Four grunts, an indignant voice asking why nobody could leave a hat alone, a slammed door, and Mr. Packington had departed to catch the eight-forty-five to the city. This was the second time this week that someone had taken his hat and left theirs. Could they not tell the difference in the feel, the smell, the fit of the hat? He would have worn the other hat but it just did not feel right and it smelled of some kind of foo foo men’s cologne.
He was picking Maude up at 9 for dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. He was looking forward to some Ribollita and a lasagna.
Mr. Packington noticed that the bus was not especially full tonight. That was a relief. He dreaded those thugs that just sit there and stare at you like they want to eat your liver and with those pants down past their ass crack. What are they thinking these days?
He had decided to close his eyes for a little bit when someone kicked his foot. Looking up he connected with the eyes of a stranger.
“Give me your wallet,” the stranger said.
He had his hand in his pocket as if to insinuate that he was packing a gun or knife or some kind of weapon.
“You have got to be kidding me!” said Mr. Packington with astonishment. “We are on a public bus, buddy.”
“I’m not your fucking buddy and I want you to give me your wallet,” the stranger said surprisingly calm.
Mr. Packington looked around the bus for anyone to notice what was happening. There seemed to be someone in the very front all hunkered down in their seat.
“Help me. This man is trying to rob me,” he cried to the front of the bus.
“No one is going to help you so you might as well give me your wallet.”
“Can I just give you the money and let me keep my wallet?”
“Hell no. I want the cards, the money, the photo of your woman and the spare condom you probably keep in your wallet.”
Mr. Packington realized that he had no choice. God, tomorrow was going to be hell. Oh, no, he would have to ask Maude to pay for their dinner and his bus ticket back.
He handed the wallet to the stranger reluctantly. The stranger grabbed it from his hand. He sauntered to the front of the bus and pulled the cord for the bus to stop. He had the wallet in his hands looking it over and was not watching what he was doing.
As the doors of the bus opened, a hand shot out from the front seat and the wallet was grabbed. A foot stretched out and kicked the stranger out the door. The door closed and the bus took off.
A thug with a smurky look walked back to Mr. Packington. He had on pants that fell below his ass crack. He had a tattoo on his neck and on the hand carrying the wallet.
“Did you lose something?” the thug passed the wallet from hand to hand.
Mr. Packington swallowed before he spoke. “Yes I did. Will you please return it?”
The thug handed the wallet to Mr. Packington and Mr. Packington opened it and took out a twenty. “Here, thank you so much.”
The thug shrugged his shoulders, “No man. That is not why I did it. I’m just helping out my fellow man. You keep your money. Next time you see someone in need, help them out, will you?”
Mr. Packington could not have been more amazed. Here was a poster boy for all the thugs in this town and he had just done a good deed. “I guess I must be wrong.” Mr. Packington thought to himself.
Mr. Packington walked to the front of the bus and sat down next to the thug. He stuck out his hand and said, “My name is George Packington and I would like to know your name.”
“The name is Nelson.”
They shook hands and Mr. Packington set out to have a conversation with Nelson. He discovered that Nelson worked as a butcher over at the grocery store near downtown. He was going there now to put in a night shift. He had a wife and two daughters and a newborn son. He was Baptist, sang in the choir, and secretly wanted to buy a Harley Davidson but doubted he ever would.
Mr. Packington told Nelson that he was a semi-retired lawyer and a widower. He had a girlfriend downtown and they were going out for Italian food tonight. He also told him about his three grown children and the dog he had to put down about six month prior.
The bus came to a stop and the driver pointed out to Mr. Packington that it was his stop.
Mr. Packington shook hands again with Nelson and left the bus a better man. And the next time someone was in need, he helped them.
This was a writing prompt for the day. I was to choose a book and use the first sentence to write a story. Thanks to Agatha Christie's Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective which I have not read in a very long time.
Photo is Baja, Mexico where we went for my younger daugher's wedding. I wish I was there right now.