“So, how was the water,” the young man asked me. He saw my curious look. “I saw you pull up on the Captain America bike. I watched you go down to the the surf and walk in. Obviously it was the end of a journey. Of course I don’t know how far the journey was.” The young man sitting on the bench suggested.
“All the way from the east coast, and the water was fine.” I said it smiling over the top of my coffee cup. I was finished and happy to be done with the road trip. 33 days is a long time to be on the road. I was ready to check into a motel and begin making plans to head home. It was probably past time, but I was okay with the amount of time I had been gone from home.
“Wow you came all the way across country on that little thing?” he asked.
“I did indeed. It was an interesting though long trip. They don’t travel very fast and I didn’t push all that hard but I make it in 33 days,” I said.
“Wow that is really something. I would have expected that of a teenager, not a grown up woman,” he said.
“I know, It doesn’t seem like something a grownup would do,” I said in agreement.
“Honestly, it doesn’t seem like anything any of my friend’s moms would do,” he said with a smile.
“It probably isn’t,” I agreed.
“You wouldn’t happen to know a Tomos dealer around here would you?” I asked.
“No, but there is a dealer in new and used scooters about five blocks that way,” he said pointing south.
“Good, I need to get a move on.nice to have met you.” As I rode down the street I was also looking at the neighborhood. I was hoping for good quiet area because I had a few details to take care of before I headed for home.”
First on my list was to find a place to sell the Tomos, then get on my smart phone and book a flight home. It was 10AM when I pulled into scooter world. One of the salesmen came out. “You ready to trade up?” he asked.
“No, I’m ready to sell this moped,” I said. “You do buy them don’t you?”
“Sure, let me have my service manager take a look at it,” he said.
“That’s fine, I have a little time.” I walked around the parking lot while they rolled my bike into the shop.
It took them about twenty minutes but the sales manager came back to me himself. “I like your little bike. What kind of money are you expecting to get for it.”
“I want a fair price, but I also know you are not in business to be a charity. Tell me what you can do and I’ll tell you what I think,” I suggested.
“Well it has a story and it is in good shape. You didn’t seem to have pushed it too hard. I’d say I could give you about five hundred for it,” he said it with an oily smile.
“Ouch,” I said. “You saw my bill of sale for it.”
“I know but it has served your purpose. I do have to make some money on it,” he said.
“Tell you what, I’ll take five hundred and a ride to the airport,” I said smiling.
“Done,” he said extending his hand to me.
I took care of the paperwork and was at the airport by 2pm. I couldn’t get straight home, but I did get a red eye flight to Charlotte which was 75 miles from home. I figured one of the kids would come for me. After traveling all night I would be home at 9AM, so surely one of them would be available. I made that decision sitting in the lobby before the plane left. I had decided to fly out that same night.
I mean hell I didn’t know anyone in California, so I might as well head home. I booked the overnight flight to Charlotte even though it wasn’t perfect. I did have one stop in Atlanta but it was only two hours.
The plane left LAX at 6PM so I had a lot of time to kill. I watched delayed TV on my smart phone. I had thrown away all my clothes except for the Cutoff jeans I wore, the Camo Tee shirt, the panties, and bra I wore. I did keep one extra pair of panties and a tee folded and packed into my large purse type bag. It actually was a gym bag. In addition it had my smart phone’s extra batteries, and charger in it, but not much else. I still carried my money and cards in the bit of bicycle inner tube. I removed the stun gun and slipped it into a cardboard box, which I mailed from the small post office substation at the terminal.
I went through security with the least hassle of anyone. I had nothing for them to search. I was miserable all the way home but I made it by 9AM. When I looked out over the crowd I finally say Cindy standing by the gate. She looked far more asleep than awake.
“Hello Baby, it is good to see you.” I said.
“Good to see you too mom. Tell me all about your trip,” she demanded.
“I’m not sure I want you to know everything.” I said laughing. I sure as hell didn’t want her to know everything.
“I know some of it. You made the papers,” she said.
“Oh?” I asked.
“Yes when you killed the gangster,” she said smiling.
“That is nothing to be pleased about,” I said.
“I understand it was him or you, so damn right I’m pleased,” she informed me.
“Well put it like that I guess I am too but not proud of it. It was just something that needed to be done,” I informed her. We traveled most of the way home in silence.
“So Mom, did you get laid?” she asked.
“What the hell kind of question is that?” I asked.
“The kind that everyone wants to ask, but very few will ask,” she said.
“I am not going to answer that,” I said.
“Okay, then was it good. Come on, the only reason you said that is so you would not have to lie or admit it.” she said. “For god’s sakes mom, we are both grown.”
“Well one of us is and the other thinks she is,” I said laughing. “I am not going to discuss my sex life, or lack there of one with you. Now move the conversation along.”
“So what is your next plan?” Cindy asked.
“My next plan it to find a way to make a living,” I suggested.
“Dad says you are an okay lawyer, you should do okay,” she replied.
“Oh really how wonderful of him,” I suggested sarcastically.
“I don’t think he meant it like I made it sound,” she said trying to reinvent it.
“Of course he did and that’s alright. I was part of their big firm so what I did got lost among all the other people trying to make a name for themselves. I am not going back to that kind of law, so I should be judged on my own merits very soon.” I admitted. “There won’t be anywhere to hide this time.”
After Cindy left for the day I began to call around. I needed to call in a few favors but first I had to have a place to call home. I channeled my mind back to the days before I left on my trip. I had heard a rumor that James Fredrickson was about to retire and close his office. That hat been three months before.
Since I had no idea what his status would be at the time, I caught a cab to his office. When I left the cab I said to Michael Sams, the driver, “Michael wait for me please. I won’t be long.” Michael nodded I expected no less after all he was a former clients I found a note on James’s door. “If you need a lawyer, try the yellow pages. If you are looking for a fishing partner call me. James Fredrickson.”
I laughed when I read it. I called the number listed. “James, it’s Me, Lucille. We need to talk. Call me,” I said, then I left my number.
When I got back to the cab I said, “Michael drop me at that artist colony downtown. I’ll call a cab when I am finished there.”
At the artist colony I found the metal worker named Seth busy making bicycles. Seth also make bicycle trailers. His trailer ended up along with the Tomas at the scooter dealers lot. It was what Seth did, he built custom bicycles and trailers for people. He also entered them into shows around the country. He was getting quite a reputation as well as a following of customers.
“Seth, I’m back,” I said
“Lucille it’s good that you survived that trip. It was a bear, I’m sure.” he said.
“Oh, it wasn’t too bad. I sold the Tomos and trailer in California and flew home, so now I need wheels,” I said.
“I have three sets of wheels in the showroom. If they won’t do, I’ll build you one,” he said grinning.
“Let’s see,” I said.
The three bicycles were each different from your standard Walmart bike. The one I liked was actually a three wheeler. It had a 20“ front wheel and two 16“ rear wheels. It also had a hub motor and a lithium battery pack way bigger than a commuter would need. The damn thing was $1400 bucks, but I loved it. I loved it enough to ride it home. The bike hit thirty miles an hour on the way home without any problem, and it rode very smooth. That was a good thing, because sometimes Seth forgot his bikes were to be used.
I rode my new bike back to my apartment and parked it in the underground space that went with my condo. I waited until ten before James called. “Lucille, so you are back from your road trip?” he asked.
“Yes James I am back. Have you finished closing your office?” I asked.
“Yes closed up tight. So why in the world are you calling me?” he asked the curiosity in his voice.
“I have decided to go back into criminal law and I’m looking for a place to practice. I always liked your office. Would you consider renting or selling it to me?” I asked.
“I would need to clear it with my son but he is a real estate developer not a lawyer. I am sure he won’t mind. I’ll get with him tomorrow and then give you a call.” James said.
“Thank you so much James,” I said smiling.
“Not only that, but if you need any help, just call me. I wouldn’t mind working a day or two now and then.” James said.
“Well James, I plan mostly to do court appointed work. I really got sick of the other kind of criminal law while working with Jeff and his dad.”
“Yeah, I can understand that. It’s okay I figure I have enough money. Why don’t you meet me at the office tomorrow around ten and I’ll give you the key and we can catch up a little.
“I can do that James, do you know anyone in the court ministration system, I need to get on the list of attorneys willing to work for the court system,” I said.
“Yeah you don’t want to do it pro bono let the state pay you. I do know some people since I was in business forever. I’ll make some calls for you tomorrow, you should be hearing from them soon.” he said