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Paper Thin Moon: 2

Paper Thin Moon: 2

Written by Mandi/Fics_at_Random

 

He’d been expectin that post card since August, an with September comin to a close, Jack Twist had lost his already painfully short fuse a patience.

 

“Did he finally write ‘cha?”  Lureen asked, leanin in the doorframe as Jack packed his clothes together.

 

“No,” he shook his head, wishin she wouldn’t bother him jus’ now.  “I’m gonna go up an see him anyway.”


“What if he’s busy?”

 

Ennis Del Mar ain’t the type t’be busy.”

 

“Don’t you wanna give him a call first?”

 

“Ain’t got his number.”

 

“Jack, all these years ya’ll been fishin an you don’t even got a phone number?”

 

The words hurt more’n he expected; why didn’t he have Ennis’ phone number?  He knew it wasn’t on account a not havin one.  Did Ennis jus’ wanna keep Jack so much separate from his “normal” life that he couldn’t part with the digits for fear Jack would call an say somethin stupid?

 

You would, too, said his mind.

 

“No,” he finally said, pushin himself up off a his knees.  “Never really came up, I guess.”

 

“You men are so weird,” she shook her head.  “I didn’t know LaShawn more’n three hours an I had her phone number!  You know LaShawn, right?  Randall’s LaShawn?”

 

Acid swelled up in Jack’s stomach.  He knew Randall, all right.  More’n he should.  He felt like he’d suddenly betrayed Ennis an everythin they’d ever been, whatever that was, an painfully pushed the thoughts outta the way a his conscious mind.

 

“I know her.”

 

“As much as you talk ‘bout him, I’d think you’d a had his phone number…”

 

“I don’t got his number!”  He snapped, an Lureen looked taken a back an hurt.  “Sorry, Baby, I’m jus’…”

 

Jus’ what?  Worried?  But why? Couldn’t explain the odd feelin he had that something was distinctively wrong.  Ennis would a written by now.  By now, if everythin were okay.  Somethin weren’t right.  Sure as shit couldn’t explain that t’Lureen – she’d think he was crazy as hell, or worse, think he felt more for Ennis’n he should. 

You do.

 

He shook his head an made t’apologize further but Lureen had left the room.

**

 

“You really oughta eat them beans,” Alma prodded, noddin at the plate a uneaten baked beans on her husband’s hospital tray.

 

“Uh, don’t think I care for ‘em,” he shook his head.


“Funny, you always ate ‘em when I cooked ‘em,” she shrugged, tryin t’look like she weren’t nearly as concerned as she was.  She continued on in her motherly way, “but you need t’get your strength back, so y’should eat ‘em.”

 

It ain’t my strength that’s gone, it’s my memory.  He slid a fork full a beans gingerly into his mouth.

 

Nope, I don’t think I forgot I liked ‘em…

 

**

 

The ride was long, like it always was, but longer this time ‘cause he weren’t sure who, if anyone, was gonna meet him at the end a it.  Ennis always wrote back --  always.

 

Maybe it were jus’ a thing t’him.  Maybe he don’t see it like you do.

 

Jack had been fightin them thoughts back for the better part a two hours.  The radio went out on him somewhere in north Texas, so he rolled down the window an listened t’the roar a the wind for the better part a the drive.  Was still listenin to it an bitin back them goddamned thoughts when he crossed the Wyomin border.

 

It was you that insisted on all these fishin an huntin trips an seein each other for a few high altitude fucks a year, not him.  Maybe we was jus’ bein nice.

 

Suddenly, Jack’s jaw ached at the memory of one well placed punch that had sent him backwards some years ago an smiled.  Naw, EnnisDel Mar ain’t the ‘nice’ type.

 

But the question a why the man didn’t answer the letter still rang hard in his head.  Maybe I’m goin for nothin.  What if this was a wasted trip?

 

He decided he wouldn’t waste it, find some other nowhere creek to fish out of.  Rolled up the window when a cold wind started sweepin in an hit him in the eyes an thought a other things.

 

**

 

Rolled into the little apartment in Riverton sometime after four.  Didn’t see Ennis’ car.  Knocked four times, five for good measure.  No answer.

 

Went downstairs to the little run down Laundromat an bought himself a Coke to wash the dryness outta his mouth that he convinced himself was there from the long drive, not outta the fact he’d been searchin for somethin t’say t’Ennis, should have seen him, since he left home.

 

“You new ‘round here?”  Came a soft, elderly voice that half shocked him, not noticin he’d been kneelin behind a washer that had a little paper sign sayin ‘Out Of Order.’

 

“Huh?  No, I’m visitin a..  a friend,” he set the Coke down on top of an unused dryer.  “Guy lives upstairs, actually…   Ennis Del Mar?”

 

Del Mar?  The Del Mars upstairs?”

 

“That’d be the one.”  How many Del Mars you got in this town, anyhow?

 

“Guessin you didn’t hear ‘bout them, then.”

 

His stomach coulda dropped outta his ass on hearin that.  “Can’t says I have, they move or somethin?”

 

“No, but damned near killed themselves a week ago in this ice we’ve been havin. Real outta season for March.”

 

He didn’t even notice the man’s mention a the weather; too busy preventin his stomach from droppin outta his ass.  “Wh…  what happened to ‘em?”

 

“Hit a tree,” the man replied.  “Little kid broke her back, she got it worse, but old Ennis done lost his mind, or so Alma tells me.  Real nice lady, she…”

 

“What do you mean, lost his mind?”  He scowled, but thought better a it; least Ennis weren’t dead!

 

“Amnesia, she tells me,” he hefted himself up onto his feet, smilin satisfactory at his handywork.  “Don’t remember much but his name, don’t know his own kid, knows who Alma is okay, but that’s about…”

 

“Where is he!?”  Jack demanded, resistin every urge he had t’shake the hell outta the babbly old fella.


“Down at Mercy Hospital,” he said simply, not lookin too shocked at Jack’s worry.  “Same place that baby a theirs was born, that, uh…  Junior.  Real nice kid, she…  huh.”

 

Jack had sprinted out the door, fired up his truck an sped in a blind upset towards Mercy.

 

TBC

 



 

 

Tags: au, ennis/jack, paper thin moon
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