boxes or three?”
Mr. Davis slapped a book on his desk. “THAT’S ENOUGH. Everyone, turn in your text to page 197.”
Jenny opened her mouth.
Mr. Davis pointed. “One more word and I will suspend you. You started it. He finished it. Take your loss as an adult and move on. As I was saying, everyone turn to page 197. Who can tell me the relationship between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla and is it relevant to the growth of American industry or not?”
Everyone groaned and dug into the material. About two hours later, Roger walked up to Kevin in the hallway. “Hey, can we talk a minute?”
Kevin took a measured glance around him. “Sure.”
Roger held up his hands. “It’s not like that. Jenny told me what happened. As far as I’m concerned, she got what she deserved. I’ve told her about talking shit. She won’t listen. If you had insulted her out of the blue that would different, but she asked for it.” Roger held out his hand “We cool?”
Kevin shook his hand “No problems.”
“Great. I’ll see you later.”
“Later, man.” Kevin relaxed a bit, as he headed for Social Studies.
Don met up and walked with him “Ready for indoctrination 101?”
“I don’t know what Leonard thinks he’s accomplishing by teaching us this shit. There’s not one of us here stupid enough to believe it. Even if we were, we have more sense than to talk about it at home.”
Don laughed and said, “My dad would either have me checked for heat exhaustion or just say the hell with it and beat my ass, heat exhausted or not.”
Kevin laughed. “C’mon now, He’s not that bad.”
“True. He’d wait until I got better, then beat me.”
Kevin shook his head “Damn. We’d better straighten up, or Leonard will think we’re laughing at him.”
Don said, “But we are.”
“I know. He doesn’t need to know it, though.”
Carly snuggled deeper into Kevin’s side and rested her head on his shoulder as they watched TV. There was a knock on the door. Meghan called from the kitchen “I’ll get it.” Her tone was monotone when She spoke again. “Oh, Hello Ed.” Carly’s entire body tensed.
Kevin whispered, “You ok?”
“I hate him.”
A middle-aged man dressed in business casual wear walked into the living room with Meghan. “Ed, This is our friend Kevin,” she said.
Ed scarcely gave Kevin a glance, nodded then sat on the edge of a chair with his legs spread and feet planted firm on the floor. He focused his attention on Meghan.
Meghan walked back to the kitchen “Why are you here?”
“I decided to check on you. You haven’t been around and don’t answer my calls.”
“I’ve had better things to do, Ed.”
“We both know better Meghan. C’mon, don’t be like that. I told you I was sorry about last time. Let’s go out.”
Meghan’s voice was weak when she answered. “Not tonight. Carly has school tomorrow.”
“The three of us could go over to my place. I hired a new chef, and he makes great steaks.”
“I don’t feel like going anywhere mom, You said we were going to watch Aquaman with Kevin tonight,” Carly said.
Ed shot Carly a glare of pure anger.
Kevin schooled his features into a mask of civility. “What do you do for a living, sir?”
“I own a chain of bar and grills, kid.”
“My name is Kevin, sir.”
“Ed, don’t be rude. As I said, it’s a school night and we have company.” Meghan said as she wiped the counter for the thirty-second time. She trembled when Ed stood and examined her with cold calculating eyes. He stepped behind her and gathered her in his arms and nuzzled her graceful neck. Kevin drove his fingers hard into the armrest. His fingernails tore the fabric.
“Since you don’t want to leave. We will go to your room for a while.”
Meghan shook her head and frantically tried to shrug out of his arms “I don’t want to.” She said through tears.
Kevin leaped to his feet. “That’s enough.”
Ed didn’t even look at him, “Stay out of this. This is how she is. She says no then turns into a wild cat. Don’t you Meg?” He smirked at Kevin “Sit down boy before I hurt you.”
“Ed don’t hurt him. I’ll go.” Meghan said.
“The hell you will,” Kevin replied. “Ed, you said you see a boy. Why don’t you come over here and slap him?”