Jayson Nom was livid. The old man hadn’t backed down from his threat. Instead, the old geezer had calmly walked out into the parking lot and waited for the youngster. He’d embarrassed Jayson in front of his friends, his co-workers, and the remnants of the township. The more he thought about what happened, the angrier he became.
Who does this old man think he is? Why wouldn’t he take a hint? He wasn’t welcome in Jayson Nom’s world, and if he kept on, Jayson would need to take drastic steps to remind him.
The whole ordeal had hurt Jayson’s feelings. Everyone knew how smart Jayson was, how tough he was, he shouldn’t have to deal with people like this Hank Tanner. People like Hank Tanner are remnants of a by-gone era. Their time is over, it’s our turn now. If they want to live in our world, they should adapt or die off like the dinosaurs. There’s no room here for ancient fossils like Tanner in our utopia.
Since Tanner couldn’t take a hint, Jayson would make sure he got the next one.
Hank Tanner drove to Anders Hardware and picked up a few things he needed to finish up some of the work inside his house. He bought a few wall brackets, some dog feed for his puppy, a box of screws to hang the brackets with, some silicone for cracks in the wall, and a putty knife. The confrontation with Jayson Nom at lunch was forgotten.
Ms. Sally Anders rang Hank’s items up and gave him a small smile. “41.26, Hank.” Hank handed her forty five dollars and waited for his change. Sally pulled his change from the till, and Sally said, “How are things going out at your place? Are you getting close to finishing?”
“Yes ma’am. I’m a couple of hard days away from moving in it. The power company supposed to come drop a pole and run electricity to my cabin tomorrow.”
“That’s good, Hank. You still seeing your doctor?”
“Every now and then. We speak every couple of weeks. Gas is sorta high to be making trips too far from the house.”
“I understand,” Sally said, as she handed the money to him. “Things are ridiculous right now.”
“Yes ma’am, they are. Things will get better. Or worse. At this point who can tell?”
Both laughed, and Hank waved goodbye to the shopkeeper. He’d been home for six years now, and without fail, Sally was one of the bright spots in Hank’s world. Hank could not imagine how dull his life would have been without Sally in it.