A long time ago, I wrote the first chapter of a story that I still wish I knew how to write. This was when I realised that I cannot write it. Maybe one day I will be able to. Or maybe someone else will have the idea, and make it into a movie or a mini-series. I think I would rather read it than write it.
Still, when I was going through my old drafts that are cluttering up my wordpress-ing, I thought I could just delete this, but then I read over it and thought that it isn’t so awful as to merit being thrown away without being archived or properly shown. It ends abruptly, so it doesn’t look like a proper snippet, but I think that this is preface enough to explain why I stopped there, as well as why I didn’t give it a cliff to hang over.
“Yeah, but that was just the first half.”
Victor raised an eyebrow, picking at his salad. He hadn’t said anything while I’d told him about the notebook or the letter. Just listened. His hair was drooping in the wet Wednesday, even indoors. “Your dad was well weird, John.”
“No argument there.” Although he could have picked different words. I bent the straw in my soft drink, distressing the firetruck-red plastic until I left pink stretch marks. “That’s what made him awesome.”
“You would say that.”
I flicked a french fry at him. “Anyway. The second half of the letter is what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Then why’d you go on about the first half?”
We’d taken up residence in our usual booth at Dotty’s Diner. Lunch hour in the middle of the week, surrounded by coworkers and other familiar faces, all of us there for the grease with a side order of food. Vegetarian Victor always ordered the one marginally healthy item on the menu. Regular as clockwork, the entire scene. He speared his salad like a gladiator with a trident. “Fine, I’ll give you that one. What’s the second part then?”
I reached into my pocket and took out a bit of folded paper.
“You brought it with you?”
“Don’t be daft. These are notes.” My food had already reached the point where I had to abandon it; I pushed the plate aside and smoothed out the paper.
It was a printout of a flyer I had found. We’d known each other for ages, Victor and me, I knew how to grab his attention. And if this was going to work, I was going to need his attention at the very least. He leaned over the flyer, chomping lettuce. “Doesn’t look like notes–oh hey.”
He pushed his own plate out of the way, making room for his elbows.