WELL SODA SHOPPE
Randy Lamont walked through the front doors
with his head hung low. He didn't look at anyone or anything. His
mind was too full of thoughts to focus on anything else. In fact, he
hadn't even intended on going to The Well. When he'd left home, he hadn't
had a destination. All he knew was that he had to get away -- away from
his brother and away from everything that was going on. Little did he know
that he was about to run right into yet another part of his life that had been
weighing heavily on his mind.
"Randy!" Maggie Callison called out
as she shot up out of a booth and ran over to him. However, once she
reached his side, she stopped, realizing her over enthusiasm, and took a deep
breath. "I...I mean...hi. How are you doing? I didn't
expect to see you tonight."
"What are you doing here?" he
muttered, not really looking at her. "I figured you'd be at home
enjoying your big new house."
"Well, it is pretty nice," she
admitted, "but a house is just a house. If it's just me and Mom and
Dad in it, it still gets pretty boring."
Slowly, Maggie's bright attitude and warm
demeanor began to drag Randy out of his somber mood and his own tone began to
"So, where's your boyfriend?" he
asked curiously as he looked around the shop. "If you're out on the
town for the evening, he can't be far away."
"Stanley is not...." Maggie
caught herself. "I don't know where Stanley is. I think he said
something about going to the library." She looked down at the floor,
unable to meet Randy's eyes. "I...don't want to talk about
Stanley." She paused and looked up at Randy. "I want to
talk about you."
"Me?" He let out a small
laugh, surprised by and curious about her interest. "What do you want
to talk to me about?"
"Are you okay?" she asked with
concern as she looked at him closely. "You...don't seem like
yourself. You look like there's something on your mind. Is
there...something you want to talk about?"
"No, I'm fine," he muttered and
then pushed past her, causing her to turn and follow after him. "It's
just...some things at home."
"Well...maybe talking about it might
"Nothing's gonna fix this," he grumbled as he threw
himself into a booth.
"You don't know that." Maggie slid into a seat
across from him, watching him the entire time. "Oh, come on and tell
me what's wrong? Maybe I can help."
"I don't want to talk about it!"
His stern tone startled Maggie and she leaned back in her seat,
unsure about what to say next.
"Randy, please talk to me," she finally said as she
reached across the table to take his hand. "This isn't...like
you. You're...worrying me."
"I said I don't want
to talk about it!" he snapped angrily and jerked his hand away.
"Don't you listen? What is it with you people?"
Callisons are all the same! You just want to stick your noses in where
they don't belong. Don't any of you know how to just leave people
Randy's words cut Maggie to the quick and she sank
down deep into her seat. Why had he said such things to her? What
had she done to make him so angry? She wasn't sure, but his biting
comments hurt her terribly and she fought to keep her bottom lip from quivering.
Look who we have here!" came the all too familiar voice of Eliza Campbell
as she quickly walked over to where Randy and Maggie were sitting.
However, as soon as she reached the table, she noticed the tension between
them. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Her eyes
darted from Randy to Maggie.
"No," Maggie mumbled,
unable to look at either of them.
"Good!" Eliza smiled
broadly in response and then slid into the booth next to Randy. "So,
what's going on?"
As her eyes again jumped from Maggie to
Randy, they both sat in utter silence. However, that silence said a
thousand words. Eliza had interrupted something -- but what? That
was something that Eliza was determined to find out.