This was just an idea that popped into my head. I actually regretted not thinking about this when I was writing my Thanksgiving story (add a little tension). For the record, Rusty's father has, at this point not been given a first name properly. If that changes, or if someone knows it, I will try to change it. Hopefully, this story will be completed around Valentine's Day.
Ryan sat down in a coffee shop known as the Burnt Bean, looking deep into the cappuccino he had ordered. He didn't know why, but he was hoping that maybe this hot beverage might give him an answer. Such as why he chose to go to a java joint as opposed to a bar? At least there, they'd be playing sports on television and he'd be surrounded by other guys cheering while having a beer. But he knew that would be silly, cappuccinos don't talk. But he heard something from the stage that caught his attention.
"The wind passes by
Through ancient cemeteries
Spirits live again"
He looked toward the stage and saw a woman in her twenties with long black hair wearing a purple blouse, black pants, fishnet gloves, a belt with a bat buckle and a beret holding a book in front of her. Clearly, she was reading some poetry that she had most likely written. Ryan hadn't been much for poetry before, but he decided to listen in, at least it was something to concentrate on. He sipped his drink as she read more poetry.
"The black cat slinks through
The deserted house of rot
Knowing mice he'll find." The woman spoke her final poem before stepping down.
"Thank you, Haiku, always a pleasure to have you at poetry hour, next up we're having a newcomer," Ryan didn't bother to listen to the name of the newcomer because he was making gestures for Haiku to come over to him so he could say something. She obliged and walked over and sat herself down in front of the man.
"You clearly put some effort into your poetry, it's a little spooky but my son would think it's cool," he told her.
"Oh thanks, what's your son's name? Maybe the two of us can get together some time?" asked Haiku.
"Oh sorry, he's already married, and they have a wonderful baby boy. Say, I just thought of something, have we met?" Ryan asked, now Haiku found herself looking very carefully at this man who was technically old enough to be her father.
"Well, it's not exactly a big town, what's your name?" she asked.
"Ryan Spokes," he answered before sipping his cappuccino down to the last dreg.
"Spokes? Is your son Rocky Spokes his wife Lucy and their son Silas?" exclaimed Haiku.
"Yes, you know them?" inquired Ryan who now had curiosity fill his mind.
"Know them? Lucy and I were best friends for years! I was in the same grade as your son Rusty! I was the maid of honor at their wedding! I might have been named the godmother of Silas but Rusty and Jordan managed to beat me in that department!" she said this last bit with a laugh.
"Well, can't win them all. Then again, with all the siblings Lucy has, it's almost a miracle they were bestowed with that title. Stiff competition, y'know," replied Ryan.
"Well, he's the cutest little thing. Although I feel bad that they technically named him after a friend of ours who killed himself," added Haiku.
"Yup, I still remember hearing about that. But, with any luck, my grandson will be able to continue his namesake's legacy. Y'know, be able to do the things he never got to do," said Ryan.
"Here's hoping, so what brings you here? You don't seem like the kind of guy who walks into a coffee shop on poetry night," inquired Haiku.
"Honestly, I've been asking myself the same thing. Best I could come up with is that I wandered into here by impulse. Driving in the city, had to take a break from traffic, came into the first place where I could get something to drink. What brings you here?" he asked.
"This is one of the best places for me to recite my poetry to a group. My friends and I like it here, especially since Lucy's mom brought us here on a field trip in grade school," Ryan chuckled hearing that.
"Next question? Why were you even driving in the city? Doesn't your wife expect you home at a certain hour?" For the longest time, Haiku could never figure out what impulse her to ask that.
"Well, I was working late at the suit shop, and honestly I'm never really in a hurry to get home anymore. My wife left me and the boys around the time Rusty was starting high school. Once they moved out of the house, I sold the home I raised them in and moved into an apartment. It's kind of lonely there so I guess I find public places where I don't have to be alone," said Ryan sadly. Here, he looked down at his empty coffee cup, feeling just like that after telling his story. Haiku gently held his hand, causing him to look back up at her.
"Hey, it's okay, I mean, rough things happen like that, and your two sons are really good guys who have given you grandchildren. That's more than I can say about myself," said Haiku sadly.
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Ryan.
"Well, I had a brief dance with Clyde, we found we shared one bond: We had a crush on someone older than ourselves. We thought we could make it work out but ended up just being friends. I dated a boy named Dante for a while, but he broke up with me when his family moved, sadly around the time Silas killed himself. Well, that crushed me badly with a double blow. In college, I had a series of bad relationships, and I just stopped looking. After college, I became a librarian and became so engrossed with my poetry that I never got back into the dating game. So, no husband and no kids," Haiku told Ryan.
Ryan felt bad for Haiku. He patted her on the shoulder, and then gave her a business card saying if she just needed someone to talk to, he was an open book. Haiku couldn't help herself, she hugged him.
Well, where does this relationship go? Guess we'll have to wait and see.