29 Jun Chapter 8: Opaque (Unedited)
The weather outside was almost too good to be true and Ted was sitting on a stoop, studiously reading a newspaper.
He was deep in concentration when he noticed a man take the seat next to him. Ted looks to his peripheral and nods his head in a greeting regard, “Tim.”
Tim reciprocates, “Ted.”
Ted goes back to reading his newspaper and Tim stares off into the distance. This goes on for about five minutes before Tim turns to Ted and says, with a surprising honesty, “Do you know what I’ve always respected about you Ted? It’s your integrity… despite your, well… I’ve always wanted to know why.”
Ted boldly smiles, almost like a gentle laugh, and says to him, “Politics as usual, huh Tim? But, do you mind if I finish reading the paper first?”
Tim gives off a light chuckle, “Of course. A man of routine my friend, you’re a man of routine.” He then lounges back in his chair, pulls out a cigar and begins to smoke it peacefully, while Ted reads the newspaper.
After approximately thirty-minutes, Ted finishes reading the paper, neatly folds it up and places it on the ground next to him. He turns his chair to face Tim, “Do you know what I’ve always respected about you Tim? Your tenacity… and well I’ve always wanted to know why.”
Tim genuinely laughs, “Spoken like a true diplomat Ted, spoken like a true diplomat.”
Ted quickly responds, “Diplomacy is important.”
Tim nods his head in agreement, “It is.”
Ted scoots his chair a little bit closer, clears his throat and adds a little bit of seriousness to his tone, “I think… I’m relatively sure… well, I think the fact that you need to ask me why, or maybe even the fact that I have to ask you why is precisely why there has always been this opaque between us, right? This has hindered our ability to see eye-to-eye on many different things.”
Tim responds with a hefty tone, “Maybe. We go back a long time Ted. It’s difficult to tell. But, what I do know, is that there are many nuances that separates me from you and vice versa.”
Ted lightens his tone as if he had consciously accepted Tim’s answer, “You said that you’d need more from me. What did you have in mind?”
Tim jumps out of his chair and with a weirdly jubilant tone says, “Straight to the point! That’s why I like you Ted.”
Ted smiles, “Thanks for the compliment Tim and to return a compliment I would say that I’ve always appreciated that when we, or if we do, agree on something you’ve always honored your end of the bargain.”
Tim responds, “Like you said Ted, diplomacy is important. So… what did I have in mind? Well…” he takes a seat back in his chair and lights up another cigar, “I need you to explain something to me, I need you to explain this contagion of heart potency … thing.” He changes his tone to an odd jest, “You know… that thing that’s got you ALL UP AND ABOUT…”
Ted downplays his tone, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about Tim. But, if you’re talking about the heart – it’s actually pretty simple…”
Tim responds with annoyance in his tone, “Don’t play coy with me Ted. You know exactly what I am talking about. And I need it.”
Ted stands up from his chair and says, “You know I can’t do that Tim. Say, it’s a nice day outside, why don’t we walk and talk?”
Tim stands up from his chair and with a light-hearted tone says, “As much as I’d like to, I can’t. I’ve got to be somewhere. I suppose we will finish this conversation out another time.”
Ted starts walking down the stoop stairs, turns to Tim and says, “You’re a busy man Tim. And absolutely, let’s talk again sometime this week.”
Tim notions in agreement, walks over to Ted and shakes his hand, “Sounds good.”
They both walk off into different directions. Ted walks for about a mile down the street before he bumps into a woman, “Excuse me, ma’am” he politely says.
Ted recognizes who the woman is and says to her, “Hi, you’re Littea, right? And your friends with Jay?”
Littea looks really surprised, “I’m sorry… I don’t think we’ve ever met before or I don’t remember at least. But yes, my name is Littea, what is your name again?”
Ted makes his tone soft-spoken, “The name is Ted… we did meet once, quite a bit of time ago though. Anyways, if you see Jay… can you give him this for me?” He hands her a folded up piece of paper.
She takes the piece of paper, puts it in her purse and says, “Oh, well Jay and I aren’t really friends. He’s kind of a jerk. He’s nice to everyone else but –”
Ted cuts her off and places his hand on the right side of her face and gently says to her, “He loves you.” and he starts to walk away.
Completely perplexed Littea turns around and yells, “What do you mean… how do you know? Who are you?” but, Ted keeps walking. After a couple more moments of shouting, Littea gives up and continues on her walk, dazed and confused.
Jay was sitting outside of a bistro that he liked to frequent, at one of their wooden bench tables, working on some writing. He was in his groove and writing many things he was satisfied with when he was interrupted by Littea jumping on his lap.
She was ecstatic and says to him, “HI BABE.” and tries to give him a kiss on the lips, but Jay blocks it with his hand and calmly says to her, “Littea… how are you? Take a seat.”
She starts to do a hoola-hoop dance in his lap and responds, “I already am!”
Jay adds sternness to his voice, “Littea.”
She sighs and lets out a, “Prude.” And sits in the chair next to him.
Jay points to her and says, “This behavior really needs to stop, if you still want to be friends. You already know that I’m in a relationship with Jane.”
She adds offensiveness to her tone, “Oh… so she has a name now?” And with an utmost comical gesture proceeds to put her mouth around Jay’s finger.
Jay retracts, slams his hand on the table and for the first time showcases a little anger in his voice, “Stop with this act. I’ve done my fair bit of research on you and I know that you’re an independent, intelligent hardworking woman that makes a good deal of money.
I’ve seen you interact with other people; it’s nothing like this so stop with the act. It’s unnecessary, we’re friends already… we’re like associates.”
Just before she has a chance to respond, Jay notices 2 witty and a female companion walking by. 2 notices Jay sitting there and quickly walks over to him, “Jay… how’s it going brother? Long time no see. By the way this is my friend Mona.”
Jay shakes Mona’s hand, “Mona it’s nice to meet you.” And continues the introduction, “2, Mona, this is my friend Littea.”
They all shake hands and finish off their greetings with some arbitrary conversation.
2 gets a little more serious, “Well Jay, I just want to say thank you. After we met, I started taking this whole writing thing more seriously, been booking times at studios – you know, trying to elevate my game. “
Jay responds, “Really? Well, thanks I appreciate that. But, likewise brother, I feel like you equally helped me out.”
2 with sincerity, “It was just a good memory man. You and Jane, both kind of accepted my art for what it is, nothing more or nothing less. And that’s confidence for an artist. Plus, Jane made a great dinner. To be perfectly honest man, before I go to a studio now, I always think about that dinner with you and Jane.” 2’s phone starts to ring, “Speaking of studios. Alright brother, I’ve got to go. I’ll catch up with you soon – Littea, nice meeting you.”
2 and Mona briskly walk away from the table and Littea, with an angered tone looks at Jay and says, “You’re disgusting.” She then opens the lid to her iced coffee, dumps it on Jay, grabs what he was working on and begins to walk away. She stops, pulls out the note from her purse and throws it at Jay, “By the way some guy named Ted told me to give you this.” She then continues to furiously walk away.
He sits there, once again shockingly confused and sees the note that she had thrown on the table.
He unfolds the note and reads it. Upon reading the note, he begins to feel very fatigued and lays his head, on his arms on the table and falls into a slumber.
Several hours later he hears Jane’s voice, “Jay… Jay, wake up.” Jay slowly wakes up, confused as to how long he had been sleeping there. Jane continues, with a timid tone, “Why is there coffee all over you? I tried calling you like a million times – I was beginning to worry.”
Jay looks at her and with a startled tone says, “I’m not too sure. I was reading this note this guy left for me and I fell asleep. I must have napped here longer than I thought.”
Jane picks up the note and looks at it with concern, she then looks at Jay and says, “Jay. There’s nothing written on this paper.”