Short Story #1 – This Ol’ Town

Bryn opened the door to the storefront and entered the building.

Immediately, she was greeted by a familiar voice, that of Teddy Baxter, her closest friend and confidant.

“Good morning,” said Teddy. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Same as always,” Bryn replied. “Soda.”

Bryn was accustomed to answering the same questions. Her life had become humdrum, almost as if stuck in a “time-loop” of some sort.

“Yes, of course. I should have known,” said Teddy.

“You know,” Bryn said. “There’s not much in this town I haven’t done.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean…I’ve probably set my foot on every inch of this town. Nothing’s new. Nothing’s exciting anymore.”

“Bryn,” said Teddy. “I’m pretty sure it’s physically impossible to set your foot on every inch of this town. Who has the time?”

“We all do.”

Bryn opened the refrigerator door, and pulled a soda from the top shelf. She popped the lid and took a sip.

“You know what I mean, Teddy. Aren’t you tired of everyday being the same old thing?”

“I like my life. Ever since Grandpa Theo stopped waking me up with a bullhorn, things have been much better. I may even have enough money saved up to buy a car soon.”

Bryn stared at Teddy, a wide smile stretching across his face. She wondered if he knew how off-putting his positivity was at times. Yet she was torn. Occasionally, she enjoyed his “ray of sunshine” personality. This was not one of those times.

“Do you have to be so…”

Teddy stared blankly at Bryn, confused by her unfinished question.

“Do I have to be so…what?”

“You know.”

“Honestly, Bryn, I don’t. What were you going to say?”

“Can’t you just get pissed off for once? I mean…it’s got to be healthy, right?”

Teddy was slightly hurt by the comment. Bryn was someone he admired, mainly for her “heart of gold” hidden deep beneath the surface. He knew she was a good person, but at times, it felt like she hated him.

“I’m just being myself,” Teddy said. “What’s wrong with that?”

Bryn studied the earnestness on Teddy’s face. Although she fought against it, he had a way of melting her somewhat-cold heart.

“Nothing’s wrong with that, Teddy. Nothing at all.”

Teddy walked out from behind the counter. He grabbed her hand.

“What are you doing?” Bryn asked.

“Let’s go,” Teddy replied. “I want to show you something.

“Where are we…what about the store?”

“It’s been slow today. I can take a break.”

Bryn followed Teddy out the door, and down the sidewalk. Around the corner and down “Lover’s Alley”. They walked past Jackson First Baptist Church, across the train tracks and through the park.

Along the way, Teddy pitched a few movie ideas to Bryn; a couple of which she surprisingly liked. They ended up at the local river, tossing stones into the water. Before too long, her mind was off of the monotony of her life.

After Teddy was finished with his fifth movie pitch (an idea about a magical goat whose milk is the fountain of youth), he stretched his arm out and pointed across the river.

“See over there?” Teddy asked.

Bryn looked across the water and saw nothing but trees.

“What am I looking at?” Bryn replied.

“That’s where my father proposed to my mother. They took a boat to the other side of the river and had a picnic. At least that’s what my grandmother told me. I wish I had known them.”

Bryn looked at Teddy, whose eyes continued to stare across the river.

“I’m not always positive, Bryn. Sometimes I get down too. I just…I just think it’s best not to worry about what can’t be, but instead to appreciate what is.”

Teddy’s words hit Bryn like a ton of bricks. They both continued to stare across the river for a few moments, and then began to make their way back to town.

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