Jim managed to turn off the handheld shower with a wrench. His shirt was soaked. Steve sat on the toilet with a towel around his waist. It was the only place he'd been able to get out of the spray. "All set now," Jim said, turning to leave the compartment. "Hope none of yur stuff got wet when I opened the door. See ya at breakfast. OK, Marge, you kin go in now." Marge reappeared from the corridor outside.
Around six-thirty, Marge and Steve dragged themselves into the dining car for coffee, bagels, and juice. This time they sought the booth with Jim and Ann.
"Sit, sit," Jim said.
"We really appreciate the help you gave both of us," Steve began.
"No problem. We're used to it."
"I imagine you've got some wild stories riding back and forth."
"Damn right 'bout that," Jim said, slurping the milk in his cereal.
"So where do you live, riding the rails for Amtrak?"
"Close to Lorton. Fact, our family's comin' to git us. Maybe you could meet 'em."
"Well, thanks, but we'll have to get going once we get our car."
"Yeah, guess so. Too bad. Our son's on his way back to UVA after he drops us home."
"UVA? That's where I went," Steve said. "Marge, too."
"Yeah? He just pledged a frat there, Sigma Nu. We're real proud of him. I learnt the secret handshake."
"Sigma Nu? No way! That was mine, too. I'd love to meet him! Give me the shake, bro'."
Elbows bent, arms twisted around each other, two palms grasped in a handshake. "Fact is," Jim said, untwisting his forearm, "there's a couple other Sugma Nu's from UVA on this trip. See the guy in the yellow shirt? And the guy 'cross from him? We's all from Lorton. Come on, I'll introduce ya. They's 'bout your age." Jim led Steve down the aisle behind them.
"Steve? Steve Thomas? Damn, it's you! How the hell are you?"
"John Baines? My old roomie? This is unbelievable!" John had jumped into the aisle and was bearhugging Steve.
"This is Jack Ryan, another Sigma Nu."
"Please, if you've finished breakfast, others are waiting for your seats," the attendant said.
"We've got to catch up," Steve said. "Let's meet in the terminal and figure out where we can grab a cup of coffee. Maybe your family can join us, Jim."
Two by two the group swiveled with arms around each other and retreated down the aisle. "Woo, woo, woo, Sigma Nu," trailed off behind them.
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.