Kenneth

Kenneth

A Story by busterlee
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A fond memory

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Kenneth


The phone rings.  It’s November 10, 1992.  I make my way to the kitchen to the elongated white telephone on the bar.  It rings again and I pick it up. “Hello.” “Hey.” He replies. “I’m in town.  I’m at Mack’s truck stop just off the interstate.” I’m a little surprised and don’t immediately understand what’s going on but I do recognize the voice.  “Kenneth?” “Yah, I was passing through and thought I’d stop by and visit for a couple hours.” “Ok, cool.” I reply. There’s a pause. “You’ll have to pick me up at the truck stop.”  “Oh, I’ll be there in a few minutes.” We say our goodbyes and I inform the wife and put on my shoes. I hadn’t considered that his truck wouldn’t go under the wires on my street and it would have been heck trying to make the corners.


I’m excited as I pull out of the drive.  I had moved eight hours away from my hometown because of my job and I hadn’t had a surprise visit since the move.  Kenneth is a truck driver and no matter where I live he is bound to pass by eventually. He’s my oldest brother, ten years older.  He’s also one of my oldest and best friends. Kenneth is a traveler, always on the go. Through trucking, the military and vacations he’s seen a lot of the world.  He looks at it from a different perspective, different from most small town Alabamians. He understands that we’re not all alike and he doesn’t expect people to live up to his beliefs or standards.  He might fuss a little but that’s just for his own benefit. I can always talk about anything with him and get a more open minded response than I do from most of the people I know. I really enjoy our conversations.  I smile as I imagine seeing him again.


I turn into the truck stop and realize I’ve made a mistake.  There are twenty trucks lined up in the lot and to me they all look the same.  How the heck am I gonna find him? I stop my car and ponder the situation. He comes walking up from behind with a sneaky grin on his face.  I get out and give him a firm handshake and a pat on the back. “Hey brother, good to see you.” I say. He smiles and turns his head to the side.  “Huh, what took you so long?” Then he laughs and walks around the car and gets in.


We talk non stop about where he’s been lately and where he’s headed.  Then it’s on to the wife and kids and my job. Eventually we get around to the sacred cow, The Crimson Tide.  I can’t imagine ever spending an hour with Kenneth and not talking Alabama Football. When I was a teen Ken would buy all of the preseason magazines and after reading them he would give them to me.  Those magazines were sacred relics, prized possessions. I kept them stacked in a safe place in the corner of my closet.


We arrive at my house and I realize that the wife and I have already eaten dinner and we don’t have much to offer him.  He says he’s not hungry so I brew a pot of coffee. Ken slouches down on my over sized sectional sofa, the kind that’s constantly separating and drifting apart on the carpet.  I sit on the corner section and watch as my one year old, Jacob, walks to Ken’s knee and crawls up on the couch. He sits as close to him as he can get. I’ve never seen him do that before with anyone, anyone that should be a stranger to him.  Ken puts his arm around Jake and my wife Judy takes a picture. Ken stays for around two hours and then I take him back to the truck stop.


I lived in a few places over the years but Ken always found me on his trips and I picked him up at truck stops and brought him home with me.  He was always welcome and I always enjoyed his visits. But I’ll never forget the one when Jacob sat next to him on my couch. I’ve wondered about it for years.  What drew him to Ken? Why did he trust him? It took some time but I think I figured it out. Jake looked into my eyes and watched my body language and knew, he understood.  He knew how much I trusted Kenneth. He knew how much I loved him. He knew how important he was.


Just like I kept those magazines in the corner of my closet I keep the memories of his visits hidden away in the safest place I know.  They’re tucked away in the corner of my heart.


I miss you Brother.

© 2018 busterlee


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Featured Review

Family. What's more important? I think I'd like your brother, and we need more folks like him. The willingness to accept others as what they are. Rare quality there.

On a technical note, I think this might have been easier on the eye if you separated the dialog with paragraphs. Each speaker getting his own para, I mean.

Good to see another piece from you. Keep it up. :-)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Family. What's more important? I think I'd like your brother, and we need more folks like him. The willingness to accept others as what they are. Rare quality there.

On a technical note, I think this might have been easier on the eye if you separated the dialog with paragraphs. Each speaker getting his own para, I mean.

Good to see another piece from you. Keep it up. :-)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 17, 2018
Last Updated on June 17, 2018
Tags: brother, love, memory

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busterlee
busterlee

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I like to write. I don't know if my writing is worth reading but that doesn't seem to matter much. I think that I need to write and I know that I enjoy it. I believe that 90 percent of what we do i.. more..

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