I Saw The News Today, Oh Boy

By Mel



Disclaimer: I don't think they're mine. But then, very little is. Marvel owns quite a lot really. They even own some of this.

I saw him on TV today. He sped by, smiling as the camera panned. That bright flash of teeth and joy. The reporter said something, but I wasn't listening. I was looking for him again.

I wonder if he remembers me.

It's another world for people like him. They have wrongs to right, evil to conquer. We have bills to pay, boredom to beat. They wear flashy, streamlined costumers. We have aprons and caps on our hair. They have planes and sports cars, we have bombs that stall when you change gears, stop at lights, go up hills, or are in a hurry.

They have reasons, we have none. Why do we keep going? What are we here for?

I wonder if he remembers.

I feel so old sometimes. Old and tired. Two jobs will do that to you, they say. I'm lucky to have them. I know that. And I can keep little Georgie with me while I'm minding the other kids. He doesn't seem to mind. He doesn't cry anymore when I leave him in the evenings either. When I come home from the bar he's usually asleep. I wonder why I feel like I miss my own son when I see him every day?

Would he remember my dad?

They were best friends, his dad and mine. They died at the same time. They would have liked that. They liked to be together. I remember them together, watching football together. Going for different teams. Drinking beer, and joking about my mom and his. I used to watch too, though I didn't understand the game. Just to be with them.

Does he remember that?

Sometimes I feel so young and stupid. I've made so many mistakes. I still do. I want to have some fun, but thanks to other mistakes I can't. Not that Georgie is a mistake. He wasn't planned, but I always wanted a kid. A little boy. I used to borrow his family. With only me, I wanted to share brothers and sisters. And he had heaps to go around. On the first day of school, we had to sit next to each other. We knew each other because of our Dads, and we got in trouble for talking too much. I let him borrow my pencils.

Would he remember those pencils?

They say that I went bad after my father died, when they think I can't hear them. Mom had no control, they said. Maybe they're right about that. There were only the two of us, and she had to work. And I didn't have a dad. Or a best friend. He left not long after that. You'd think I'd still be friends with his sisters, but it wasn't the same. And it hurt Mom for me to talk about his mom. She never really got over Dad's death. So I got a job at the diner, and went out every night, so I didn't have to sit in our silent house, or talk to anyone who cared.

I wonder if he ever thought about us?

It was at the pub I work at now that I met Georgie's dad. I didn't see him after that night, and I don't remember much of it. It was a wake-up call though. I don't drink anymore. I work so Georgie can have everything he needs. Mom takes care of him at night, and now she has someone to care about she's doing better. Mom even talks to his mom sometimes. She tells me about him.

Does his Mom tell him about me?

She wouldn't. Why should she? I've never done anything special, and I probably never will. He's pretty important now, and busy, from what Mom tells me. Heroes are always busy. He still writes to his mom though. That reminds me so much of him. He's always been a good son. Better than I've been a daughter. He used to help my Mom sometimes. I always forgot.

Does he ever think about Mom?

I've thought about writing a letter, but something always stops me. At first it was because I was too busy drunk or working, then later I was too proud. I didn't want him to know I was an unmarried mother. He's got some idea about what it's like in this little town. I don't want pity. I can't write now, because I've never written before. I can't do it out of the blue. He'd think I was desperate or something. I just want to talk. I just want to see the old friend I spent years with. The person I told all my secrets, and hung out with. Not very big secrets, but important to me at the time.

When he thinks of the past, does he think about those secrets?

He doesn't even come to see me when he goes home. Not that I expect him to. I never go see him either. I don't because I don't know how to tell him the new secrets. The ones that hurt now. The ones that seem important now.

Is the reason he doesn't come see me because he forgets?

I want to tell him about Georgie. I want to tell him my son's full name. The name I gave my child because I used to love my friend. I think I still do. Not like some of those stupid gossips who said I had a crush. It was different. He was my friend. One of the only people who knew what it was like with a father working all day or night, and coming home dirty and tired, but cheerful. What it was like to never have money. What it was like to run away for the afternoon and sit by the creek and talk about what the clouds looked like, and whether we would want to live forever. He said he didn't want to. I understand now.

I wonder if he remembers his friend at all?

What would he think if I told him my son is George Samuel Budd?

I wonder if he knows I still care about him? And I sometimes think I need a friend?

I wonder if he ever thinks he needs a friend, someone who knows when to listen and when not to? Someone who doesn't care about what you do, or what you should do? Someone who doesn't think of you in terms of what you can do, or what you have to do?

Does Sam Guthrie remember me, I wonder.

Why should he?

The End

Okay, that was a story that leapt on me out of the blue and insisted on being written. I'm not going to apologise for it, because I think I like it. Feedback would be appreciated, and if you don't send it... well, I'll telepathically send that sinking feeling that you get when you realise you have an exam in an hour, and you haven't done any study for it, because you studied for the wrong exam.

go to the companion piece About A Lucky Man

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