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Chance Meeting

By LC Van Savage

Is that seat taken? No? Good. Cripes, what a day. I gotta sit. Let me move those magazines off first. Jeez, they don’t give up much money for these chairs, do they? This one’s gotta be from the fifties. Well, so am I for that matter. Guess I could use some repair work too. Ha Ha! Doncha think they’d get some decent magazines in here for the customers? You know, somethin’ educational we could enjoy while learnin’ a little about the world? You know, with pictures and all. I mean who cares about car and truck magazines? And look! Here’s one just for power mowers. Boats over there in that pile. Lord, are all car repair joints so macho? Well, it’s the way it is.

Yuck, someone’s been smokin’ in here. Hmm? My name? Oh, it’s Jeanne. Named after’re kidding! You spell it with two n’s and an e at the end? Me too! Was that your mother’s name too?

Say, is your car fixed yet? It is? Well, mine oughtta be pretty soon. Y’know, they don’t mind if we leave our cars here for a while. Wanna go for coffee? You like tea better? Well now, so do I! Oh for heaven’s sake! Well then, come on. Let’s go. There’s a good diner right over there across the lot.

Lord it’s a gorgeous day, ain’t it? Today’s not the best day I ever had, though. Just before I come to the dealership I had to take our little dog to be put down. I feel so awful. Sick about it. Been cryin’ all morning. You prob’ly noticed my eyes all puffy. It’s sure nice of you to walk with me. When I told people Timmie was gonna have to die today, summa them said, "Oh stop being such a baby. He’s only just a dog after all."

Oh how that hurts. They mean me no harm I guess, but maybe they don’t understand that dogs are like children to a lot of people. Me for one. We had Timmie fourteen years and he was the most loyal, loving little thing. He took such good care of us. Oh he was awful tiny, but fierce? You wouldn’t believe. Breed? Jack Russell. Hyper little things, but faithful and good and he’d’a killed a lion for us, ‘f’we asked.

What? Oh my…no! You can’t mean it. You? Jack Russell too? I almost hate to ask---what’s his name? Jimmie? And your dog died last week? Like my Timmie today? I just can’t believe this. Oh now, go ahead and cry. I’m doin’ the same. Here, hold my hand. Oh well then, come on, we can hug, us bein’ so sort of attached in all these ways. I know, I know. Yeah, go ahead and let it out. Use my shoulder. Jimmie. Timmie. Wonderful little friends, ‘specially when it’s all you got in the world, right?

Did your little Jimmie used to jump up on the chair and steal your dinner th’minute your back was turned? Yeah, Tim too. Stole my socks every mornin’, prit’near killed the mailman every single day, and …you sayin’ your little Jimmie pulled those same shenanigans? Oh you poor thing. I really understand your tears. Oh man, it sure hurts when they leave us, don’t it? Come on, come on.

Look, here’s the diner. Let’s go on in and get that tea, OK? Let me get that door. Look, there’s an empty booth. Let’s sit. Ah, that feels good. Good to get off the pins.

Huh? Oh. Yeah, two hot teas. Thanks. Yeah, cream and sugar for mine. You too? This is gettin’ really funny. Well now, let’s talk a while before we go get our cars. Y’know I was a twin, both of us adopted to different families, and oh boy, I had a great childhood. Great mom and dad. Both gone now, of course, but didn’t they just give me the world. I was their only kid. But even so, I never felt like I really truly belonged to anyone, know what I mean? I mean I belonged and everything, but it was just kinda not the same as having blood relations.

What? No. I just can’t believe this. Adopted? You? As a newborn? Same’s me? I tell ya, one more coincidence today with you, I’m gonna faint. And it looks as if we’re kinda the same age, right? You are? Aw come on. Well, this is just too much. Tea’s nice ‘n hot, ain’t it? Feels good goin’ down. Well anyway, as I’s sayin’, because of the adoption and all, and since me and my husband never had no kids, our dogs was really our only family. But the very best of all the dogs we ever owned was our Tim. Oh that dear, sweet baby.

When my husband died, that darlin’ little pooch just put his head back and howled the whole night long, and never left my side. Dogs sense things, you know. Timmie knew. His little heart just broke and then I knew he was all I had left in the world. Used to sleep snuggled up against my back on my husband’s side of the bed and it felt so good, havin’ something all warm against me in those terrible days after --- well, you know. Made me happy kinda, feelin’ that warmth, kinda like he was still there, in bed with me, like always.

Say, look at that! You an’ me, we even have the same hair, j’notice? Style, color, everything. You wanna get a muffin or somethin’? Can’t? You gotta go? We, I—well, OK. It was some nice meetin’ up with you this way, Martha. Ain’t it odd how everything about us is so much the same thing. Can’t get over it. Well, see you around I guess. No, please, don’t worry. I won’t start cryin’ again about Timmie. But I think I’ll just sit here a little longer and drink my tea—it’s kinda cold now but that’s OK. He was the most wonderful little dog, you know. My whole family, he was. Our kid, our baby. I miss him an awful lot. It hurts. I got no one now, I guess. My heart hurts terrible for Timmie.

You understand. I know you do. You’re kinda me, you know? Well, ‘bye—yeah, so long.  

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Name: Clara Email:
Comment: Wow! LC, that was really fine.



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