Monday, March 6, 2017

A Rare Visitor - Aedan and Tom

Aedan O'Leary walks across the street from the Town Hall to the cop shop feeling a little stunned and out of sorts.  And guilty.  He'd just gotten off the phone with his cousin Nancy.  She had never been of the judgmental O'Leary's.  Not as close as some.  But she might not know or even care about his own alienation from his family.  The conversation had gone well, but when she asked him where he was living and working now and he'd replied "Alexandra", the whole conversation had turned onto a street Aedan didn't know even existed.  And now he was going into the police station when he never thought he would.  Certainly not for the same reasons he ever thought he would.

Opening the door he sees a receptionist who yells at him in the most pleasant ways imaginable.  He figured she just had a loud voice.  "I ... would like to visit Tom O'Leary.  Please."  he sounds awkward.

"Are you on the list?"  the woman doesn't sound upset, but curious.

"Probably not."  Aedan admits.  "I'm his cousin ... and I just found out he was here."  he sighs.  "Do I have to wait?"

The loud receptionist considers and shakes her head.  "Let me consult with the Chief..." she begins, but a door behind him is opening.

"It's alright, Mert.  I heard you."  the man was bald and gruff looking, but seemed amused by his receptionist.  "What's your name, son?"  he asks, mildly.

"Aedan O'Leary, sir."  he replies.  "I just found out my cousin Tom is being held here.  So I'm not on any lists.  We haven't seen each other in a long time."

The bald man nods.  "Well, give me your ID and I can run a check on you.  But for now, I can allow the visit.  That's no problem."

Aedan reaches for his wallet and hands over all of his identification.  "My address has changed."  he sees a pad and takes it off the desk along with a pen and writes down his phone number and the address of the Parthenon.  "I wanted to find a permanent place to live before I had any of it renewed."

The bald man takes it all.  "Good.  I'm Chief Greene and this is Mert.  She'll get you all set for the visit."  he smiles a little and heads back into his office.

Mert smiles at the young man and reaches under the counter for a plastic container.  "Please put all of your electronics and metal into here."  she shrugs.  "Basically, empty your pockets.  I'll have someone walk you into the back in a  few minutes."

Tom was in his cell as usual reading one of the town's newspapers. It was a pretty dry issue today. No big political scandals, no major crimes, just an ice cream shop moving and a weather report about the ice melting, a warning to residents not to go out on thin ice as it did. Tom thought about the ice cream shop as a nice place to take Heather when he was out, although with what money....he hoped to god he could still get a job after all this. He would love his job back at the factory but he felt doubtful. He could always do janitorial work, construction, dock work in shipping or the fishing industry with perhaps a few less questions. He flipped to the want ads, nothing. Tom sighed and tossed the paper to the end of his bed and leaned back against the wall tiredly.

Aedan moved to the far wall and sat, waiting patiently, but didn't have to wait too long.  A short man with a huge nose walked up to the desk and paused a moment, looking at a sheet Mert had filled out and then up to him.

"Mr O'Leary?"  the man walks up to him.  "I'm Sam Wright.  This way, please?"

Aedan has seen the officer around and stands.  He follows Wright through a door to holding cells.

Sam grabs a folding chair and calls as he opens the door.  "Tom, you have a visitor."  he sets the chair up beside the far cell.  "Just call us when you're done."  he tells them.  "We're pretty lax here about visitation time limits."  he turns and heads slowly towards the door, just in case Tom protested his visitor.

Tom had heard people coming in but didn't assume for him until his name was called by Sam. When he saw Aedan he looked amazed and then grinned broadly "Jesus Mary an Joseph...Aeden....what are ya doing here by?" He stepped toward the chair looking very happy to see him but a little confused as the lad was indeed a long way from home.

Aedan smiled and thanked Sam in a quiet voice before he turned to his cousin with a smile.  This wasn't like the jails on television, really, but what did he know?  "Well, I couldn't stay in high school ALL my life."  he proclaims.  "I'm at University now.  History ... and I saw an ad for an archivist here .... so I applied.  And GOT it.  I started in January, but I never thought YOU were here until I called Nancy ... sort of ... homesick, I guess."  he'd had a bike accident a couple years back and the once close knit family, for unknown reasons, fell apart about a year ago.  "She heard where I'd moved to and told me you were here." he looks around.  Of course the normal question of how are you doing is not mentioned.

Jamie Anna Wright
Tom looks pleased "I knew that big brain o yours would come in handy eh." Tom looks around and shakes his head "Yeah....uh it's a long story....and not something I ever intended...." He sighs "But it's a kind way to serve the time. Better than being in the big lock down house and having Joe Schmoe bend me over in the showers......"

Aedan shrugs.  "Well ... I'm not going to be making big money like Dad wants."  he sighs.  "Not that THAT matters anymore, not I'm gone.  They don't talk to me anymore."  he grins and looks around.  "I got the time, but I understand.  And this place looks as nice as any?"  he pauses.  "But you're like one of my favorite cousins, so I'm glad I found you again.  I still have family left."  he smiles, looking genuinely happy.

Tom frowns about his uncle, Aeden's father and then gives him an encouraging look "You do ave family ere by. And I'm easy to find these days." He chuckles dryly "If you wanna know I'll tell ya. It's in the papers after yer archives I'm sure. I took a man's life....not on purpose....but it happened. He was an orrible a man and e had been hurting a woman I love and meant to do a lot worse tha day" Tom sighs "I was just trying to knock him out we could get away....but he fell into the railing and it broke off and he went down two stories an broke is neck." He paces a bit at the end and then runs his hand over his face on the last sentence "I didn't mean it but God forgive me anyways..."

Aedan smiles, looking relieved.  "The best family."  he listens to the story and nods.  "I haven't really gotten to anything new yet, to be honest.  But thanks for telling me."  he sighs.  "You saved a lady's life.  I mean I guess I understand why jail for you but ....  Nancy said you got six months and'll be out come June.  Will you stay here?  Is the lady ... I mean ... does she still love you or ... what?"

Tom grins "Thankfully yes. Heather, and she's here so I'm stayin. I hope I can find work again. I had a great job before at the factory. Decent coworkers...great boss....but I'm almost afraid to know.....Anyways I'm not fussy. I'll shovel shit if it pays the rent. We're boarding with the midwife from the clinic. She'd given Heather a bunch of months at no charge but Heather's workin now too." Tom sighs "What about you? The job? The town....when did you get here?"

Aedan smiles at the good news.  "I'm sure you'll get SOME kind of job.  Maybe even your old one."  he encourages.  "And I'm glad she didn't leave you.  That's a good sign.  A woman who stick by you."  he pauses.  "Well I came into town on January 9th and started the job on the 11th.  I'm staying in the Parthenon.  It's  nice and cheap because it's all furnished.  Hopefully come summer I can move someplace else."

Tom grins "Cheap is is real good. I've never really cared unless the roof leaks and the rats come in..." He laughs "But I did live at the Olin at first....don't recommend it...although it's how I met Heather so that part was good. Are you making friends by? It's a friendly town.....and ...a fresh start ta boot...."

Aedan nods in agreement.  "Well the roof in that building doesn't leak.  It's the smell of greek food that drives me crazy.  Yum!"  he laughs.  "They recommended the Parthenon over at Town Hall ... like that Olin place didn't exist.  Strange."  he smiles.  "Yea.  I've met a few people.  Not too many, since I only got out of the basement this last week.  But .. yea .. a fresh start.  New people."  he blushes for some odd reason.

Tom sees the blush and looks curious "So ya are making some friends by? There's a nightclub even if ya like the dance....bit steamy I heard, sometimes.....but yer a grown man after all eh?" He teases.

Aedan's face turns a little redder.  "Well ...  I mean I'll be 19 in July, but I never liked clubbing.  Too many people and too much attention."  he sighs.  "Here in BC I'm still a boy."  he rolls his eyes.  "But I have a friend ... she brings me coffee.  And I've taken her out a few times .. you know ... a movie or something .. well .. cheap."  he laughs.  "But she's one of those girls into paying her own way so we trade off."

Tom wiggles his brows "An independent assertive lass....who brings you coffee. Well there ya go.......and what does she do then?" He's so happy to be chatting with someone who has a bright future ahead more than the things they need to overcome, even though Aedan has had his own struggles for sure.

Aedan nods and then bites his lip.  "Well, she's a student at the school.  Just 16 years old now.  I met her just after I started.  The 13th ...  Friday the 13th."  he grins.  "And we got along.  First kiss was the first day of February."  he lifts his hand.  "But no fooling around still until around the 16th.  After Valentines day.  I ... she ... I really ... you know ... like her."  although the word sounds like it might be ... weak.  Not strong enough.

Tom feels honoured at the confiding and grin "Sweet 16....aye....well you're both young." He looks like he's trying to find the words for his next question "Are you in love with her?"

Aedan pauses and then nods again, still blushing furiously.  "I mean ... I know its all new and everything but .. yes ... I'm pretty sure I am."  he shrugs.  "She didn't even get mad when I couldn't really afford to give her a birthday present ... and seemed to like my offer of a family tree for her instead."  he pauses.  "Might have been an excuse for me to go talk to her father, but he's a nice guy.  Owns that sports bar?  Have you ever been there? Statutes?  I haven't been IN it, cause I'm underage but ...."

Tom snorts "Oh Petey! Yeah I know Petey...good bloke. Bit older though so he might rake ye over the coals a bit. Nothing ye can't handle. Sounds like she's worth it mate."

Aeden chuckles.  "A bit.  Asked me about everything ... including every bit of info on me.  I think he ran me like a criminal.  He used to be a cop in the States."  he smiles.  "That all came back in time for him to give blessings on our Valentines dinner.  he smiles.  "He told me that two years is nothing .... but that he didn't want to be a grandfather.  So ...  I assured him .. that's NOT gonna happen."

Tom doesn't ask for details but just smiles and nods "Well that's a good start....come to think of it I've never heard Heather talk a lot about her her family. I hope they don't know me by reputation already..." He thinks and exhales "So cupid was kind then? That's good. And two years is nothin..."

Aedan winces.  "I know it was in the local papers but .... no ...  I mean ... if they were going to be shite bout it, she would have told you by now, right?"  then he smiles.  "Yea.  Two years.  Then we'll see, but if I feel the same way about her ...  it's serious."

Tom runs a hand through his hair "Ah...the last time I saw you by....well this is good to see eh. I'm out in June but visit me lots. It gets  a little dull for company in here. Mind I know the lives of all these coppers now, their friends, lovers, kids....I'm like an in house barkeep without the whiskey.....just deal the cards Tom..." He laughs.

Aedan laughs.  "Well, that's in time for my birthday in July, but sure.  I can come by lots now I know you're here.  I work here in the evenings usually ... and weekends ... and sleep at the Parthenon when its too late to get back to the dorm.  One of the guys I have classes with has family here too.  Logan Reinhardt."  he laughs.  "Well maybe you can BE a bartender when you get out, you're so good at socializing?"

Tom's eyes perk up "Reinhardt? Logan's on of John's old boss...maybe my boss again one day....small towns...." He grins.

Aedan smiles.  "Yea?  Good!  But yea ... so its not just Addy that's my friend."  he grins.  "Can I bring you anything?  I mean can you have food or books or ....."  he tries to think of things.  "Anything?  Want me to go meet your girlfriend?"  he gasps.  "Shit you missed Christmas, didn't you?  God, I'm sorry, Tom."

Tom shrugs "I couldn't have gotten so much worse than 6 months. That was my gift. I'll tell Heather you're here. I'm sure she'd love to meet you."

Aedan nods.  "True.  Lots of reasons to be grateful.  he agrees.  "I'll find out the rules about visiting.  DO you want anything?"  he asks again.

Tom shakes his head "I have my phone and I had enough in the bank to keep a data plan going until I read on it. I get the paper when the officers are done. They let me outside to exercise, even got a few overnights with Heather......I get fed. I use the showers in the locker room for the station. A book might be cool or a series...." He smiles "But no worries either way." Aedan might recall that Tom was a huge Tolkien fan and reread the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at least once every year or so.

Aedan smiles.  "Well then not bad.  More like Mayberry than Riker's Island."  he teases.  "But if you want .... I can get you a couple books .... maybe ...  I dunno ..."  he seems to seriously consider it.  "The Hobbit AND the Lord of the Rings?"  he grins.  "You should be able to get through them by June, easy."  he smirks.  "Twice."

Tom beams "You remember? Ah that'd be grand. Thanks Aedan! I look forward to that and more chats. Be good to that sweet gal o yours."

Aedan grins.  "Of course.  You're my favorite cousin."  he stands.  "I will be back.  I promise.  And I will, cousin."  he heads for the door and knocks.  Soon it opens and he goes out.

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