Candice laughed. “Certainly not. I was a married woman.”
“Then tell me what you know about me,” Wilson said.
“First tell me what you know about yourself,” Candice said.
“Really,” Wilson said, “I have no idea why I’m on this highway. I have a family in Atlanta, a grown daughter in Indianapolis that are as much strangers to me as you are. I’m certain I have amnesia.”
“Oh my,” Candice said, “you really are lost.”
“Anything might help,” Wilson said.
“You said you would return,” Candice said.
“I did?” Wilson said.
“Always knew you were a man of your word,” Candice said.
“How long did I stay here?” Wilson said.
“A month,” Candice said.
“What did I do in that month?” Wilson said.
“You helped out,” Candice said. “My husband, Arthur, had a heart attack, couldn’t do much, so you helped out.”
“Did it ever get built?” Wilson said.
“What?” Candice said surprised.
“I’m not sure,” Wilson said, “but I was supposed to build something and that’s all I can remember.”
“I don’t recall,” Candice said.
“It’s probably nothing,” Wilson said. “My my mind is so scrambled.”
They finished eating and Candice removed the dishes to the kitchen. She brought back a strawberry rhubarb pie.
“My favorite,” Wilson said as Candice sat across from him.
“I know,” Candice said. “I baked it yesterday. This is such a coincidence. The last time I made one was when you were here.”
“How do you remember that so well?” Wilson said.
“You were here when he was killed,” Candice said.
“Your husband?” Wilson said.
“No,” Candice said, “Our son.”
“Vietnam?” Wilson said and took a bite of pie.
“Yes,” Candice said.
“How old?” Wilson said.
“19,” Candice said. “He was our only child.”
“You were having a hard time with it,” Candice said. “You said you served and never wanted to hear of war again.”
“The pie is good,” Wilson said.
“You have any idea why you came here?” Candice said.
“I was on my way to Hecla, South Dakota,” Wilson said. “I started out for Missoula, Montana, but something changed my mind. I think I have an old army buddy in Hecla. Maybe he remembers me and can help.”
“You had strange ways about you, even back then,” Candice said.
“How do you mean?” Wilson said.
“Open the small door on the right side of the buffet,” Candice said. “Inside is a black box, about the size of a bar of soap. Get it out and open it.”
Wilson did so. He pulled a chain necklace from the box with a medallion attached. He held it up and allowed it to dangle and swing like a pendulum. “Whose is it?”
“It belongs to you,” Candice said.
“I’ve never seen it before,” Wilson said, “or should I say I don’t remember seeing it. Tell me about it. ”
“I know nothing about it,” Candice said. “You left it here and later phoned to keep if for you until you returned.
“There is A B C on one side and numbers on the other,” Wilson said. “47, 03, dash, 55, 10, 30. Did I ever mention what they meant?”
“No,” Candice said. “You only said it had been with you all of your life and you never wanted to part with it. It‘s yours.”
Wilson slid it over the top of his head and let it hang from his neck. “I’ll wear it until it makes sense. Did I forget it or something?”
“Before you left you handed it to me,” Candice said, “and you said you’d come back for it someday.”
“What would possess me to leave it?” Wilson said. “It makes no sense.”
“You did some work for us,” Candice said. “You became quiet and distant. On the day you left you gave the medallion to me. You said that what ever it meant you had to put that behind you. You said the person you will become will have no need for it.”
“It sounds like I was a deliberate person,” Wilson said.
As they ate Wilson picked up the medallion and examined it. He thought deeply, but there was nothing he recalled about the letters or numbers. For all he knew they could have merely random; someone practicing engraving.
They sipped coffee.
“What did I talk about?” Wilson said.
“You didn’t talk much,” Candice said.
“Where did I say I was from?” Wilson said.
“You talked a lot about Los Angeles,” Candice said. “I can’t remember anything in particular, except you liked cars.”
“Is that it?” Wilson said.
“You were nice,” Candice said.