These are surely busy times. The B&B is doing well! Last week our dear Elderberry left the Inn after finding her true love... my shrink, Evan Enqvist. Who would've thought? Now my new guest arrived; Jeremy Captain. Just one guest for the week. Still I am running around trying to catch up on everything. I am sending Barry downtown to pick up some stuff. Sit down, grab a nice cup of some hot fluid and read, I will tell you all about it!
This vintage bubble blower is amazing. I should really write my cousin Orlov a thank you note…”
Brass polisher. Hmmm…
“Bye!!! See you later sis!”
"Oh dear. Now what did Bubbles say, again?"
Barry Bluewater was on a shopping errand, and he hadn't written down what Bubbles wanted him to buy. At the time it had seemed pretty simple. Then he came to the market and saw the variety of vegetables, and he panicked. "Four acorn squash ... ten key limes ... and what?"
He couldn't remember. He needed to call her, but he already knew that if he did she'd be upset. She was already so busy just trying to take care of guests that she was stretched thin. And he already knew he should have written it down. Oh, what to do?
Barry turned around. He saw designer sunglasses, an expensive leather jacket, a silk scarf with a hound’s-tooth pattern, wool pants. Then he saw the head of messy platinum blond hair.
"I thought that was you."
For a moment, Barry couldn't speak. He was probably the only person at the B&B who missed Kenneth Steel. He hadn't expected to see the budding musician again for years, if ever, and now here they were together on a random street corner in Bridgeport. And was that a smile on Kenny's face? Was that smile for HIM? ... it couldn't be.
Kenny was talking, but Barry didn't hear a word. He just stared, watching Kenny's lips move. God, he loved those lips!
"... so you wanna go?"
"Uh ... go where?"
Kenny laughed. It was a nice laugh. Was that laugh for HIM? ... it couldn't be.
"So what are you doing back in town?"
"Jozef called me, told me about an open audition at one of the theaters. And he wants me to come play keyboard with the Ebonies again for a night. So here I am." Kenny drank more tea. "How's your sister?"
"Bubbles? She's just fine ... oh!" Barry checked his watch. They'd been in here for nearly an hour! And he'd left home OVER an hour before that! ... Bubbles was going to kill him.
"Something wrong?" Kenny asked. He looked like he already knew what was wrong. Barry sighed and explained. When he finished, Kenny gave him another one of those lovely laughs.
"Tell you what, I'll drive you home. I can get you there a lot quicker than a cab would. ... no buts, Barry. it's my fault you're late."
"This is such a nice car," Barry sighed. Kenny was right; he drove faster than any cab. The ride was so smooth that he nearly fell asleep, but his stomach kept flip-flopping. Part of it was being so close to his crush. The other part was ... well, he had to talk to Bubbles.
But not for a little longer. Right now he just had to enjoy the ride. And the company.
"Thanks for the ride back, Kenny. Won’t you come in?"
"Neh… I don’t think so. I think I used up all my bonus points for this month with Bubbles. I’ll wait here. Go get your stuff."
Barry was too euphoric to even consider the fact that his sister might not agree with his plans.
Hurry up Sugar buns…
Barry blushed… Was Kenny actually FLIRTING with him?
“Bubbles? … Hi! What’s up? Err… I was just getting my overnight bag. I...err… am staying in the city this weekend.”
The look on his sisters face made him less confident than he was when he just walked in.
Barry. Where were you? I have been waiting for you since this afternoon? Where are the groceries? You are what? Did I hear right? Where are you staying in the city Barry? You … you are supposed to help me out here! I need you here! Who said there was time for any vacations for us? Well? Barry took a deep breath. He was an adult for crying out loud. Bubbles had no right to… “Bubbles, I am staying with Kenny. He is back for the weekend. I ran into him at the grocery store. See you Monday morning.” And meanwhile Kenny waited outside, impatiently. Even though this place didn't have the happiest memories for him, it had Barry, and that was enough. He didn’t want to think of anything else. Kenny finally lost patience and marched up to the entrance. He didn't care if Bubbles or anyone else in there saw him. "Barry? What’s taking so long? Come on! Let’s go!" The fast car took them back to Bridgeport even faster than they left, but they didn't return to the hotel just yet. Kenny wasn't ready to turn in. He wanted somewhere to warm up his fingers, so he hunted for a dive bar with a stage.
Waylon's ... yes. It was perfect.
Time to rock out.
Barry followed Kenny into the bar and stood there, entranced. Even though the bar was crowded and noisy, as long as the music lasted, Barry felt as though Kenny was playing just for him. The hours crawled by. The people came and left. But the music went on and on.
The bar shut down around 3, and Barry yawned as he got in the car. "That was so amazing, Kenny. I knew you'd make your dream come true! I--yaaaaaaaawn."
"Wow, was I that good?" Kenny said dryly. The car growled beneath them as he started the engine. "So you ready to see my place?" "Are you KIDDING?" Barry said when they entered the suite. "All this for a weekend visit? This is practically a house!"
Kenny shrugged. "The place belongs to the lady who used to publish my mom's books. Her husband is old and can't manage the stairs, so they rent it out whenever they can. When I told them I'd be in town for the weekend, they told me to send them a check and they'd send me a key. It's cheaper than a hotel, it's good for me, it's good for them. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!"
He led Barry upstairs to the single bedroom. Barry was too sleepy to notice much besides the ornate bed. He quickly undressed and lay down. Before he fell asleep, it occurred to him that Kenny had probably brought him here for a reason. And he only had the weekend to figure out why. Could be a fun puzzle ... The only thing Jeremy had was an old business card from his lawyer. A quick check on the Internet gave him the new address. She had moved from the old place into an office in the newer part of town. The last time he had been there was a long time ago. All he remembered of their family lawyer was that she was a woman who always looked at him as though he was a real bad boy. One way or another, she always managed to make him feel guilty. A corner office on the top floor. She must be doing well. He took the elevator up and sat in the waiting room. He would have lied if he didn’t admit he was a little bit nervous meeting his lawyer again. “Come in… Mr. Captain, … Jeremy! It is if I see your father. You look just like him! The resemblance to your late parents is remarkable. Sit down Jeremy and tell me… what’s the problem this time. I definitely hope it’s not to ‘solve’ the same kind of problems as when you were a young adult…?” “No not at all Mrs. Noall, I am coming here to free my conscience…”
“Why don’t you explain that to me…. I’m all ears…”
“I would like to know if you can find the child I had with that one girl from my young adulthood’ as you just pointed out, because I am willing to give it a big part of my heritage.”
“That’s quite a noble gesture Jeremy. I’ll have to look for the files…. Serve yourself a tea if you please.”
No, Jeremy didn’t feel like having tea. He got up from his chair and went to the window to look at the beautiful view and waited patiently until Mrs. Noall came back. “Wow, Mrs. Noall…. I had no idea that our family file was that voluminous… Do you really need all these files only to find the address of a child?”
“A child… you say? No Jeremy…you had relationships with several girls and you have 3 children running around. You surely don’t mean you only remember the first girl because it was then that you came here with your parents. The ‘other liaisons’ were all taken care of by your mother, and me for that matter.”
“What? Err… I didn’t know that. I thought I had only one child….” “Jeremy, believe me or not, but I really had my hands full with the results of your irresponsible behavior! I’ve never seen you with regrets about your deeds…. Your parents loved you very much but, as for me, I think that they spoiled you. Those poor girls accepted their hush money, but they must have had a very hard time.” “I admit that I admire your determination to repair the damage you have done but… are you willing to do so for 3 children?”
“Yes…, although I didn’t expect this…, didn’t expect this at all. I have to carry on with my plans. I know that the manager of my Shipping Line is an honest man. I will only keep my boat the Frédérique, and a tenth of the available money. That should be enough for my plans to start all over. Please… will you see to it that everything else in that fund will go to the children I’ve never known? I’m ashamed to say that I don’t even remember the girls’ names I shared a motel room with back then. They just offered themselves, threw themselves at me, and I loved them and it at the time. Call it a hormonal thing. I’m aware that I have been acting in a very irresponsible way.”
Jeremy had Mrs. Noall's attention and after the formal paperwork was done, Jeremy signed the official papers. He was totally happy with himself and left Mrs. Noall’s office light hearted. Not far away from where Jeremy was, Barry was eating breakfast with the man he just spent the night with. It felt surreal.
“OK, I understand you have to head home Barry. Meet me later for a late lunch, I’ve got something I want to tell you before I go back … and Barry, dress nicely. Like, 'opera' nicely."
It was Sunday. Bubbles had to think of an alternative plan. She needed regular help around the house, not just because Barry was out. Now, where was that number? Ah yes… Time to give Dutch a call. "Alright, I'm outta here, see you next week. Yo, Dutch! Hey man, get your phone!" “... Wes, listen, that was Bubbles. I am off to see her now, and talk about that job she might have for me. I'll catch you later at home Wes.” “Bubbles. Bubbles? ... no way. It's her, isn't it. It's gotta be her.” Barry happily accepted the late lunch date Kenny invited him for. Kenny had something to tell him, and he was wondering why he couldn’t just tell him there. No, they were going to an exclusive restaurant, and Kenny had booked a private room. It all sounded very secretive.
‘You’re bringing me to an expensive place Kenny…’
‘I need to tell you something Barry, I… I just don’t know where to start.’
‘Why don’t you try at the beginning?’
"So ... um. I guess I should just get it out. I'm a father now. ... it happened right after you kissed me. I was drunk, she was on the rebound, and we were both stupid. I already know she doesn't have any serious feelings for me, but I offered to marry her because it wasn't fair that she'd have to raise my child alone. But she didn't want me." I see…
Well, I have to get back home Kenny.
"Barry, wait! That's not the end. My brother and I have been talking about the whole thing for a while, and he asked me what would I do differently if I could do it again. And I know now. My girls need a family. I can't give them that, but my brother can. I need a relationship that's going to last. And I want that with you."
"So this’s what you’ve been up to since we crossed paths. Not bad, Bubbles." "... not bad at all."
To be continued…
Thanks guys! Thanks for reading all about my life.
I want to thank Martoele for her Jeremy. She and I had the wondeful opportunity to sit together and write about Jeremy and his cause. If you want to know who he is, reading "Under the Same Moon" is a MUST. Big hugs, Margo!
I thank Spladoum, not only for Kenny and Vincent, but for many many things. Thanks April! This chapter has screens from Spladoum, who wrote the Barry and Kenny part together with me. Her story you can find on the forum. Read all about Kenny and his family in "Permanently Sunset"
I use so much custom content that I wouldn't know where to begin to thank the Artists. THANKS to YOU I can make some decent screens. Hope to see you again at chapter 7...
Bubbles - Chapter 6
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