Louie always had a thing for cars yet claimed he wasn’t a car person. We’d be driving around town and he’d spit fire facts about the GTR that was backfiring or the Camaro with twin turbo, which meant the guy had an ego problem. Yet he wasn’t a car person. After all he refused to trade in his beat-up Chevy, he called Red, for one of the new models with gadgets and gizmos as he’d say. Red often broke down and needed a lot more TLC then Louie could handle, but he didn’t care. Red was the last gift he received from his father, maybe that’s why he didn’t want to trade it in.
At least once a month Louie would spend an entire weekend covered in grease while Red was torn apart across the driveway in a desperate attempt to fix that rattling sound, the muffler falling off or the dreadful heat the air conditioner put out. I’d help Louie by handing him tools or holding the flashlight when the sun went down and he refused to give up and have a mechanic look at Red. Louie’s father always worked on Red so it seemed only fair that Louie do the same.
Louie and I first met five years ago just after his father had passed away. Louie ran straight into me while baking up to look at the different ice cream flavors. I ended up falling into the toilet paper pyramid which caused an avalanche on aisle 17. I’m not sure who was more embarrassed him or me but that was just the beginning. A few weeks later a man bought my coffee, so I paid for the person behind me, low and behold it was Louie.
We ended up chatting away as we walked around the town square, he apologized at least ten times about the avalanche. He explained how he was out of it that day but truth be told, I didn’t mind. Louie was a well-kept shaggy man who inherited the hardware store which has been in his family for three generations. He hadn’t worked in the store since he went to college. After he graduated his father wanted him to come back to work at the store but Louie had just started his career as a young hot shot attorney.
Here’s a draft of a short story. Not sure where it will go if it goes anywhere. The title is also a working title.