It’s been nearly a year since the last time I thought about Coach Walter Flint and his niece Emily. A wave of inspiration smothered me today (based on a real conversation). Pulling in from the fifteenth and twelfth bayous.
Walter Flint was already sitting outside when Emily pulled up to the hospital’s entrance. They rode in silence for a few minutes before she asked her uncle what had happened. The explanation filled the twenty-minute drive to the Drexel Perennial where Walter had left his car. Emily suggested her uncle inform Coach Floyd of the turn of events before calling a meeting to break the news to the rest of the coaches. Walter thought it was a good idea.
“Don’t you want to know what I was doing when you phoned me?” Emily called out moments after her uncle closed the passenger side door.
“And what was that?”
“Hooking up cords for Kyle at the DM.”
“That boy never could figure out where to stick those things,” Walter replied as he waved good-bye to his niece.
Emily laughed and waved back. She paused briefly at the end of the exit gate and decided to turn left back towards town. Because of the morning’s excitement, she didn’t get a chance to get coffee. If she was going to keep her word to Bart Hoolbacs about taking care of his problem with the Stevens girl, she’d need all the cerebral clarity she could muster.
Emily took the side entrance into the coffee shop, placed her order for a medium espresso product and scanned the seating area for an opening. Every third table was occupied. Emily was about to ask for the drink to go when she saw Kyle sitting in one of the green armchairs towards the front of the shop. A pile of papers was in his lap and a couple of books lay by his feet. His jacket was resting on the left arm rest. When Emily’s latte was ready, she gathered the mug and carefully carried it in Kyle’s direction.
“Do you mind if I sit here for a few minutes?”
Kyle looked up, smiled, and shook his head. “Please.”
Moonlight Sonata gave an encore as soon as Emily sat down. Kyle apologized and answered his phone. He didn’t go outside to take the call. Though he lowered his voice, Emily could still hear grunts of “my lawyer,” “Hong Kong,” and “Porsche.”
“Sorry about that,” Kyle said.
“Not at all.” Emily sipped her drink.
Kyle arched his back and stared at the ceiling, then let out a deep exhale.
“So, what do you do when you’re not answering unpleasant phone calls?”
“Not much…make sure my dogs don’t kill each other.”
Emily stared at him.
“That was a joke…my dogs love each other.”
Emily narrowed her eyes as she took another sip of her latte.
“You don’t believe me?”
Emily put her mug down on the table between them. She assured Kyle that she believed him–she just wanted to know the name of the woman that has called him three times and each time has upset him to the point of exasperation. Though he thought Emily was being presumptuous, he remained silent when she remarked that perhaps he would let a man get him that riled up.
“What kind of man lets another man get to him so effectively when there isn’t a state championship at stake?” Emily added, waiting for Kyle’s reaction.