People actually liked the start of my story, which is always nice, and incredibly, my hits actually doubled when I posted it! So here, once again for your reading pleasure, is the second part of ‘Let It Be’.

* * * * *

We were closing up the second time I saw that boy.

Mary was out back when he arrived, cleaning up the Ford before we took it back out to the Moore farm. They’d been having problems with the underside rusting but it was nothing an occasional clean wouldn’t fix. The car was going on twenty years old and they ran it all over the fields, never bothering to take a look and see what was under the mud.

This time, the boy seemed calm enough, even shot me a dumb smile when he saw me, but I just couldn’t shake what he’d said the last time he came. Even back then I was seeing Betty – had no business interfering in Mary’s affairs – but she was a good friend, and I didn’t much like the thought of anyone putting her in her grave, let alone this city boy.

“Is Miss Ward here?” He asked, peering into the ’shop shadows. I sniffed, loud like and smirked when he wrinkled his nose.

“She’s gone home,” I lied, praying the girl would stay out back and not make me look like a fool, “It’s past five, boy, we don’t normally work late.” He waited a second, looked like he was thinking hard, and reached into his Sunday-suit pocket, dragging out a neat little envelope.

“Would you please give her this, then?” he offered it out to me and after a moment I took it. I’d no intention of handing it over – whatever it was, coming from this kid it couldn’t possibly be good. Still, I was curious as to who’d been showing up in my garage uninvited.

“Who should I say it’s from?”

He stared at me a long time, his sluggish blue eyes trying to read whether or not I was asking an honest question. I suppose I’d’ve been curious too had we been in opposite places. If I’d yelled bloody murder at a girl in his place, he looked like the kind who’d make that girl tell him why. After a long moment he cracked a little smile and said slowly, like he thought I was dumb,

“Albert Hart.”

He glanced at his letter, all puppy-dog eyes, one last time before stalking out into the yard and climbing into his car. It was a stunning thing – a brand new, 1936, Buick 8 Business Coupe and he didn’t even deserve to look at the thing. I shook my head while I watched him go and looked at my oily prints on his nice white paper.

I headed over to my room, shutting the door like I did when we got a phone call. The line was so bad way out here that to hear it proper, you had to lock yourself in. If Mary came back in she’d not disturb me, but just to be sure I picked up the receiver anyways and held it to my face with my chin. Thinking hard, I started to push down round the envelope, trying to feel what was inside – sure didn’t feel much like a letter, and it wasn’t the shape of some bills, either. The thing wasn’t sealed, so slowly, careful like, I opened it up.

Inside were a couple of photographs. The first two were of Hart, and he had his arm round a different girl in each picture. One of his ladies was wearing a wedding gown and on the back of that he’d written ‘Me and Ruth, June 10, 1934’, while on the other, he’d just scrawled ‘Nancy’.

“Cheating bastard,” I said to the walls and looked at the third picture.

The other two, though they got me pretty mad, weren’t a surprise. This one though… this one was all kinds of crazy.

It was old – had been printed in browns and yellows instead of silver and white – and there was a man in it who looked like Hart a little. His eyes were different though, wilder somehow – like he wasn’t so spineless. It could have been the boy’s rich papa – or from the clothes, maybe his granddaddy.

And there, plain as day beside him, was Mary.

Advertisements