Slow Bloom Extra: Ricky’s Moving Day

Slow BloomRicky hefted one of the last boxes out of the back of the van and moved it onto the stack in the driveway.

“Almost done!” he called to his dad, who was tromping down the front steps after taking a couple boxes in. Moving out of the dorms for the summer was even more of a pain in the ass than moving in at the beginning of the school year. More stuff, and a whole lot less excitement about jumping head-first into a new experience.

“So, I was thinking.” Ricky’s dad took the box from the top of the stack with a grunt. “If you didn’t have something in mind for a summer job, I might have found something for you. Hang on.” He made a face at the weight of the box — Reggie Talbot was a judge at his day job, not a super hero — and turned to take it into the house. “I’ll be right back.”

“Sure thing.” Ricky turned back to the van and had another box half out before he realized what his dad had said. “Wait, what?” he called toward the door. He’d been planning to spend his time training this summer. There was a pool downtown where he could swim laps, and he needed to work on his turns if Coach was going to give him any kind of chance at the relay next season.

You can carry those boxes up to your room or down to the basement. Whose idea was it to have you home for the summer?” Ricky’s dad eyed him askance, but Ricky knew his dad was only kidding — and that his mom would have imploded if he’d decided to stay at school.

“Yeah, yeah.” Ricky laughed and heaved a box into his daddy’s arms. “Come on, what’s this job you’re talking about? I gotta train this summer, you know that.”

“Well, it’d build some muscle.” His dad winced, then got the box steadied so he could take it up the steps. “Not that you need more, it seems,” he said over his shoulder. “But Jack Corson was saying his usual yard man retired, and he doesn’t want to hire someone he doesn’t know.”

Jack Corson. Ricky couldn’t keep himself from turning to look at the house across the street, huge and imposing, just like the man who lived there. Jack Corson had been the source of many a late-night fantasy when Ricky was in high school. And, if he was totally honest, even last year at university.

“Okay,” he found himself saying, before he’d really thought it through. “I could do that.”

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