This week's prompts are: use a bowling alley in some way or "my mind is racing but my body's in the lead" or "when did we fall apart?" or use: a mouse, a cat, a bell or make a Supertramp reference or "why shouldn't we fall in love?" or "hot child in the city" or "why do fools fall in love" or have a character appear on a runway or use popcorn in some way.
It had been weeks since their homophobic tormenter had tried something. Tom and Ben were trying to live as normal a life as they could. There would really be peace of mind if this bastard were caught. Tom’s friend, Bob McClain, was a police officer that Tom had known for as long as he’d been a part of the fire department. When he and Ben had reported the incidents to them, John had made sure the patrols in their area were stepped up.
It was the only thing that put Ben’s mind at ease so that he wasn’t staying up all night peering out the window, worrying that ‘he’ was out there somewhere.
“Did you see that Tom, I got two strikes in a row!” It was refreshing to see a smile play across Ben’s face. After all they’d been through ,Tom had his doubts he’d ever see it again. He was glad Ben agreed to go bowling with him tonight.
“Yeah, yeah, I saw it. It looks like you’re going to win this game, too,” Tom playfully groused.
“Aw, are you really bothered that I’m a better bowler than you are, Tom?” Ben sat next to his husband, his arm draped around the muscular firefighter’s shoulder.
“No, of course not, just that I don’t know if there’ll be any living with you now that your head has swelled up.” They both broke out laughing. The bowling alley wasn’t that crowded for a Wednesday night. There was a big tournament going on over the weekend so the alley was going to be closed to anyone not in the tournament. “Hey, maybe we can stop by and watch the bowlers over the weekend. I heard there’s going to be some pros showing up for this thing.”
“Yeah, that sounds like fun. Let me check my schedule. I know I have some listings to show.”
They finished up their games, they’d had pizzas and sodas, and now they were heading for their favorite ice cream parlor, ‘Sweet Memories.” The place was like stepping back into the 50’s: black and white checkerboard floor, old-fashioned counter, and glass containers filled with candy that Tom and Ben remembered from their childhood.
“What will you gentleman have?” the soda jerk asked them when they sat at the counter.
“I’ll have an ice cream float.” Tom loved their floats.
“I’ll have a banana split,” Ben told him.
They sat and talked while their order was being filled.
“I don’t have to work tomorrow, do you want to help me paint the back deck?” Tom asked him. The deck needed some painting. It had been a few years since that was done and it was starting to peel.
“I wish. I have to work. There’s a new listing I’m showing over on Chestnut Street. Sorry, Tom, I would love to help you. You know that, right?” Ben felt guilty that his man had to do the work himself.
“Don’t sorry about it, sweetheart. I can take care of it. I hope you get a sale.” Tom knew how hard Ben worked; they both worked hard in their own ways. And they celebrated whenever Ben got a sale.
“Me too. This house I’m showing has been on the market for a while now. I keep telling the owner to lower his price, but he won’t budge. He has a price in mind and that is that.”
They went home and made some sweet passionate love before they finally drifted off to sleep.
They started off their morning like they usually did when they were both home. Tom made the coffee and Ben made some omelets. “I should be back around six tonight,” Ben told him as he put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
“I’ll be counting the hours.” They kissed and hugged each other. They didn’t want to leave, but duty called.
Tom busied himself with getting the deck scraped and putting the can of primer and special paint made for decks out onto the deck. It took hours and, by the time he was finally done, there was sweat and paint covering the old clothes he wore for this project.
“I better take a shower and get dinner started.” By the time he showered and changed clothes, it was after six. “I wonder where Ben is?” It wasn’t like him to be late like this without a phone call. Tom checked his cell phone and the landline. Nothing. He called Ben’s phone; it went straight to voicemail. Tom started to get worried. He called Ben’s office and Carolyn, one of his co-workers, answered.
“Hey Tom, how are you?” She was always a cheery person, one of those people who could cheer you up when you were down.
“Hi, Carolyn. Listen, has Ben come back to the office?”
“No, Tom, he’s been gone all day. He went to that open house on Chestnut Street, then he said he was going to put signs up for a new listing on Elm street, and then he was coming back here to drop off some signs he was picking up at the printers. He should have been back by now.”
“Okay, I’ll swing by the printers and see if he’s there.” Tom had been to the printers with Ben so he knew where it was.
“Sorry, sir, but I haven’t seen Mr. Meyers at all today,” the man at the print shop told him. “I have his order all ready for him.”
“I’ll tell him it’s ready when I see him,” Tom said distractedly. Tom swung by the listing on Chestnut—no one was there—and then he swung by Elm. He noticed the new sign that had been put into the ground. He ran his fingers over Ben’s name that was printed on the sign. He was the listing agent; his name was under the real estate company’s name. “Ben, where are you?”
My fellow Weds Brief authors: