Ezra woke up in the very late morning.
After lying for several minutes on his couch, thinking about Sadie, he prepared his breakfast of two fried eggs sunny side up, a slice of toast with sugar-free raspberry jam, and a drink of coffee, chicory, and hot milk.
After breakfast was ready, he sat in his kitchen eating and drinking while listening to his countertop scanner.
Two boat captains were coordinating their movements on the Intracoastal Waterway, one was of a towboat with six loaded barges in tow and the other was a tugboat by itself. They were also communicating with other vessels in the area.
Ezra had now finished breakfast and placed his dishes in the sink, but wanted to continue listening in. However, knew he had to do his laundry for the week.
So, he reached into his EDC backpack and pulled out his portable scanner, then set it to monitor the VHF Marine Band. he placed it in his right front pocket
He then took $3.25 worth of quarter-dollar coins from his safe and placed them in his back pocket.
Afterward, Ezra retrieved his laundry basket and bottle of detergent along with his smartphone and everything else, then walked down to the laundromat.
He unlocked the door, then found a washing machine that wasn’t in use, so he loaded it with his clothing and detergent, then placed the $1.75 worth of quarters in and started it.
While his load of clothes was washing, Ezra sat on a bench and listened to marine traffic on his portable scanner.
He heard a bridge tender notifying all mariners of the lunch rush hour curfew in effect.
Ezra listened to other marine channels where he heard some fishing boat captains speaking in Vietnamese.
He also heard dockyard mechanics coordinating with the servicing of boat engines.
Finally, his clothes were washed, so he switched them to a dryer that wasn’t in use and put the remaining $1.50 worth of quarters into the coin slot, and started it.
He continued listening to his scanner when Sadie called.
“Hey baby,” He answered.
“Hey you,” She replied.
“What’s going on?”
“My cousin and her boyfriend are here and I have you on speakerphone.”
“Well, hi everyone!” Ezra said.
“Hi,” Alyssa said.
“What up?” Nicky Joe added in.
“Oh, I’m down in the laundromat watching my clothes dry.”
“What are your intentions with my cousin?” Alyssa asked.
“Well, let me first say that I think she is the most beautiful young lady, I have ever seen and that I have a tremendous amount of reverence for her. I will also admit that I am indeed falling for her, but my intentions are to treat her like a queen, to shower her with affection, to be there for her in any way I can, and hopefully one day to marry her!”
“I see. You know she weighs over four hundred pounds, right?”
“Yes. I know. And I adore every pound curve and inch of her! You see, the thing is I like super-sized ladies. A skinny female would not make me happy, but someone Sadie’s size would make me happier than ever.”
“You’re sick!” Alyssa interjected.
“Don’t listen to her, Ezra, you’re very sweet! She’s just jealous,” Sadie added in.
“Thank you, baby!” Ezra answered.
“Oh, yeah, like I am jealous. Dream on!” Alyssa said.
There was an awkward silence, then Ezra’s scanner began picking up two fishing boats communicating.
“Who’s that in the background?” Alyssa asked.
“I’m listening to boat traffic on my scanner.”
“Why would you want to do that?” Alyssa asked.
“Because he likes boats. He takes some cool pictures of them too!” Sadie said.
“Yes. And it keeps me out of trouble.”
“Can you hear the cops on that scanner?” Nicky Joe asked.
“No, I can’t. It’s an older model and I don’t listen to the cops anyway.”
“Mine can hear the cops but I got to keep it on the DL.” Nicky Joe added in.
“Listening to the cops is depressing to me because it’s always hearing about all the bad stuff going on. I’d much rather listen to boat traffic, nothing wrong with that,” Ezra said.
“Hey, dawg, whatever, to each his own,” Nicky Joe replied, then asked, “What kind of ride you got?”
“A 1985 Jeep Comanche which I am very proud of! I restored it myself.” Ezra answered.
“I customized my ride, too. I have a 1999 GMC Yukon with twenty-six-inch rims and a dope sound system!” Nicky Joe said.
“Mine is all pretty standard, but it’s still fun to drive,” Ezra humbly stated.
“You pack any heat?” Nicky Joe asked.
“No, my psychiatrist won’t clear me for a concealed carry permit,” Ezra answered sheepishly.
“I gotcha. I can’t get a concealed carry permit either, because of my record, but I still pack heat. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what I can or can’t carry.” Nicky Joe brazenly said.
“I have found other legal ways to defend myself though,” Ezra answered.
“Like what, dawg?” Nicky Joe asked with curiosity.
“Oh that’s top-secret,” Ezra answered with confidence.
“He sounds dangerous,” Alyssa added in.
“He’s not. He’s really sweet and in a lot of ways reminds me of my Daddy,” Sadie added in.
“I think he’s a loser, what do you think, bae?” Alyssa said.
“He seems lame, but maybe he’s good for Sadie, there’s someone for everyone,” Nicky Joe added in.
“We don’t have to take this, I’m going to my room, both of you can leave now,” Sadie said with anger and frustration.
Sadie left the living room then slammed her bedroom door and locked it.
“Ezra, I’m sorry they said those things about you and I hope you still want me,” Sadie told him.
“Of course I still want you. I just hope the rest of your family is more accepting,”
“They will be, I’m almost sure of it, especially once they see how sweet you are and how you make me happy.”
“Do I make you happy though?”
“Oh, yes. Like more than ever!”
“Could it be, then, that they are jealous of us? I mean you said how Alyssa was always in competition with you and maybe she sees that I make you happy, so maybe she wants to sabotage our relationship.”
“I think you’re right, baby.”
“And Nicky Joe and I don’t have anything in common, but I wouldn’t call him lame as he did to me.”
“I know. I’m sorry he said that. I think you’re wonderful, though, so forget him.”
“His opinion of me doesn’t carry any weight as far as I’m concerned, but your opinion of me carries the weight of the universe.”
“Well, then the whole universe is in your favor because I couldn’t ask for a better man than you!”
“I’m falling even more for you, Sadie Claire Macbride!”
“And I am falling just as much for you, Ezra Lee Toussaint!”
“Don’t ever worry about Alyssa or Nicky Joe again, because it’s like you pointed out, they are jealous and they want to sabotage our relationship. Deep down Alyssa thinks that because I’m so fat, I don’t deserve happiness and she sees that I am happier than her, despite most men choosing her body over mine and it fills her with envy.”
“Well, I want you by my side forever!”
“And I will be!” Sadie paused, then continued, “Hey, would you mind me reading some of the stories from the blogger that I subscribe to? His work always gave me hope that I would find someone and now I have, because of you.”
“Sure. I’ll switch my scanner off and you can entertain me while my clothes dry.”
“Awesome, these stories have really helped me.”
Alyssa began to read the stories out loud to Ezra.
He hung on to her every word, falling even more for her.
He continued listening, then finally said when she came to a stopping point, “It’s as if he knows both of us because I can relate to many of his characters.”
“So can I!” Sadie said with vindication.
“I only wish I could write like him, though.”
“It’s okay. Maybe when we have children, and they are having a tough time we can read his blog to them as well.”
“You actually see that much of a future with me?!”
“Yes, most definitely! And so much more too!” Sadie paused and, then continued, “I hope that’s okay with you.”
“It’s wonderful. I am the happiest man on the planet. Do you know why?”
“Well, there’s this beautiful young lady from Alabama that I am absolutely crazy about. She has long reddish blonde hair. She stands about five feet. She has a very sexy body that I want to kiss every inch of! She is so sweet too! And she is mine all mine! Who is this beautiful young lady?”
“ME!” Sadie replied with joy.
“And don’t ever forget it!”
The dryer then buzzed indicating that Ezra’s clothes were dry.
“What was that loud sound?” Sadie asked.
“The dryer telling me that my clothes are done. I need to bring them back up to my apartment, then I need to also check my blood sugar.”
“You will call me later, though, right?”
“Of course, what time would you like me to call?”
“Well call me at eight o’clock tonight and every night after that, but you can also call me in the morning, whenever you wake up if you want. I have to eat lunch anyway, because I’m really hungry.”
“Well then you, please eat! I will do everything I need to do, then I will call you at eight o’clock tonight.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“Until then, just know that I want you by my side forever!”
“And you just know that I will be!”
“Okay, bye baby.”