Bad Luck Billy

Bad Luck Billy

A Chapter by Jeffrey Gershom

BAD LUCK BILLY

by

Jeffrey Gershom








A full moon hung low in the eastern sky. The orange orb slowly rose in the humid air of an August twilight night. There wasn’t much traffic on the roads for a Sunday. William Lukas had to walk since there were no buses running. He didn’t mind the hour walk to his apartment. It gave him time to think after getting off work.

The stress of the previous ten hours made him flustered and hot, but that was most of the time at the restaurant he worked at. The kitchen was a mad house on Sundays and on this particular Sunday, it was bad. People could be such a******s.

Sweat was running down the side of William’s face. His dark eyebrows protected his blue eyes from the salty liquid that would have burnt them. Fortunately, his hat kept most of the sweat at bay.

The occasional car would slow down momentarily to look at him. They were probably wondering who was stupid enough to walk in the hot, sultry air. He would just smile and wave his callused hand sarcastically at them.

Tonight, though, something different happened. It was totally unexpected; yet, it was probably too good to be true. He knew he had to be on his toes just in case something happened and he would have to bolt.

A car passed him. Then it slowed down and made a right handed turn onto a side street up ahead. William didn’t recognize the deep blue sport car. As a matter of fact, the plates were out of state, Wisconsin. “Strange,” he thought to himself. Slowly, he walked further down the sidewalk. The hot and humid air may have affected his better judgment, but he thought he recognized the face in the driver’s seat.

He was a few steps from the car when the driver got out and looked over at him. “Hey, handsome! You want a ride?”

Then it came to him. “Sandy, is that you?”

“Long time! How’s it going, Billy?” Her dark brown hair went down past her shoulders. It had a slight curl, so it was probably longer than it looked. She only stood about a foot taller the the height of the Ford Mustang. Her pale complexion was discolored by the reflection of color from the car, giving her a ghoulish look.

“Other than sweating uncontrollably, I’m okay.” He couldn’t believe that after all these years, they would run into each other again. “How did you find me?”

“Oh, I was just cruzin down the street, and there you were. Lucky for me, huh?”

William instantly froze in his tracks. Just the mention of the word “luck or lucky” was not a good omen. “You were just driving and found me?”

“William Lukas, don’t be so dramatic! Of course not. I was at the restaurant where you work at, and they told me that you just left. They said you were probably walking down Dodge Street, so I thought, what the hell. And, here you are.”

He couldn’t help thinking about the gut feeling he had. Somehow, he needed to get away from Sandy, or more truthfully, Sandy needed to get away from him. So many things were going on in his head right now, so many memories, and they weren’t good.

“What’s wrong, Billy? Why the serious look? I think you need to get into the car and let me drive you home. We can catch up on with what’s been going on in our lives for the past 10 years.” She had a concerned look on her face, a look he had seen 10 years ago. Then he noticed the sweat going down her ivory skin.

“Sorry, Sandy,” he finally said. “Yeah, I’d appreciate a ride. We both need to get out of this muggy air.”

She smiled and got back into the driver’s seat. As he was about to place his hand on the passenger’s door handle, he shot back when she electronically unlocked the passenger’s door. He told himself to relax. He was hoping that everything would be just fine.

“Why so jumpy, Billy? Are you having those feelings again?” She had a fine way of getting to the point. But, when you were working as a psychologist in a hospital, you try to find out things quick before bad things happen.

When he was in the Psych Ward at Saint Christopher’s, Sandy was assigned to his case. They seemed to hit it off from the beginning, but it was all an illusion brought on by his  wanting these bad things to quit happening to and around him. She, on the other hand, was only being the caring doctor who wants to help her patient. All in all, it could have been worse. He was always a bit cynical to people who wanted to help him.

“It’s just a lot of little things going on. Not like before. They aren’t making things physically happen, just…” His voice trailed off with a sense of wariness.

“It’s okay, Billy. I got this weird feeling a couple of days ago, and I felt compelled to find you. Yes, I said it. This wasn’t just a coincidence.” She let her guard down, and he knew it. Like before, he felt her concern. No, it was something more. She still loved him. That made him more nervous.

“I’ll be okay, Sandy. Stay for something to eat and a drink. We can talk, but that’s all. I don’t want to tempt fate again. It almost killed you.” William began sweating inside Sandy’s air conditioned car. He knew that this wasn’t a good sign.

“I know, Billy. It’s just that I’m worried about you.” She looked over to him briefly as she was driving. “I had another dream about you a few nights ago. I’m worried.”

“Worried that something bad is going to happen?”

She gave a nervous laugh that echoed within the almost quiet interior of the car. The whir of the a/c motor hummed with cool relief, relief that William couldn’t feel.

“Something bad can always happen, Billy, and it doesn’t have to involve you. The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know.”

William let out a slow sarcastic laugh of his own. “Sandy, I know that, but it becomes more likely when I’m around. At least, to me or those around me. You already know this. You’ve already experienced this yourself. Don’t deny it. So what, that it was ten years ago. It had to be bad enough for you to stay away this long.”

“Billy…” She pulled off on a side road and put the car in park. Looking directly at him, she searched for the words in a vast ocean of conflicting emotions. “You left me. Remember that, mister high and mighty. I was devastated by your leaving, but I understood your motivation. It didn’t make it any easier, but I respected your decision.”

William just stared at the dash of the car, almost as if in a trance. “I didn’t want it to be like that, but I cared for you too much to let anything happen to you.”

She watched him intently as he said this. “When you ‘cared?’ You don’t feel the same way anymore?”

He matched her gaze. “Why are you looking at me like that? I’m not one of your patients anymore.”

She was caught off guard. “I sorry, Billy. I didn’t mean to make you feel like you had to  justify your feelings, but I thought there was still something there.” Slowly, she place her hand on his.

Quickly, he jerked his away.

“Billy, what’s wrong? You’re burning up!”

He just sat there for a second in a daze. “I’m fine. Maybe I should walk the rest of the way.”

“No, Billy. Please, let me help you!”

He couldn’t make himself to look at her. If he did, he knew that he would surrender himself to his needs. His need to be not alone, to be loved. But, that happened ten years ago, and it almost killed her. He couldn’t live with himself if something happened to her now. Without saying a word, he opened the car door. The hot, muggy air rushed in. With deliberate motion, William got out of Sandy’s car. He carefully closed the door, afraid that if he slammed it, all his memories of her would shatter into oblivion.

As he started walking down the sidewalk with only the street lights illuminating his way, he heard Sandy say something to him. She didn’t have to yell it. The night was quiet enough for him to hear her heartfelt words. “I love you, Billy.”

He stood there letting the her words wash over him. He wanted to continue walking, but he couldn’t. His heart was weighted down by what she said, the thick humid air didn’t make it any easier.

With despair in his heart, he walked the remaining distance in quiet reflection. He knew he did the right thing, he only hoped that Sandy would finally realize it as well.

 

***

 

The next morning he felt restless. After showering, he went to the kitchen to get something to eat. It was his day off, so he wanted to make the most of it. The smell of bacon filled the apartment. He made sure that this time the smoke alarm wouldn’t go off. The paper towel lined plate was filled with a package of crisp bacon. He left some of the bacon grease in the frying pan and whipped up some scrambled eggs. As soon the eggs were ready, the toast popped up from the toaster.

He turned on the radio. As always, his station on choice was public radio with its playing of classical music. Mozart’s Magic Flute was finishing when the local announcer began the top of the hour with local news.

“Police officials are still trying to make sense of a car accident on I-480 last night. According to…” William quickly turned off the radio. His stomach knotted with  masochistic ferocity. He knew what the report was going to say, something about how Dr. Sandy Wright was killed in a bazaar car accident.

There was a reason he had a hard time sleeping last night. He had hoped it was only a dream, a bad dream, but now he knew it was real. It was like last time, but last time, Sandy survived. He made sure he left fast enough before anything would happen. Apparently, she stayed around, but why?

He had the sinking feeling that maybe she was going to stay and help William sort it all out. Then maybe they would have a future together.

It was then that he truly realized how much she had loved him. He threw his breakfast across the kitchen. He cried out loud with unrelenting torment. “Why?” He repeated it over and over again. Each time more quiet than the last, until he was just mumbling it with hushed tones. Tears welled in his eyes.

He loved her. He loved her so much that he was willing to let her go. He didn’t want any harm to come to her. Now, she was dead, and it was his fault.



© 2012 Jeffrey Gershom


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Reviews

Holy crap this is great!!! You are such a detail writer. You painted the picture perfectly


Posted 7 Years Ago


Jeffrey Gershom

7 Years Ago

Thank you! It takes a lot of practice and I've still so much to learn.
melissa

7 Years Ago

i know the feeling!

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Added on September 7, 2012
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Author

Jeffrey Gershom
Jeffrey Gershom

Grand Island, NE



About
I'm a survivor, a writer, a poet and a photographer. I love music in its varied forms. more..

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