Tocqueville. Florida. “I absolutely needed to hear the end of that story.”, Courtney Ann Williams, neighbor and friend to fabulous storyteller Delena Johnson confirms. “It is nothing short of a 90s thriller, you know, the ones with an actual storyline.”
“First she started to tell me this thing about Joe, our neighbor from across the street. She’s seen him a couple of days ago at the supermarket. He was about to get in his car when … Oh, I’m so sorry, you probably don’t have all day to hear this story. Well, it so happens that Joe has a sister, Jessica. Yes, she is really, really nice, but sometimes a bit unfair to Joe. I remember his 26th birthday party, about 5 years ago, where she… Here I go again. Sorry. It’s just that the story would be incomplete without all these additional background details of Joe, his family, his pets and his math teacher. And by math teacher I mean Miss Delaware, his 5th grade teacher, because during Joe’s 6th grade she decided to pursue a different career. That’s when Mr. Washington stepped in. He was not as interesting as Miss Delaware, but talented enough to determine Joe to take a moderate interest in mathematics. No, math was not his favorite subject in school. Joe has always been dedicated body and soul to animals, biology, that sort of stuff. So, you must imagine Delena’s shock when she saw him getting into his car the other day at the supermarket. Oh my goodness, you must have seen her face. For Chrissake, please excuse me. You probably don’t care at all about Joe and this weird thing that happened. It’s not like you know Joe. But I do and well everyone knows a Joe, so when Delena started telling the story I found it so gripping that I just could not miss a single detail: the colour of Miss Delaware’s hair, Joe’s favorite pets, the contents of his grocery cart and the incredible reunion that took place in the parking lot. After all those years, can you imagine?! Juuuuuice-aaay!!!”
We interrupt this stream of consciousness to inform you that around 10:30 pm Courtney Ann decided it was impossible to listen to the complete story without taking a day off from work. She immediately called her supervisor, inspite of the risqué hour, and let him know that something urgent had come up. She would not be able to make it to work the following day. Mr. Brandon, who at the time of the call was engaging in customarily frowned upon behavior with Mrs. Robinson, head of HR, immediately approved the leave of absence despite its short notice, falsely reassuring Courtney Ann of the flexibility and open mindedness of the management. A win-win scenario with two corporate happy endings. But back to the story.
“So, what actually happened, and I’m cutting to the chase here, is that Delena saw Joe getting in his car with nobody else than Miss Delaware. Molly. After all these years!!! Good Lord! But why? Well, of course, unlike the Church, Donald Trump or termination letters, we do have the answer to that question.”
Courtney Ann paused a fraction of a second to draw breath.
“Miss Delaware came back to see Joe after all these years in order to make up for a mistake from long ago. It turns out once in 5th grade, shortly before Miss Delaware left school, the kids were asked to bring their pets to class. It was the annual Bring Your Pet To Class Day. Yes, there is such a thing. Well, looks like Joe’s dog was the cutest thing ever. An awesome rescue closely related to Chewbacca. Miss Delaware loved it so much that she basically pressured Joe into giving Chewbuck up so she could take it home to HER son! Who does that, OMG?! Right?!! So, you’ll never believe it but she came back after all these years to make good on her questionable behavior from before. Delena saw her in the parking lot with a puppy. She couldn’t really hear what they were talking about, but for sure she must have apologized for her previous immature decision. The new dog albeit unrelated to Chewbacca, seemed like a distant cousin of Alf from Melmac. Good enough, Joe must have thought to himself. Delena and I go as far as to think the pup was actually an upgrade. Of course, he accepted Molly’s apology and the little puppy. Such a cute little thing!! So yeah, in a few words, that’s what happened. Now you probably wonder what Joe’s sister has got to do with this story, right?”
“Sit down. I’ll brew us some tea.”
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an idea by Florin Taut.