My Name is D, Part 3: Jackpot
From Part 1: I opened my door. Regretfully, I was not paying attention to my nearest blind spot, so worried was I about watching the road behind me. A – she was dangerous and she was pissed.
I smashed the unknown woman in the leg. I heard the crack. I heard her scream and my heart sank. Oh no, not again. . .
I turned, expecting the worst.
What I got was a slap to the face and the bellicose roar of a husky grandmother.
Well, I guessed she was a grandmother. She was as hunched, wrinkled and grey as one, but I’m not entirely certain that any man had been able to get past the mustache and deep voice to make an honest woman of her – or a woman at all, for that matter.
I rubbed my cheek where her gloved hand had left its mark and attempted to offer my apologies. I can be suave when I want to be, but Grandma was having none of it.
“Don’t try to sweet-talk me, you worthless, good-for-nothing drifter. Yes, drifter. I know your kind – look what you did to my cane! How do you expect me to walk to church – to the market – to my bridge club – with my cane looking like this!
She held the mangled thing up for me to see. I winced. Old Johnson’s car was a trash heap but it was a solidly-built trash heap. I think that cane – looking as calcified as its owner – would have dented the door to any modern car. Unfortunately, the boat of a Buick had trashed it.
As she shook it in my face, a bit of metal clattered to the pavement. I bent to pick it up and spied a glittering within the splintered once-handsome cane. In fact, quite a bit about Grandma glittered.
There was gold in them there hills, as A would say.
I held the cane’s brass tip and quickly re-evaluated the woman before me. She’d stopped yelling at me. For the moment, she was content with merely giving me a glare fierce enough to scare most puppies and small children.
I am not a puppy, nor am I small.
The mustache wasn’t so bad – all woman of a certain age get them, I hear. And she wasn’t so much wrinkled as slightly rumpled, like a loved-in bed. And have I mentioned that grey is one of my favorite colors? No? Well, it is.
Yes, yes I think I could make this work.
I gave Grandma a smile.
“Please accept my deepest apologies my good woman. This is not my car, merely a loan. I was stranded on the road and a good man, named Ronald Johnson, gave me . . . .this so that I could make my way to the nearest mote of civilization to file a complaint against the brigands who accosted me.”
Grandma stared at me. There was a slight flush to that ancient cheek. I clasped her hand in mine, and placed the cane’s tip at the heart of her gloved palm.
“My name is Declan McAlister,” I said, staring into the eyes that were neither clouded nor bemused. “And you must allow me to assist you.”
A: D, you . . . you . . . how could you?
D: How could I what? He broke the dear woman’s cane. He needed to make reparations. He was simply being honorable.
A: Honorable, my Aunt Fanny. D took one look at that old woman’s fancy cane and saw the words “sugar momma” all over her.
D: D is driving a hunk of junk that rattles and belches unmentionable smells. He needs help.
A: Oh boy, does he ever! Oh, and D. . . I notice he’s using a fake name.
D: Your point?
A: Guess you liked Declan after all, hm?
D: It worked in a pinch. Don’t get your hopes up.
A: (Eye roll) Indeed.