Marti turned from trimming roses on a fence when she heard a car door shut.
“Wilson!” she smiled. “I wasn’t expecting you.”
“I thought if I called, you would not want me to come,” Wilson said.
Marti laid her scissors on the grass and moved toward Wilson. “It’s just that you don’t know who you are. You have a family and I‘m not it.”
“Can I come in?” Wilson said.
“Sure,” Marti said. “Can I get you something?”
“No,” Wilson said.
They went inside.
“At the table or in the living room?” Marti said.
“The table,” Wilson said.
Marti sat on Wilson’s right.
Wilson breathed deep through his nostrils. “It’s been and interesting month. It seems my life is a bit more complicated than I thought. And before I go further, I can’t entertain or allow you to be a part of it.”
Marti pressed her lips tight. “It is best.”
“I know when things get sorted out I’ll see things differently,” Wilson said. “The parts that make up a car come from a 100 different locations. You don’t know what the car looks like or how it will perform until it’s assembled and driven for a while. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” Marti said, “You will need time to recover.”
“You appear relieved,” Wilson said.
“I am,” Marti said.
“I was caught in a moment,” Wilson said. “All the sudden knowing I was in love and had a daughter. It rushed in on my like a wave. I was overtaken and swept away.”
“I have to say at first I was,” Marti said. “It had not been that long sense my husband died and all the sudden you come along.” She smiled. “Like that wave.”
“Now can you tell me what’s been going on the last month?” Marti said.
“Well here’s the short version,” Wilson patted Marti’s hand and smiled, “I’m not Wilson Gentry, I’m Billy Smith, and before that – I don’t know.”
“It sounds like there’s a lot in between,” Marti said.
“I hope there’s something before and a lot after,” Wilson said.
“Would you mind if I invited Lynn over?” Marti said.
“A good idea,” Wilson said.
“Can we make it supper time?” Marti said.
“Perfect,” Wilson said.
“I’ll give her a call,” Marti said. “And if you want to, I can give you some yard work to do.”
“I require constant supervision,” Wilson said.
Wilson stood. “I have some jeans in the car, do you mind if I change?”
“Just as long as you don’t change into someone else,” Marti said. “You change and I’ll put a roast on.”
“That sounds good,” Wilson said, “and as we work together…”
“You work, I supervise remember,” Marti said.
Wilson smiled. “Just tell me all you can about the last 30 years.”
“How about the short version?” Marti said. “You disappeared and you came back.”
“I know that part,” Wilson said. “I’m already feeling the heartache and regret.”
“Than I’ll tell you about all the good times in between,” Marti said.
It was good after noon; pleasant in every detail. Every story told by Marti became precious to Wilson. There was comfort for him knowing that Marti had a good life. She had love, family, and fond memories; that’s the main ingredients of life.
“There is something about working with roses,” Mari said.
“What is that?” Wilson said.
“To really flourish they need someone who cares for them,” Marti said