Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye by Dana Loberg

Moving On

Denis Bell

“Picked her up last week at Lincoln Mall. She’s hot, man!”

“Sweet. Been out much?”

“Took her to a dive in Old Town last night.”

“How’d that go?”

“A-okay!”

“Glad to hear it, man. You deserve some joy in your life, after the business with Charlotte.”

“Ain’t that the truth.”

“Bit rough, there, by the sound of it.”

“You don’t know the half of it. Five years. Everything hunky dory. Then she goes and has this major melt down. Just like that. Lucky to get out of there with my skin intact.”

“Jesus. What happened, man?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. She just … exploded on me.”

“Exploded.”

“Only way I can think to describe it.”

“What set her off?”

“Damned if I know. Never saw it coming.”
“Weird. Something like this, you think there’d have been signs that things weren’t right. Signals along the way. A red light.”

“You’d think, wouldn’t you? That’s what I’ve been pondering myself. Racking my brains ever since it happened. I’m thinking that perhaps the signs were there and I missed them.”

“How’s that?”

“I don’t know, seems like she was acting cranky for a while. Whining, like I wasn’t treating her right. Sucks. I always did the best I could by her.”

“I know it. I was saying to Sheila just the other day, never was a man so committed as old Bilbo – took care of her real good.”

“I so much want to believe that.”

“Yeah, well…What happened to her afterwards?”

“What do you think? They came and took her away. State Police. Fire Rescue. Looked like a scene from NCIS.”

“Sounds like a total nightmare.”

“Tell me about it.”

“You haven’t seen her since, I suppose.”

“Nope. Nor do I intend to.”

“It’s just good to see you getting out and about again.”

“Well, I thought about it and thought about it and finally I figured, what the hell. The kind of shape she’s in, no way she’s ever gonna be … rehabilitated. Figured I needed to suck it up and cut.”

“Smart. Gotta be tough on you, though. After five years. Seeing how attached you were to her, and all.”

“Five years, fifty years. What you gonna do, sit around the house forever moping over spilled milk? Can her and move on.’’

‘Really.”

“Course, the whole frigging business is costing me an arm and a leg.”

“I hear your pain, man. Nothing comes cheap these days.”

“Yeah. Gotta be worth every last penny, though.”

“Nice to see you taking it so well.”

“Life has a way at times of compensating us for our losses. Wait till you catch a load of this hot little number I’m into now!”

“Charlotte’s replacement.”

“Yee-haw.”

“Something a bit special, I’m guessing.”

“You might say.”

“Cool. When can I meet…?

“Christine. She’s right outside as we speak. I asked the valet to pull her up to the back door.”