Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Alex Carter from A Minor Opposition

Alex Carter from a Minor Opposition

The annoying ring of the phone interrupted a strange, yet beautiful dream.  Alex Carter groped for the receiver and mumbled a greeting.  Instead of the husky drawl of his answering service, the sound of his sister’s voice confused him.  She spewed a stream of sentences with the force of a flash flood.  “Megan, slow down.  Do you know what time it is?“
          “Six AM and I have to work and Laurel arrives this morning and I was supposed to meet her, but I can’t so do me a favor and go to the airport.  Her plane arrives at ten.”
          Alex pushed into a sitting position.  “It’s Wednesday.”
          “Very good.”
          The sarcasm in her voice made him clench his teeth.  “Brat.”
          “I know you’re off and since I can’t go and neither can Jen, you have to.  Just think, you can do this favor for me without rearranging your office hours.  Were you planning something special with Johnny?”
          “Noooo”  He dragged out his response.  Who was Laurel?
          “Please say you’ll go.  The other day when she called, I was so excited about her coming home, I never thought about who would meet her.”
          Alex interrupted her stream of words.  “I’ll do it.”
          “Great.  See you.”
          “Wait a minute!”  He shouted to gain her attention.  “How will I know her?”
          “Brown hair, brown eyes, tall, slender.  She was here the summer Mom got sick.  She roomed with Jen and me at Grantley.”
          “My memories are vague.”
          “Alzheimer’s so soon.”
          “I’ll remember that.”  Alex stretched.  “Once I have her, what will I do with her.”  Megan’s giggle pressed a warning button.  “No way, sister mine.”
          “We’ll see.”
          He imagined the cat in the cream smile on her face.  “Megan!”
          “I’ll leave my key under the mat.  Have her call the minute you arrive.  See you.”
          Alex held the receiver until he heard a dial tone.  Why did he have the feeling Megan had just orchestrated a crescendo in his life?  His sister had a habit of trying to match every unmarried acquaintance, friend or relative with someone.  He shook his head.  Being involved in one of her schemes was the last thing he wanted.
          Should he take Johnny or arrange for Sarah Rodgers to pick him up from kindergarten?  He wasn’t sure.
          After he finished dressing in jeans and a cream-colored knit shirt, he decided that while a five year old might find the airport fascinating, if the plane arrived late, his son would complain and fidget.
          Alex remembered hours wasted at the airport waiting for his wife to return from one of her vacations in Europe with her “beautiful” friends.  Though nearly three years had passed since the divorce and six months since her death, his anger remained strong.
          Pushing thoughts of Rhonda aside, he ran down the stairs of the post-Revolutionary farmhouse.  The aroma of fresh coffee made his stomach rumble.
          While he breakfasted, he reviewed his memories of Laurel Richmond.  Bit by bit, he built a picture of a tall, slender girl with a mass of brown hair, huge amber eyes and a propensity for popping into his presence as though she’d set an ambush.
          His hand tightened on his coffee mug.  “Poor little rich girl.”  The comment had been his mother’s.  Laurel Richmond was an heiress.  Megan, he silently shouted.  Not me.  There was no room in his life for another spoiled rich woman.

          He been there, done that.  Money bread selfishness.  His dead wife was proof of that.  The moment her trust fund had been hers, she’d run to destruction.  Parties, alcohol, drugs.  She hadn’t had a thought for her son or the man she’d professed to love,

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