Who Is Lisa?
Ted’s mother, Arlene, lived with him and his daughter, Myra. His father died two years earlier and his mother moved in to help him raise his daughter and care for the home.
It was morning and Myra had already left for school. As was their routine, Ted and his mother sat down for breakfast and some idle conversation.
“I got strange call a few days go,” Arlene said pouring coffee and scraping scrambled eggs from a skillet into the plate in front of Ted. “And I forgot to tell you.”
“Strange in what way?” Ted said with mild interest and sipping his coffee.
“It was a female’s voice and she wanted to know if this was the home of Ted Barlow who went to Garfield High. I said it was and she said good and a that package would be sent to you and arrive in a couple of days.”
“I can’t imagine what it could be,” Ted said feeding himself a fork full of eggs.
“She said it was something you gave to someone a long time ago,” Arlene said. She sat and sipped her coffee and took a bite of toast.
“Can’t imagine what it could be,” Ted said nonchalantly and washed the eggs down with a sip of coffee. “I suppose we’ll find out before long.”
For awhile the only sounds were that of eating; dinnerware against plates, munching, and sips.
“Are you going to ask the gal down at the bank out for a date?” Arlene said over the top of her glasses. “She seems awfully interested in you and she is very attractive.”
“Mom, she’s truck stop attractive, ” Ted said. “One of her kids is in my school and the other is in some program, drug rehab or something. I don’t need problems. I need solutions, but thanks anyway.”
“Ted,” Arlene said. “Not every woman was like your first wife; ran off to California with a fitness instructor.”
“She wanted a free gym membership,” Ted said. “I couldn’t afford one. And not every woman has a kid on perpetual detention, the other in a drug program whose ex is serving time,” Ted held his cup to his lips. “Mom, I’ll find somebody someday. Did the female who called leave a name?”
“I think she said her name was Lisa,” Arlene said. “I looked in your yearbook and there’s no Lisa’s. Wasn’t there a friend of your wife whose name was Lisa?”
“It was Leah,” Ted said. “And she left her husband for a tuck driver from Illinois.”
“Possibly the wife of an old friend sending you something?” Arlene said.
“All my old friends are still around. If they had something to give me they know where I am,” Ted said. “Are you sure it was Lisa?”
“Certain,” Arlene said. “Do you have a hunch of who it might be?”
“I knew a Lisa,” Ted said. “She lived here for only a short time and disappeared. The family moved very quickly. They lived next door to where the Razowki’s live on Pickering Street.”
“The two story brick?’ Arlene said.
“Yeah,” Ted said. “That’s the one. But that was 20 years ago. I was 14. We hardly knew each other.”
“Maybe it was Leah,” Arlene said.
Ted took a last sip of coffee. “Got to get going, I’ll be late.”
As Ted walked out the door Arlene said, “Think hard on it. You must know somebody named Leah or Lisa that has something that belongs to you and wants to return it.”
“I will,” Ted said.
Ted spent most of the day in his office. The name Lisa drifted in and out of his thoughts the entire day. He knew a couple others named Lisa, but if they had something for him it would be just as convenient to drop something off at his home or at the office. Lisa the one he knew oh so briefly was the one that captivated his imagination the most. “I wonder what ever happened to her?” he thought.