Isaac grabs Olvie’s arm as she reaches the doorknob. “Olvie, don’t you do it. I don’t need protection just because a man’s called me names. I’m used to it. And you marching over there and giving him a tongue lashing will only make things worse.”
“He’s right, Olvie,” I say.
Then I realize. Isaac’s endured this kind of treatment his whole life. So have his friends and family and so many others. I also realize that the bigoted man across the street is using Isaac to calm his own domestic storm, to diffuse the quarrel by placing greater importance on what he doesn’t know as his personal fear and stupidity.
We didn’t hear the rest of the conversation. And now, Deputy Garvey has driven off.
Something else occurs to me. “Olvie? You used to harass Isaac’s uncle every morning.”
“What? You think I’m no better than Roberts of Asshole? Is that what you’re trying to say?”
It’s a thought worthy of her Pursuing. “No. I’m just wondering why you stopped messing with him.”
Olvie shrugs. “Guess having his nephew work for me is a good enough retaliation.”
“Well, that makes me feel peachy,” say Isaac.
“Oh, Wisenheimer, don’t be so sensitive. It has nothing to do with you. You, I happen to like. Your uncle and me have had a beef a long while now.”
“Why? What did he do that was so bad?” Isaac asks.
Although Olvie turns to the side, I see the tears puddle in the corner of her left eye.
“That,” she says so quietly I can barely hear her, “is a long story. It’s also my story.”
Work in Progress – a novel about diverse friendships in 1963.
Daily prompt: Pursue
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