Evacuation-Grocer and Writer (Guy’s Perspective)

This is a very slightly modified version of the original.  There is one line that would be potentially offensive that I removed.

Hopefully, you, the reader, will forgive me and enjoy this version just as well.

Without further ado, here is the story:

“All right, let me just get a few things.” I tell the policeman.

“Where could we go?” My girlfriend asks me. “I don’t want to be with my mom.”

“If you don’t want to go there, we can go to the country and visit my family.”

“Are you sure?”

“What other choice do we have?”

“True.”

So I grab, my composition books and my flash drive, my rechargeable flashlight. my phone and charger. My girlfriend grabs her purse, phone and charger as well. God it’s cold. I hope my car can make it out of this wretched city. All I have is a wing and a prayer.

We walk out of my house, locking the doors behind us. Then we walk through my front yard and to the curb then shut hurricane fence. We get in my car and thankfully it fires right up.

I turn my car radio to the news and information station. My theory is proven correct; this was a terrorist attack. Contraflow is being used on all of the main highways out of the city. Right now it’s bumper to bumper, I hope and pray the terrorists don’t strike again right here. I must get off this Interstate as soon as I can and take an alternate route. That way, there’ll be less traffic and less chance of another attack.

There is a heavy police presence but I guess that is a good thing. I hope and pray that they are not harmed by those damn terrorists.

For forty five minutes the traffic moves like molasses in the dead of winter. She rests her head on my shoulder and I repeatedly kiss her forehead. We are making the best of a bad situation. Finally we are now moving.

“Once we get out of the city, I should get us some coffee and food. I need something to keep me awake.”

“Sure, do what you need to do.”

We are now out of the city and on the Interstate. Thank God, the traffic is now moving. Just as planned though, I will get off.

I see an exit to a dark, but well maintained highway two lane. Right away I take it.

“Looks like we are safe now, but why are you getting off right here?” My girlfriend asks.

“Because, I don’t want to take the chance of someone wrecking or breaking down. If that happens, traffic will back up and the terrorists could possibly strike again.” I reply.

“I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Look, I am trying my best. You must know that I am just trying to get us out of harm’s way.”

“I guess.” She says with irritation.

“Let’s not fight, if we do the terrorists have another victory.”

“Yes, thank God we weren’t away from each other when this happened.

“You’re right! I would rather die with you than live and us be apart!”

“I love you so much!”

“And I love you too, baby!”

“How much longer from here?”

“About four hours.”

“That’s fine.”

“Yes, I just hope and pray my car won’t break down.” I reply.

“What’s your family like?”

“Let’s just say interesting.”

“I hope they will accept me but I’m afraid of what they will think of my mom’s pill habit.”

“Don’t worry, they’ll accept you. They always wanted me to find love and now I have because of you. They just might tease you about being from the city.”

“What about the pills? Would they judge me about that?”

“No, they won’t. My family has always taught me that no one is perfect and that we all have faults. Plus, you’re not the addict; your mom is.”

“What’s your hometown like?” She asks.

“Boring, flat and quiet. I guess that is a good thing at the moment. It’s not an important place, so the terrorists wouldn’t try to strike there.”

“So you think we’ll be safe there?”

“Yes, there is only a two-lane highway in and out of town and there are no waterways, railroads are airstrips. It’s nothing a terrorist would want to hit.”

“You should call your parents first, to let them know you are coming.” She tells me.

“You’re right. I was going to, but you know I should conserve my minutes, especially for my job.” I reply.

“I don’t think you will be returning to work for a while and, to me, that’s a very good thing. Besides, you can use my phone.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course. I love you and would do anything for you.”

“Oh, I love you too baby! Thank you so much.”

She turns her phone on and I call out the ten digits. She then puts the speaker phone feature on and we hear the ringing.

“Hello.” My mother answers, half asleep.

“Hey, momma it’s me. There has been a terrorist attack in my city and I am headed your way. Put the news on, you’ll hear all about it.” I reply.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes. I am fine, but I have someone special with me.”

“Whom do you have?”

“My girlfriend. I will explain everything when we arrive.”

“Okay, be careful.”

“I sure will.”

“How much longer until you’ll be here?”

“If everything goes right, about four to five hours. As soon as we find a truck stop, I will get some, food and coffee to keep me awake.”

“Okay, you drive safe and I will see you then. I can’t wait to meet this lovely young lady.”

Suddenly the signal fades out.

“Momma, can you hear me?”

“Durn it.

“Your mom seems nice.”

“Oh, she is very nice. I wish I could see her more.”

“It’s a good thing she is not like my mom.”

“The worst she does is take a shot of whiskey every now and then. It’s only to help her sleep.”

I continue to drive. It is cold and dark. The heater is working well for the most part. My girlfriend snuggles next to me and we keep warm.

I see a truck stop sign ahead, so activate my turn signal. We get off the highway, then pull into the parking lot.

We drive up to a pump, then go inside to pay the cashier.

My girlfriend pulls out her debit card and says “Let me pay. My dad deposited grocery money in my account, but I think we need gas more than groceries right now.

“Thank you so much, baby! I wish I could repay you!”

My girlfriend replies “It’s the least I can do. By the way, when we get back home, you can repay me all night long!” The she tells the cashier and say “Forty Dollars on pump five.”

The young cashier says, blushing “Y’all are so cute.” She then runs my girfriend’s card.

We go out to pump the gas, then come back after we’re done. I desperately need food and coffee, so I ask the cashier, “Is your restaurant open?”

“Well, we were going to close, but could sure use the business.” She pauses then calls the waitress. “There are some customers, don’t shut down just yet.”

We walk into the diner and the waitress greets us.

“What’ll it be?” She asks.

I look at my girlfriend and say “Tell her.”

“I would like some strawberry pancakes if that’s all right.”

“Sure. And for you?”

“Whatever sandwich you can make. And coffee-lot’s of it.”

“Where are y’all from?”

“The city south-east of here. There was a terrorist attack and we are refugees.”

“A terrorist attack?” She asks.

“Yes. Turn your TV on. You’ll learn all about it.” I tell her.

“Can’t. Cable’s out.” She replies.

“Well, these radical extremists, purposely derailed a train right where the transmission lines cross the tracks. That caused a chemical release and the power in most of the city is out.”

“Good Lord, that’s awful.”

“Yes. And it’s her eighteenth birthday.” I tell the waitress.

The waitress looks at my girlfriend and says “Well since it is your birthday, y’all both eat free. Y’all have seen enough hell for tonight and it’s the least we can do.”

“Thank you so much; I surely appreciate that.” I tell her.

“Yes, y’all are both welcome. Just tell any travellers about this place when you can.”

“I just hope and pray that you’ll get more refugee customers coming from the city, but most are probably on the Interstate. I took a back road so we wouldn’t be caught in all that traffic.”

My girlfriend and I happily eat and converse with the waitress and then we get coffee to go.

“Here’s a thermal mug with our company name on it. Tell everyone you can about us.” The waitress says.

“I sure will.” I tell her.

“Come back if you’re ever passing through again and we’ll take care of y’all.”

We leave the truck stop and get back on the highway. I am now awake and alert thanks to the free coffee. My girlfriend is sleeping on my shoulder. I hold her with my right arm and the wheel with my left. Three and a half hours before I am in my home town…

I see plenty of yellow lines and reflectors and at least my car is running smoothly. Finally I see the junction and turn to go into town.

I pull into my parents’ driveway. We step out of the car and I ring the doorbell. My momma greets us.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

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Her 18th Birthday-Grocer and Writer (Guy’s Perspective)

Good Lord, it’s cold tonight, but at least it is dry. What do you expect for early February? That’s all right, because I have someone to keep me warm. I leave work and head to my girlfriend’s parents’ house. Tomorrow is special for her-she’ll turn eighteen! The air conditioning in my car is shot, but at least the heater functions well. I leave the parking garage and head to the suburbs. Now I am entering the subdivision and approaching the house. As I turn into the driveway, my headlights illuminate her stature. She is shivering. I wish she wouldn’t wait outside for me in the wretched cold, but it speaks volumes of her love for me.

I step out of my car and we embrace.

“Let’s get you warm.” I tell her.

“Good idea!” She replies as her teeth chatter.

With that we step into my car and drive off quietly. The sun is now set-all we have are the city lights.

There is a brief silence, but then I say “I know what tomorrow is!”

“Yes, I’ll be free! My parents’ll no longer have power over me!” She replies.

“Now you know your dad is good to us.”

“Yes, he is. But my mom is a lunatic. No longer will I hear her raging about her stupid pills again.”

“Do they know that we’ve been intimate?” I ask.

“No, they don’t-and that is a good thing. It won’t even matter after the stroke of midnight.”

“That’s a relief. I know your dad likes me, but how he would react if he knew?”

“Well, I can make him feel guilty about not being around if he indeed got angry.”

We drive into the city and into my neighborhood and are now in front of my house. I park my car against the curb and escort her through my yard, closing the hurricane fence behind us. As usual, my neighbors are rolling and smoking joints. I detest the abominable smell of that smoke. However, if I reported them, they would retaliate in many horrendous ways. I am also afraid how they might try to harm my girlfriend if they ever found out she is alone in my house while I work. Because of this, I have already installed several extra locks on my doors and I’ll also buy her some Mace.

Quickly we walk into the door and sit down on my sofa. I turn on the local news and learn of the whole country being on high alert for a terrorist attack. This makes me fear for the safety of everyone I care about. I wonder about my family in the countryside and if they are prepared. Being drafted off to war also frightens me.

“Let’s turn this miserable thing off and think about us!” She says.

“Very well.” I say, switch off the TV, then continue “Would you like to eat something?”

“Sure.” She replies.

“I will order something for delivery. What do you feel like?”

“Something Asian, I guess.”

“Done.”

I begin to look through my telephone directory, when she says, pointing to her smartphone “Wait, I have an app for ordering it on here.”

She places the order, and we sit on my sofa. She rests her head on my chest.

Soon enough, there is a knock at the door. It is the delivery man. I pay him and he gives us the food, then I escort him back to his car.

We take the food to my dining room and eat. There cold air is coming through my drafty windows, so I turn my floor furnace on. It is located in the middle of my house, so, hopefully, it should keep us warm.

She motions for me to sit and continue eating with her. I do so, staring at her with admiration. Soon we are finished eating.

“Asian food makes me sleepy. Let’s snuggle together!” She says.

“Right behind you, baby!” I reply.

We walk to my bedroom and wrap ourselves in the blankets.

Our sleep is peaceful, until she wakes up from the whistle of a freight train.

Her jerking wakes me up and then I hear the train as well.

She looks at the clock on her phone. It indicates 12:01 AM.

“I am eighteen now!” She exclaims, wrapping herself around me.

Suddenly, there are some horrible sounds. It’s a grinding and squealing, followed by several loud explosions. Then, I hear the motor on my old refrigerator shut off. I push the switch on my bedside lamp but it doesn’t turn on. The power is out. My girlfriend reaches for her phone to light up the room.

“Let me go to the kitchen. I have a rechargeable flashlight there plugged in between the refrigerator and the stove.”

“Go get it, but after let’s keep snuggling.”

“Of course. You know I don’t want to be anywhere but in your arms.” I tell her, retrieve my light then climb back in bed.

“We can stay together now because I am legal!”

I give her a kiss, but I am full of anxiety.

Suddenly, our phones display messages of a civil emergency.

A few minutes later there is a knock on my door. I open it.

A policeman greets me and sternly says “You must leave immediately! There has been a train derailment which resulted in a chemical release.”

I ponder to myself if this was a terrorist attack…

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

Donald John Trump: A Polarizing Figure

This is something I’ve noticed for years, but finally, I think the time is right to post what I see going on:

By the way, I have no agenda to push, I have no narrative to forward nor am I trying to sway anyone’s political views.

This is simply a casual observation of mine.

For the record, I belong to a one-man political party, known as The Ethical Party.

This means I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but my one-man party takes what I perceive as the good from both Democrats and Republicans, alike, and rejects what I perceive as the garbage from those two parties.

Without further ado, here I go:

It’s no secret, Donald Trump is a very polarizing figure.

He is someone whom you either revile or draw inspiration from.

There really isn’t any in between.

By the way, it has been like this for him long before he got into politics.

I’ll give examples of how he is both reviled, yet inspiring:

First, I’ll point out how he is reviled:

I have noticed that Hollywood for years has been hating on Donald Trump.

These years date long before he decided to get into politics.

The biggest example I can think of is back in 1990 when NBC aired a made for television movie known as, “The Great Los Angeles Earthquake.” I first saw this movie in 2008 when I purchased it on DVD. My ex-wife now, unfortunately, has that DVD, but she can keep it. I’m glad to part with it and all my other stuff she got when we split up if it means I don’t have to interact with her. Also, out of respect and reverence for my girlfriend, I don’t want to go around any woman whom I am not related to.

It is one of my favorite movies, actually, because, I think Los Angeles is a really neat city and would very much like to visit it one day, but also I like the movie for several other reasons: One of my favorite flashlights ever made has a cameo in that movie, the Eveready Commander No. 5122. There is footage of the now defunct railroad Southern Pacific, which is my favorite former railroad. Also, I am highly interested in technology from the late 1980s and early 1990s and there is a good bit of the then current computer, cellular phone and other technologies featured in that movie. I also like seeing all of the now vintage cars and trucks in that movie.

The arch villain in that said movie, Wendell Kaetes, or however his name is spelled, I believe is heavily inspired by Donald Trump. I mean, he resembles Trump physically. He is a real estate developer. He is a shrewd businessman with a quick temper. And there is a line in the movie where he is referred to as “The Donald Trump of the West Coast.” He meets his demise by falling out of his office window of the high rise building he owns when one of the quakes occur. The character has Donald Trump written all over it.

While Hollywood may be hating on him, other entities draw on him for inspiration.

This too has been going on long before he got into politics.

The biggest example I can find is in the Radio Shack Catalogs.

By the way, I do not own the featured image on this page, Radio Shack does-it is straight from their 1996 catalog.

From 1996 until 2001, in order to sell Business Band radios, Radio Shack featured a picture that entailed a businessman in a suit and tie supervising a construction project and giving out commands over a Radio Shack Business Band radio. The model in the suit and tie is obviously a reference to Donald Trump, which I would have never realized had I not seen that aforementioned movie. On one side of him there is a black lady holding the building plans and on the other side, there is a hispanic man going over a checklist. The ironic part is that these two models on the sides of him come from ethnicities of people whom the media vehemently tries to put Donald Trump at odds with.

The reason why I say that the model in the suit and tie is an obvious reference to Donald Trump is that he definitely resembles him physically, he is in charge of a construction project. He appears to be barking orders over the radio. And he is dressed like a businessman. If he isn’t the owner of the construction project going on, he is likely an executive in charge of it.

So, basically, my theory is Radio Shack likely capitalized on Trump’s image and likeness in order to sell their rebadged Motorola and other manufacturer’s Business Band radios.

I’m not sure of their success though, because I don’t have access to their sales data.

For whatever reason though, in about 2004 or 2005, Radio Shack quit selling Business Band radios and this was a huge mistake in my opinion.

This mistake probably was a factor in them going under in the mid to late 2010s.

My biggest question behind all of this is:

Has anyone else noticed these things or am I the only one?

By the way, prior to me watching that earthquake movie, the only time I had ever heard of Donald Trump was on the rapper Nelly’s album Country Grammar. This may come as a shock to just about all of you and I’ve only realized it in the past few minutes, but the lyrics in that said album subconsciously inspired parts of my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories!

If there is anything to be learned from all of this it is that controversy sells and the juicier any content is, the more profitable it becomes…

As a writer, I am well aware of this, though I have yet to earn a single red cent on anything I’ve written. However, when I write something controversial, I know that is what attracts my readers more than anything else.

I hope, you, the reader, find me informative and entertaining…

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

Phone Conversation-Cyrus’ Perspective

The next day Cyrus woke up with feelings of euphoria. He had lived a lonely life up until this point when he had met Tabitha Howell online the previous night. He conversed with her for a while and quickly developed feelings for her. She revealed to him that her feelings for him were mutual.

After slowly waking up in his bed, Cyrus looked at his smartphone charging on the night table.

He selected Tabitha’s number and sent her a text: “Do you have free texting?”

A minute passed, but then he got a reply: “I sure do.”

“Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” He sent another text “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

“Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

So Cyrus then texted. “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

Cyrus was nervous. At the same time, however, he was much excited for a chance to call Tabitha. So, he selected her number on his phone then touched the “Call” icon.

After only one ring, Tabitha answered “Hey!”

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

“Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

Cyrus blushed, caught his composure and then replied: “I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

“I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

“I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

“Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation.

“Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

“What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.”

“Because to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

“My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

“I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

“You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

“I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

“If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

“How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

“Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat and he was filled with excitement. A plethora of his coworkers made fun of his virginity at his age, but now he felt vindicated.

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked: “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

“You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know.”

Cyrus was frustrated for a moment, but then an idea hit him “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

“I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

“So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess.”

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

“Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

“Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

“Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work to do in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

“Hey, my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

“I will as much as I can.”

Cyrus then hung up the phone, got dressed and left home to make his groceries for the week. He had fallen even more in love with Tabitha but didn’t want to tell her and scare her off…

https://ericjohnmonier.com/home/works-of-fiction/a-freight-train-conductor-meets-a-disabled-aspiring-writer/

Phone Conversation-Tabitha’s Perspective

The next day, Tabitha had woken up and began writing more love stories on her computer. Her parents were getting ready to go make groceries.

“We’re leaving, Tabby.” Her mom said.

“Is there anything you want us to get you?” Her dad added in.

“No, I’m good right now,” Tabitha replied.

“Call us if you need anything.” Her mom said.

“Will do,” Tabitha replied.

And then they left.

Tabitha resumed her writing. She had felt more encouraged to write her love stories than ever before since she met Cyrus Braden the previous night and he told her how he enjoyed her work even though many people didn’t. She thought about her conversation with him and the feelings she had developed for him. For a brief moment, she began to think just about him and paused from her writing.

Then she received a text on her smartphone. It was from Cyrus and read, “Do you have free texting?”

Tabitha sat in amazement for about a minute because of how she believed that she and he were having mutual thoughts of each other. Then she realized that she should reply and texted back, “I sure do.”

About a half minute passed; then Tabitha got two replies. The first one read, “Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” The second one read, “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

She was definitely going to try and make the relationship with Cyrus work as best as she could, so she answered with two messages, First, “Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” Then, “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

She got a quick reply from him, “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

After about two minutes, Tabitha’s phone rang. She only let it ring once and quickly answered it as she was no doubt infatuated with him.

“Hey!” She said.

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

Tabitha then said “Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

“I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

Tabitha’s fear of rejection began to surface, but her desire to be honest with Cyrus outweighed it. So she said, “I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

Tabitha became more desperate and nervous as she said, “I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

She breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation. She only hoped and prayed that Cyrus was being truthful.

He then continued, “Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

Puzzled, Tabitha asked, “What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.” She asked with curiosity.

Cyrus answered, “Because, to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

Tabitha became more nervous and her feeling of fear about rejection resurfaced again. Still, she knew it was best, to be honest; so she told him, “My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

Tabitha assured him, “I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

Her heart skipped a beat and she began to be filled with strong desires for him as she said, “You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

Cyrus replied to her. “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

Hearing that made her want him even more, so she told him, “If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

Cyrus asked, “How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

Tabitha was then sure that she and Cyrus were meant to be and she said, “Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked with a heavy heart, “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

Tabitha became filled with such a mixture of happiness and excitement as she asked, “You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know,” Tabitha said as she grew frustrated. She realized that she might have trouble being able to meet up with him.

But then Cyrus said, “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

Tabitha thought of all their online conversations and thought of one disturbing part, then said, “I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

Tabitha seemed relieved, but was still concerned as she asked, “So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess,” Tabitha said.

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

She felt very happy hearing this and told Cyrus, “Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

With a slight anxiety, Tabitha changed the subject and asked Cyrus, “Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

He replied, “Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has any work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

Tabitha then said with sadness, “Hey my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

She felt bliss realizing that he wanted her and replied, “I will as much as I can.”

Tabitha hung up the phone. She realized that she was beginning to fall in love with Cyrus. With a big smile on her face, she went into the kitchen to help her parents unload the groceries.

BACK

Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Tabitha’s Perspective

On a late Saturday night in March, Tabitha Howell was checking the replies to her posts on several writing forums. Most of them were giving her harsh critiques. She sulked in depression. In her mind writing was the only thing she thought she was good at, but this wasn’t the case according to her online peers. She kept scrolling through the members’ feedback. People made comments like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” She had mixed feelings about these reactions. In part, she was glad that she was able to provoke the emotions of others, even though they were negative. However, in a much bigger part, she felt hurt by some of the comments. Tabitha was about to log out and take a bath to wash away the stench of failure when she saw a new post. She began to read it.

It was posted by someone known as Mister Trainman and it read, “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

Immediately she pulled up his profile and gained a great deal of information about him. He was a twenty-five-year-old train conductor named Cyrus Braden. At first, she seemed nervous due to the fact that he was six years older than her and might only be interested in sex, but also knew that no other worthwhile boys or men ever paid attention to her. She looked at his profile picture and was instantly attracted to him. She began to search for content he posted, but couldn’t find any. This made her slightly suspicious, but she still wanted to know more about him. His profile displayed “Online Now.”

So, she decided to send him a private message.

“Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

She patiently waited for his reply until she saw the screen flash.

“Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

She waited for his reply.

Finally, a message popped up on her screen “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Tabitha’s heart skipped and beat and she began to blush. She began to feel attracted to him.

She messaged him back “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

“Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha had confirmed Cyrus’ friend request she told him “Message me on Facebook instead.”

“Will do.”

She began to study his Facebook profile and realized that he lived only fifty-five miles northeast of her. This made her slightly nervous, but also even more attracted to him. She wanted a relationship with him but also wanted to make sure he wasn’t any type of danger.

So Tabitha told him “You’re not that far away from me.”

“Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

“I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

“Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

“Well you know I am nineteen. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

“You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

“Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

“I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha paused but then “Do you even want me?”

“Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

“Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

She messaged him, “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

“Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

“Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

Tabitha walked to the kitchen and took her Abilify with a glass of water. She was anxious because she knew she would eventually have to explain to Cyrus what she takes medicine for and was afraid that he might leave her.

She walked back to her computer and typed “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

BACK

Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Cyrus’ Perspective

On a late Saturday evening in March Cyrus Braeden was reading stories on a writing forum. He came across a love story that caught his undivided attention. He thought it was beautiful, albeit a little graphic. He looked at the original poster’s profile and saw that her username was CuteCuddlyTabby. He figured she was someone who deeply desired to be loved. However, her age wasn’t listed on her profile. This made him hesitant to contact her in case she might be underage. The comments that other members made about these stories made him want to stand up for her. People on the forum had said things like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” He decided to comment on the story, just to give her hope and let her know that he appreciated her writing.

So he posted “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

He then continued to look at the other posts this person known as CuteCuddlyTabby made and was deeply moved by her writing. He was beginning to feel attracted to her but didn’t send her a private message in case she could have been a minor.

Cyrus was a lonely twenty-five-year-old who had just about given up on finding a relationship. He was frequently teased by coworkers for being unknown to the opposite sex. But he wanted commitment and couldn’t find someone who would stay with him because of his constantly on-call freight conductor schedule. But when he read these stories posted by this person known as CuteCuddlyTabby, he thought as if there was hope. When he read those stories, he felt as if they spoke to him and told him “everyone deserves to be loved.” He thought could maybe find love with her, provided she was of age.

Suddenly a private message appeared in his inbox. It was from CuteCuddlyTabby and read “Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

Carefully he selected the words for his reply, “Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

Very quickly a new message appeared “Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

So they began conversing in an online exchange of messages, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

He looked at her Facebook profile, and while she was overweight she was still very beautiful. It was as if her weight complimented her appearance. Cyrus was extremely attracted to her and carefully selected the words for another message to send to her, “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Instantly Tabitha replied “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

Cyrus knew it was time, to be honest, so he typed “Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

He had deeply hoped that she would somehow put up with his hectic schedule if he would just have the chance to shower her with affection and attention. He knew that he should contact her through other mediums besides the writing forum. So he asked her, “Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha confirmed his friend request she told him, “You’re not that far away from me.”

Cyrus was shocked but even more attracted. He realized this might be able to work. So he replied, “Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

Cyrus now wanted to meet her but also thought of her with great reverence. Carefully he typed a message to her “I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

He wrote “Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

Saying the words “railroad cop” made Cyrus realize that Tabitha might not be some cute nineteen-year-old young lady, but an imposter. He wanted to meet her but was beginning to feel leery that she might not be whom she says she is. He then remembered her beautiful stories and his ongoing loneliness and put the thoughts out of his mind and type another message.
“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

Tabitha replied “Well you know I am 19. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

He realized she was extremely sensitive about her weight, so he decided to tell her “You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat. The young lady he had been desiring also wanted him. However, he knew of the plethora of failed relationships that seemed to plague most railroaders.

He typed, “Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

Tabitha replied, “I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha sent another message “Do you even want me?”

Carefully Cyrus replied, “Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

His heart eased. He had admired this young lady and then desired her, and now she made an advance at him and he accepted her. Everything was beginning to feel complete.

Boldly he asked her, “Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

He then got a message from her saying “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

There was a quiet, but then Cyrus got a message, “Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

Out of concern for her, he said. “Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

Cyrus thought of all his foamer friends who took medication and how it disqualified them from obtaining railroad jobs for those very reasons. Still, he knew what some of those foamers were like without medication and sent Tabitha another message.

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

There was a brief silence, but then he got a message, “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

Cyrus too went to bed feeling happier than he had been in a long time.

BACK