Rebecca felt almost guilty knowing more about this girl's life than she did. Why would Vince have told her about Caterina without cautioning her not to tell Becky? Or maybe he meant to but was interrupted by Becky's call than night? In any event, Rebecca felt awkward having been burdened with this huge secret.
Mercifully, Becky changed the subject - talking once more about band camp. Rebecca never knew there was so much drama among musicians. She was grateful for the distraction however and listened intently.
After lunch, Rebecca walked Becky back to the shop. She noticed an old sign in the window that she hadn't noticed the day before: Garrett Glass ~ Garrett Lewsinski Proprietor. She smiled a faint smile and as she traced his name with her finger she realized how odd it was that she had just assumed that Garrett Glass was "her" Garrett's. Sort of arrogant in a way - assuming that the universe is ordered the way she imagined.
Rebecca headed back to her house. There would be no time for her to investigate at the library. She still had wallpaper to scrape in the halls, and linoleum to rip up. Her mind wandered to the possibilities of what could be under that awful floor. She concentrated so intently on the possibility of beautiful wood flooring that she didn't notice the blue truck edging up beside her.
"Rebecca!" Vince's voice startled her from her daydream. "Need a lift?" He asked.
"No, Vince. I do not."
"I was headed to your house - to finish the estimate" Vince offered, not noticing the edge in her voice. Rebecca's bike stopped quickly scattering gravel onto the asphalt. Vince pulled the truck off to the side of the road and put on his hazard lights. Rebecca suddenly felt trapped. She was going to have to talk to him - but she desperately wanted to avoid it.
"Flat tire?" He asked innocently.
"No, Vince. Not a flat tire." Rebecca's curt reply startled Vince. He stopped a few feet away.
"What is it then?" he asked.
"Vince - I am not going to have this conversation with you here. Not now." Rebecca started to pedal away again.
"What conversation?" Vince tried to follow her on foot, but the bike took on speed as she went down a small hill so Vince hopped in his truck. Rebecca's mind was racing. Maybe it would be better to have the conversation away from her house - here in the middle of the road. Neutral territory and all. She felt irrationally angry with him and knew she was really angry with Garrett. But DAMN IT he was not here to yell at and SOMEONE had it coming.
She skidded to a stop again - Vince passed her again in his truck and pulled over again. For a moment - neither one of them moved. Vince watched her in his rearview mirror. Rebecca straddled her bike with her arms crossed.
"I'm not getting out, Rebecca."
"Well, I am not moving."
"What is the problem?"
"How could you?"
"How could I... what exactly?!"
"Not tell her!"
"Ah." Vince opened the door and slowly walked toward Rebecca. She didn't move - only her eyes grew wider.
"It wasn't my idea, Rebecca -"
"Don't you think I realize that? But you could have told her anyway. After. Maybe she would have liked to meet her mother after she lost her father, Vince! Her MOTHER!!!"
"It's not like you think it is."
"Oh really?" Rebecca moved away from the bike and shook her hair out of her helmet and moved her hands to her hips "How is it then?"
"She's a drunk, Rebecca."
"Becky's a drunk?"
"No - my sister. Becky's mother. Caterina is a drunk."
Rebecca didn't know how to feel. She was confused. The Garrett she knew would not have been involved with a drunk. He was the cleanest, most straight-laced kid she knew - too smart for that stuff... How did he let that happen? While her mind raced, she didn't notice Vince putting her bike in the back of his truck or the dark clouds looming overhead.
"Please get in the truck Rebecca"
"No - I am almost home. I'll just - " Rebecca noticed her bike was not where she left it - "Vince - put my bike back. I want to ride home. You can't just assume that I want a ride. You -"
"Rebecca - it is going to pour in about a minute. You have at least a half a mile to go. Let me drive you home."
"No. Give me my bike."
"Rebecca - it doesn't -"
"VINCE" she was extremely agitated with him now "Just give me my bike!"
Vince took the bike out of the truck and returned it to her side. Then he got in his truck and drive off.
"Good." She thought and put her helmet on.
As she pulled away the skies opened up and she was drenched. By the time she got home there were puddles in her sneakers and enough rain running down her face to hide the tears. A little bit down the road she could see Vince's truck slowly pull away as she pulled into her driveway.
She parked her bike in the shed and ran into the house, quickly closing the door behind her and shrinking to the floor exhausted and emotional. She sat very still - waiting to hear his truck pull into the driveway. It never did. She knew he had waited to make sure she got home okay and while she was somewhat touched by his kind gesture she was equally relieved she wouldn't have to hear more about his sister, Becky's mother, the drunk. Not today at least.
NPM 2017 Day Twenty-Four
5 hours ago