"We're really going to miss you around here Mr. McCracken."
William put down the box long enough to clap Stanley on the back
"The heart wants what it wants Stanley, gotta go where the lady is. Can't do long distance anymore, I need more face time, you know what I mean?"
"Face time, is that what the kids are calling it nowadays?"
William gave the half smile half eye roll that Stanley's remark required, picked up his box and went on toward the exit of McMillan and McClellan, the law firm he'd helped build for the last eighteen years.
Just before he bumped through the door backward he said:
"You did remember to wire all the money from my old bank to the new account that you set up in Chicago right Stanley?"
"Yes sir, about twenty minutes ago, and I've had phone confirmation that everything was received just as expected."
The movers were already done filling the truck when William arrived in his driveway. He inspected the van, signed off on it and the driver slammed the door. William stood in the driveway and watched as his boxed and blanketed things started off on the journey to his new place. Correction their new place.
Since the moving van had to stop at all the weigh stations on route, William calculated that even if he lingered in the house for a few minutes to say goodbye, he'd be able to stop to eat and stretch his legs a few times and still beat the van by hours to Reanna's home. Correction their home. It was going to take some time to get used to being part of a we instead of just a me.
William had no idea how he'd gotten so lucky. He'd been in a bar one night in Chicago nursing a bourbon after settling a huge case and a gorgeous leggy brunette came up and asked him if he had a quarter for the phone. She said that she'd just dropped her cell into a toilet in the ladies room and she had to make a call. He loaned her his phone instead of a quarter, she stepped off a few paces to make her call, then came back to thank him and buy him a drink. The drink led to dinner, and dinner led to a night in his hotel room that still made him sweat when he thought about it.
They hadn't managed to be together since, but she made him smolder in texts and late night phone calls. Reanna was very invested in her job and her community and William understood finally that he was going to have to make a drastic move if he wanted to be with her, so he sold his house, quit his job, packed his things, and was moving half way across the country to be with her.
Reanna stood on the loading dock checking off items from William's home. Stanley stood at her shoulder reading the manifest. After a minute he exclaimed
"Wow, this stuff will go for a pretty penny at auction, especially the paintings and antiques."
A mover came up to her with a puzzled expression, "Excuse me miss, but Mr. McCracken told us we'd be delivering to your home, and this is just a storage facility. The address is right, but I think I need to call it in before we unload the entire truck."
"Oh no, Jeff," Reanna said as she read the name badge ironed onto the breast pocket of Jeff's coveralls, "please don't call it in! I bought a new house just for the two of us and I don't want to tip William off until he gets here, boy is he going to be surprised."
William was so surprised when he saw Reanna emerge from the ladies room in the rest stop just outside of Topeka. She kissed him until his knees got weak and told him that she just had to ride the rest of the way into Chicago with him and couldn't wait to set up their house together.
"What would you think about a little pit stop on the way?" Reanna murmured into his ear.
William found a suitable hotel and they spent the afternoon getting reacquainted. Anyone who saw Reanna leaving later might have noticed that she looked rather more self satisfied and somehow sleeker coming out than she had going into the hotel.
And they might also have noticed that even though she had what looked like a rather cumbersome garment bag, she handled it as if it weighed nothing. Looking closer they might even have noticed a tiny fleck of red on her shoe, but anyone trying to get that close would have been warned off by the gleam in her eye.
The moving van rolled away as Stanley and Reanna went to the rental car to get the very last thing out of the trunk.
She unzipped the garment bag a little bit for Stanley and said
"See just like I told the mover, Stanley, doesn't William look surprised?"
Reanna put out the last of the flames in the dumpster with a heavy duty fire extinguisher. It was too bad about Stanley, he had been quite useful and she may even have loved him a little bit. But why share when all it took was the snap of a scrawny neck and a flick of the wrist to add just a little more fuel to the fire……..
The thing that irked Reanna and may have even kicked the tires near the place where her conscience once resided was that Stanley hadn't even looked a little bit surprised.
Link to this week's 70 #fridayflash stories at Mad Utopia