Chapter 1 – Part 3
“And here you are! A large coffee for my favorite French customer!”
“Thanks a lot. You have a great day.”
“Always. You too.”
The young barista with purple ends to her hair winked at the man who winked back at her.
It was time to get back on track. Quickly. Not easy with a… a glance at the date on the newspaper stand… April 8th, 2005… A four-month gap. Not to mention almost two decades’ worth of memories that were now useless and would take too long to fade. Getting out of the Java Lounge and going home was a good start. He hoped he hadn’t moved during those four months.
Twenty minutes later, he arrived in front of 307 NW 2nd Street. There was no unknown parked car out front. The key in his pocket unlocked the door. The house was in pretty much the same condition as he remembered. Things were starting out easily. He didn’t know if he should be happy about it or see it as a bad omen. He knew from experience that “easily” was rarely good news.
As soon as he got in, he turned the computer on and jumped in the shower while the machine booted. One day, he would have to look into this. Sure, the computer was old, but almost five minutes to start up was not normal.
A few minutes later, he opened the walk-in closet. He paused in front of a cupboard in the back. He took a deep breath – that was as theatrical as it was useless – and opened the cupboard.
What was in it were memories, emotions, and his old “uniform.”
The Doc Martens still needed good polishing. He knew that some of his old colleagues would get a good laugh when seeing him wearing these leather pants. He didn’t care. He needed them for his return to business. It wasn’t really superstition, but… Pfff… Of course, it was superstition, who was he trying to fool? Why else would he wear such a piece of clothing in the middle of the 2000s? He’d have plenty of time to change to something more appropriate later.
When the T-shirt appeared under the pants, it was like seeing an old friend for the first time after many years. It was still in good shape, it just needed a bit of ironing. Many confused the symbol on the chest with a target, and the few who recognized it often mistook Bond for a Mod or a Who fan. Wasn’t it the same thing? He wasn’t sure and didn’t care. Even if he liked that band, it wasn’t to the point of paying them homage with his clothing. This T-Shirt was like the pants, a necessary element for his return.
The second bag in the cupboard contained all his tools and equipment. He’d have to ask the Taulier to get him the proper documentation to be able to bring those on a plane.
After getting dressed, he sat down in front of the computer. He only took the time to reply to three e-mails and send a couple more.
He had just gotten home, but he already had to leave his house and Gainesville again. What he didn’t know was that he was never going to return.
Frenchman, exiled on the other side of the planet, DavidB writes. It's not always very good, but who cares, the goal is to write. Sometimes, he also does other things.
MetaStructure is one of his longest-running projects. It was started in the early 2000s. Stopped many times. Started over a few times. Let's hope this time is the right one.