Three years in the military will change any man or woman in ways they might not truly understand until later in life. Tommy had changed in dramatic ways. . . . nobody, absolutely nobody, would ever think of calling him beanpole at six-five and 220 pounds. Pounds of pure muscle.
It was early June when Mick heard the car screech to a stop in front of his house. He peered curiously through the open draped window and saw a man he hadn’t seen in years . . . or was it? “Oh my God it is him – Tommy! Mick dropped his book, rushed to the door, and stepped onto the porch in stunned disbelief. “Look at you, Tommy! You look like a tight end on a pro football team, or the guy who kicked sand in the face of skinny kids on the beach. “We grew up with those ads, didn’t we Beanpole?” Mick couldn’t keep from laughing — Beanpole omore.
“Thanks, Mick. So good to see you and Valley View, its been a long time. You haven’t changed much,” he gave his friend a hug. Stepping back Tommy added , , , “nor has Cougartown for that matter,” He knew that prairie towns tend to wear the same suit of clothes one year after the other. The two young men chatted for nearly an hour with0ut bringing to mind Tommy’s humiliation. Mick had found his high school yearbook and lots of memories were shared. There was a long pause before Tommy said “I’ll only be in town for a few days . . . you know why I’m here, don’t you Mick.” Tommy’s eyes seemed to noticely slip into a steel gray.
“We’ve been beating around the bush long enough, Mick. Now . . . where in hell is Freddy Trainor? I have a gut feeling that he’s still here in Valley view pushing his weight around.” Mick felt that the question needed an honest answer. “He’s in town but I’ve been off to college for the most part so I haven’t seen . . .”
“Call the local bar for me, Mick. My knuckles are getting so hot they’re almost on fire. .
“Okay, Tom. .Btt carrying a grudge for so long isn’t right. After all lots of kids got bloodied up by that bully. Don’t you think that’s just a part of growing up?”
“Not with me it ain’t. You don’t have a clue about what that incident haa grown in my stomach for three years, Mick. The bar still called Brewsters?
He dialed, then looked up grimly from the phone. “No just an old classmatr’s visiting town and wants to say hello,” Rod said that he’s there, Tommy..”
Tommy’s grinwas lethal. “Lets go, there’s no time like the present. And I’d appreciate if you joined me, Mick. You were there when it happened that Friday long ago. . . you saw how I went into a shell after the humiliation.” Tommy laughed as he went in the door. Today you will see an entirely different outcome,.
The walked down the main street toward Brewsters without a word spoken between them. Both we posssesswd of their own thoughts, and apprehensions.
Inside the local bar was boisterous. yet above the noise one could hear the twang lonesome twang of an old country song by Willy. On the far side of the bar was Freddy Trainor talking with a wild head of blond hair and lipstick that any man would want to kiss, Tommy thought of the unraveling of fate . . . and the irony of this being a Friday. Revenge. Yes, sweet revenge. man’s eternal folly.