13: Milo And Francesca- Long Day- Jerry

Please Go Here for the beginning of the story.

Sitting, Jerry shivered. What a night! he thought. Like some kind of nightmare. And to think I could be in my warm bed right now, watching TV. He reached into his jacket pocket and fingered the thick plastic-covered bundle. Well, at least this is still okay. If I get out of this night alive, then I’ll be scott-free. Just have to keep it out of sight.

Jerry stood up, feeling cold and wet, and realized that Milo and that weird woman had disappeared. He listened, but didn’t hear their voices. Alarmed, he looked wildly about, but they were no where in sight. “Milo?” he called out, but there was no answer. Stepping off a shelf of concrete, Jerry felt the shock of the cold before he realized that he had stepped into a bucket filled with water. He jumped back and cursed, fuming over someone having carelessly left a bucket in such a strange place. He stumbled over a drainpipe and nearly crashed into a mansard window, catching himself just before he hit the glass. Water gushing from a break in the roof gutter above him splashed onto his back.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn! he cursed silently. How did I get myself into this mess? Here I am running away like a baby on some godforsaken rooftop, being chased by a group of monkeys with knives! He stepped gingerly over a pile of metal pipe laundry racks. Not even one day extra to get the money! I knew I should have stayed away from that girl. She was trouble. Man, was she trouble.

The image of Sabine Raffle floated into his mind like a warm wind. Red hair like a summer sunset, a flash of perfect white teeth, long, running legs… Jerry halted under a dripping eave and allowed himself to join the fleeting dream: together they were running along a beach, Sabine looking back over her shoulder, smiling, at him, at him! Jerry laughed to himself, remembering. “If you get Cyril’s book for me,” she had said, “maybe I’ll think it over. You know, about you and me?”

Jerry hugged himself and danced in place. He let out a squeal of joy and kicked an old, rusty can. He shoved his hand into his jacket pocket again and felt for the bundle, as if to reassure himself that it was real. He pulled his jacket collar higher up his neck and braced for the rain. This rain will be nothing once the night is over. Sometimes you just have to put up with the hardships if you want something better, right?

He stepped around the corner of one of the bigger mansards and came upon Milo and Francesca sitting and talking together. He stepped back behind the wall before they noticed him and watched them. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but they were laughing. Francesca looked pretty when she laughed and Milo seemed to warm to her. He felt a pang of jealousy as they spoke, wondering why it was that girls never laughed with him. The girls always liked Milo, he thought. Even when we were kids, Milo always had the girls talking to him. What do they like about him that I don’t have? He watched the two gabbing, wondering what they were talking about. Well, I’ve got Sabine, now. he thought. And there’s no one like Sabine. Just too bad for Cyril that she likes me now, isn’t it.

He stepped out from behind the mansard wall and let the two notice him. He pretended that he had only just noticed they were there. More water splashed onto his head and he let out a groan. “Oh, there you are!” he said. “I was wondering where you two got off to.”