The Meeting

Kevin and George breezed into Denny’s, George anticipating his blind date. Kevin met a girl at a party the week before, and she sounded like she would be a good pair for George. They got seated by a perky blonde waitress wearing too much eyeliner. George sat down and grabbed his napkin, ripping it to pieces from his nerves. Behind them, a brunette teenager was obnoxiously talking in her phone. Talking about something having to do with crayons. Teenagers, confusing people they are.
Eloise pulled up in her car, sharply cutting off her loud engine, and hopped out of the car. She hit the car door lock button on her key with a little beep beep. On the way to the entrance, she saw a scraggily teenage boy with a dark head of hair asking for money. Eloise rolled her eyes and walked passed the orphan boy or whoever he was. She opened the door to the familiar setting of Denny’s. There was the smell of pancakes in the air, even though it was dinnertime. She stood on her toes and looked around for Kevin. She had to admit it’s pretty weird that she’s already being set up with one of his friends when they just met a week ago. But, he did say that he was like her, and that they would get along. Eloise was looking for love and that was exactly what she was going to get. Hopefully.

“So, how about we all learn about one another?” Kevin asked, hoping to break the ice. It was getting pretty awkward, with George ripping up his napkin, and Eloise just staring into her coffee mug. “I’ll go first,” Kevin continued, looking up to see them both staring at him, waiting. “Well, I don’t really remember my baby and toddler years, except seeing my father’s angry face. My mother just stood in the background, humming Broadway tunes and cleaning like the worlds biggest idiot. My brother and sister teased me, and I absolutely hated it. So then, when I was thirteen, I decided Id kill them. Kill them all.” He peeked up to see their expressions. Of course, George already knew this story, but not the killing part. George was trying to act bored, but he was kind of scared. Eloise, not afraid to show her emotions, had bugged out eyes, looking all out terrified. “I killed them when I was fourteen, just waltzed in their rooms and stabbed them. The neighbors heard their screaming, and they called the cops. I hated them, too. So then, for the next 20 years, until two years ago, I was in jail. It was the worst thing I ever experienced in my life, prison. I did escape, going by the name of The Bandit, and I’m ashamed to say I killed some other people…” He looked up once again to meet their terrified eyes. “Oh, don’t worry, I’m better now, trust me. I went to therapy and I’m on meds and everything. I won’t kill you, promise,” he finished with a sly smile. “So, who’s the next victim?”

“I’m just going to say that I don’t remember my past. I really don’t. Well, I remember some things but they’re pretty bad.” George murmured, not sure if either member of his audience heard him.
“And killing your family isn’t? C’mon, George, you can tell us.” Kevin encouraged.
“I’d like to know,” Eloise said quietly, speaking for the first time besides their exchange of hellos.
“Alright,” George began. “All I remember, and I have no idea how, because I couldn’t remember anything, is my ex-wife and my son. Hazel, my ex-wife, and I were watching the news. We were from a town that was handicapped, for equal opportunities and all that, and my son just escaped from jail, but he wasn’t handicapped.” George was about to say the next line when Eloise butted in.
“Were you handicapped?” Eloise asked politely.
“My mind was. I was to advanced in my mind, they thought it as a threat. So they inserted a chip in my mind and every couple seconds, a bell, or a horn, or some other loud noise would chase my thoughts away. However, some memories made their way to the back of my head, and I can now remember them.” George explained.
“Keep going,” Kevin nodded to George.
“Well, my son wasn’t handicapped, and so then he was a threat. He went on the news broadcast, screaming how he was the new emperor. He and his new empress who he randomly took were dancing when the woman in charge of the handicapping came in with a gun. Shot them to death. After that, Hazel fell into depression. She didn’t remember what happened, she wasn’t intelligent enough to be handicapped, to put in the lightest way. We parted after that, and I left town. The earpiece stopped after I got out of the radius that the noises broadcasted to.”
“Wow,” was the only response that Eloise could come up with.
“Never heard that story,” Kevin mumbled with an irritated look.
“Well, Eloise, it’s your turn,” George said, eager to hear her story.
Eloise took a deep breath , reviewing her story before she began. In her mind she was assuring herself it’d be okay, she didn’t have to cry, and these men wouldn’t judge her after their gruesome stories.
“I used to be married to a man named Walt. He was amazing, he could make me laugh, even in a letter. He was the greatest man Ive ever met, until he passed away. It was during World War ll, and he and another man were unloading an oven, when it exploded. Killed Walt, but only took the other mans eye out. No justice in this world. So, I remarried to a man named Lew, and we had a daughter named Ramona. She has an imaginary friend, and I guess I just freaked out. I just wanted a normal daughter, you know? And I also wanted to be a good person, which is much harder then it sounds. So I freaked out, went into an all out meltdown, terrifying Ramona, and realizing what I monster I was. I ended my new marriage with a messy scene, where I even made Lew cry. Ramona was sleeping, and we whispered, not to wake her. So now, I have custody of her. We live about ten minutes away, and Im all better. Like Kevin, I went to therapy and I’m on meds and stuff,” Eloise concluded, smiling and nodding.
“Oh my,” Kevin started, a little hesitant. Her story was horrifying. Going through that? Unimaginable!
“Wow, I’m so sorry, Eloise,” George told her, rushing to get the words out.
“Like I said, I’m better now,” Eloise smiled, hope radiating from her. It was contagious, they all started smiling, looking like children who just saw the circus for the first time.
“So,” Kevin said, “anyone catch that Brewers game last night?”
“I did!” Eloise exclaimed, she felt much happier.
“Me too,” George said, feeling happier too.
“I think that out was totally unnecessary,” Kevin began. And with that, the night continued, and they stayed at Denny’s all night talking about anything and everything.





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