Part VA Chapter by Haunzwürthe
Everyone had forgotten about Jarvis. As quietly as he had arrived on NW 17th St, he just as quietly faded into its background. No one remembered his first job at Luhdman's Electronics or that he had been blamed and fired by Luhdman himself when it was robbed. Ed kept up tabs regularly at the beginning though eventually lost interest in Jarvis' lack of entertaining qualities or drama. The workers at Sheila's Corner Market really didn't notice when he came for groceries and no one paid him attention at the laundromat on Sunday's. That was until he met Beatrice LeBeaux for the second time.
She was reading a magazine in the laundromat when the most feeble looking man came up to her, holding his hands like they were about to escape from his wrists. He stood there a minute and she pretended not to hear his throat clearings until she couldn't fake it any longer.
"I ain't got extra quarters."
"Oh, uh, no. It's not that," Jarvis stammered. "See, I, you said to, next time, um..."
"Either spit it out, or keep walkin, I'm about done here."
"Oh yeah, sorry. My name is Jarvis. Um, we met last week and you said to, uh, say hi the next time I saw you."
She thought back to the last time she did laundry and pulled a blank. "Are you sure?" she asked through some pops of her gum.
"Yeah, last time you had The Sun instead of The Inquirer."
She looked at her magazine. He was right and had fairly decent attention to detail. She didn't think he was too awful looking but she was in no place to judge. Her waitress uniform was increasingly snug in places, constantly reminding her how well it had fit when she had first started at Harry's after high school. She brushed her black hair behind her ear and let her guard ease a bit.
"So, Marvin is it?"
"Well no, it's Jarvis-"
They continued on shakily for about an hour. She was working and sang on the side; neither seemed to be going steady at the moment. He seemed sincere and smart but there was also a vague sense of defeat mixed into his awkwardness. She felt her heart jump though when he talked about starting his his new job downtown and her interest suddenly grew. Maybe things would look up for her. The dryer buzzed an end to their conversation. Her afternoon shift was about to start without her. She could tell that he had no way with women so it didn't suprise her when he was left speechless after her offer to come over after her shift. He had barely gotten out the address and she was gone.
Another shift of orders, complaints, and getting slapped on the a*s left Betty tired and sore. She had nearly forgotten about her offer to Jarvis until she saw the building while leaving the diner. It was just down the block and not too inconvenient. She checked her watch, on time as an actress. She walked down the sidewalk as the sun gave its last nods to the evening and walked inside the building under the bridge.
She figured herself not one to judge but this was riding the line. Her building at least had some security about it even if the buzzer didn't work half the time. It's amazing how different a city block can be from the next. The hallways were dim, lending to eerily dark corners. She took the elevator up and decided that the stairs would be the better option on the way down. Her voice of reason told her to turn back, but there was opportunity knocking. He had a job in the city! She made it to the fourth floor and stepped out into the hall. It was quiet unlike the first floor of crying babies and yelling parents. The people up here, if any, wanted to keep hidden. Betty walked to the end of the hall, passing a few doors blocked with police tape, and stood at Jarvis' door.
© 2012 Haunzwürthe
Added on November 14, 2011
Last Updated on January 21, 2012
Jarvis Bertstrum Conquers the World
About-------------------------------- I am Mark but Haunzwürthe is more fun. -------------------------------- This year represents a huge change for me. After over a decade of military service, .. more..