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  2. ObicanDecko


    It was just a few days after Travis left that I found myself having a problem I never predicted. Just one of those things you don’t ever think about until they happen. After two whole weeks of warm and sunny weather, we had our first taste of summer rain that night. It was a welcome and refreshing, although brief shower and I was happy for the break from the neverending heat. I woke up that morning and the pleasant smell of rain immediately hit my nostrils, coming through the cracked open window. I got dressed and went to the kitchen to make myself some coffee, which was when I had my unpleasant surprise. The tiled kitchen floor was all wet. I looked up and saw the ceiling was wet as well. Just brilliant, the roof was leaky! I found some old rags and wiped the floor clean, and then went to check all the other rooms. Luckily, they were all dry, which meant the roof was leaky only above the kitchen. Of course, I had no idea how to fix it. My knowledge of home repairs did not extend beyond changing light bulbs and maybe tightening loose screws - not that I had the tools to do it anyway. Even if I knew what to do, I didn’t have time because I had to hurry up and get ready for work. I had already lost enough time cleaning the kitchen, so I forgot about the coffee and breakfast and went to change. I’d think about the roof later. Before I went to school, I put a large bucket above the leaky spot just in case we get another unexpected shower. The classes that day went pretty well. It’s funny how before I came here, I was nervous about the kids accepting me as their teacher, but now interacting with them was the part of the job I was looking forward to the most. In our final class, the kids had to read short essays they wrote about someone from their family. A boy named Caleb wrote about his grandpa and how the old man broke his leg chasing after a stork that pooped on his tractor. I was glad he was one of the last kids to read his essay, because it made all of the other kids burst into laughter. It took them a while to calm down and not much work was done after that. The breaks in between classes, spent in the teachers’ office, were not as fun, to put it mildly. I simply had nothing in common with the other teachers, all of whom knew each other and had been working together for a long time. They didn’t avoid me or exclude me from their conversations, but I wasn’t really encouraged to join in either. One of the teachers, an old lady named Christie, was the loudest and most talkative of them all. When she talked, I swear you could hear her from any room in the school. Marina was the closest to me in age, so we got along rather well, but the others were mostly middle-aged or older. I rather liked Marina, and not just because she was my oasis in that desert of gossip. She was an interesting character, capable of having intelligent conversations on various topics. I found out from talking to her that her husband served in the military. When he returned from deployment, they decided to move to Taernsby as they were looking for a more relaxing environment. This was their third year living here and they seemed to be pretty happy. Hopefully I can say the same thing in a few months or years. “How long did it take you to get accustomed to living here?” I asked her during one of our breaks between classes. “Who says we’re accustomed?” she let out a playful chuckle. “I kid, but really, this is like nothing we’ve known before. I do have to say, moving here has helped my husband a lot after coming back. He has a vineyard here, works on the house, goes fishing. I enjoy it quite a lot, too. I miss my friends, but we still talk and they love to come around every now and then.” “So you don’t get bored?” I asked. That was still one of my main concerns, that it would get to the point of every day being the same and nothing exciting ever happening. People flee the country and move to the city every day, and it seemed I was the only one doing the opposite. “Of course, we all get bored sometimes, don’t we?” she shrugged elegantly. “Honestly, after living in the city for so long, this was just what the doctor prescribed. Gosh, I sound like I’m sixty and about to retire, but it’s true. We appreciate having time to ourselves, raising our little boy and just being in nature.” “I guess that’s always a plus. No noise or pollution.” I was still not entirely convinced, but hearing her story made me a bit more open to this experience I chose for myself. Maybe moving here could turn out to be not such a bad idea, even if only temporary. Maybe I could make it work! When I returned home from work, I remembered my problem with the roof and decided it would be the perfect opportunity to take Tom up on his offer. I was looking forward to talking to him for more than two minutes and getting to know him better. Only then did I realize I didn’t even have his phone number. Looking him up on Facebook was also useless since I didn’t know his last name. But, as it sometimes happens, fortune smiled on me that day and the first people I saw on the street when I left my house were able to help me. A nice, elderly couple were strolling by and were more than happy to explain in detail how to get to Tom’s farm. I also learned his last name was Claffey. His house was in the street east of mine, in a part of town I’ve never been to - or at least I didn’t remember ever going there. So, I decided to take a walk and pay him a visit. I still didn’t have his phone number to call in advance, so I could only hope he would be there. The walk took me less than ten minutes, and when I arrived to that part of the street, I could see a nice-looking house made of yellow brick. There was a well-maintained front lawn, as well as an even bigger backyard and a large garden behind it. I could see many wooden ancillary buildings in the backyard, where I assumed all the animals were kept. Not long after I rang the bell, a plump old lady opened the door. She wore a blouse and a long skirt, with an apron over it, while her white hair was tied in a bun. “Yes, how can I help you?” she asked in a much more energetic voice than I imagined her to have. “Uh, are you Mrs Claffey?” “Yes, and you are?” “I’m Charlie, nice to meet you,” I said, shaking her hand. “I work as a school teacher here, and I was wondering if Tom was here?” “Oh, the teacher - the little Greyston boy, is that right?” she asked, having obviously already heard about me. Hopefully not about the shop incident. “Yes, that’s me,” I nodded. “How nice of you to come here! I hope you’ve settled in nicely. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to call us. We’re having fewer children every year, I’m afraid. But they still need teachers, you know. Someone has to educate them. But not a lot of people want to work here.” “Yes, I have fifteen kids in my class.” “That’s nothing,” she waved her hand. “I remember when Tom went to school, there were at least two dozen in his class. Most of them gone now, left to the city to try their luck. And they should, while they’re young. I keep telling Tom to go out there and see the world. He says he likes it here at the farm. I say the farm will wait for you when you come back - but he won’t listen. Well, there’s only so much I can say to convince him, he’s very stubborn, you know.” I chuckled politely. I could see she was ready to talk for hours. “Speaking of Tom, is he home?” I asked, hoping to cut the conversation short. “Oh yes, he’s back there in the garden, weeding the onions. Even though it rained and the ground still hasn’t dried, he can’t leave it alone. He has to be out there, doing something. If he didn’t have to come in to eat and sleep, he’d be outside the whole time,” she said and stepped out, peeking behind the corner and calling out. “Tom, your friend’s here!!” “Who is it?” I could hear him shouting from behind the house. “Charlie!” the old woman yelled back. They weren’t that far away, I’m sure they could’ve had this exchange in a normal tone, but ok. I had to suppress a laugh, not wanting to offend her. She turned back toward me. “I’ll leave ya to it then, he’ll be on his way now,” she said as she patted my shoulder. “Feel free to come by any time, son. Oh, would you like some coffee or lemonade?” “Thank you, but no, I won’t be staying long. Maybe next time,” I nodded and she went back inside, closing the door behind her. I didn’t feel like waiting, so I went to meet Tom. As I went around the house and entered the garden, I saw him trying to clean his clothes. “Coming!” he yelled and looked up. “Hey,” he smiled, looking pleased to see me. “Hey, I hope you don’t mind me coming,” I smiled back and approached him. “Of course not!” He extended his hand for me to shake, but then remembered it was dirty, so he wiped it on his jeans. “Heh, sorry!” “I don’t mind,” I said, being completely honest. “Did I catch you in a bad time? What’ve you been doing?” “Oh, not at all, I was just doing a bit of weeding. I needed a break anyway.” I could see that. He looked all flustered and sweaty, although in a good way. He still seemed to be in a good mood, as if he wasn’t tired at all. “I could help if you want?” I offered. “We could finish more quickly together.” When I was a kid, I would often help my grandparents around the garden, doing stuff like watering plants, weeding and planting. It’s been a while since then, but hopefully I wasn’t too rusty. Even though Tom tried to dissuade me, I insisted, so we got down to finish the last row of onions. He started on one end, and I on the other. I was surprised at how easy the weeds were to pull out. “That’s because I’d already gone and got rid of the big ones,” Tom chuckled. “Now it’s just these little bastards that are left.” We finished quickly and as we stood up I looked around and couldn’t help admire the large property they had. You could see it was well taken care of. “Wow you have a lot of stuff planted, huh? I’m not even sure I recognize all of the plants,” I admitted. I knew my veggies the way they looked at the grocery store. I was less familiar with how they looked in the garden, with only the leaves sticking above the ground. Tom stood next to me and pointed at various areas, explaining what was planted in which section. “So, as you’ve seen, these are onions, and right over here are garlic and asparagus. Those few rows to the right is spinach, and behind it are green beans and peas. That whole area in the back is for watermelons and pumpkins.” “Ungh, I feel my mouth watering already. I love watermelons!” “I’ll bring you some when they’re ripe,” Tom offered. His eyes showed that he was very happy to see my enthusiasm about his work. “Sweet, I knew coming here would pay off,” I winked, feeling comfortable around him. Tom then showed me around the farm, briefly explaining what he and his grandparents were doing, all the while being sweet and considerate. He didn’t laugh at my almost complete ignorance of agriculture and farming, at least not maliciously. I learned that they raised and sold chickens, and that they also owned a large field a bit further away, where they grew corn and wheat. They sold most of it, but would always keep one portion for feeding the animals and making flour. While we were there, I got the distinct impression that Tom truly enjoyed what he was doing. It felt nice to see someone so passionate about something. “So, I did have a reason for coming here,” I finally said during a brief lull in conversation. “I wanted to ask for your help with something.” “Sure, what do you need?” he asked readily. “I kinda had a problem with rain last night, my roof above the kitchen seems to be leaky. To be honest, I wouldn’t even know where to begin with fixing it.” “Alright, we can go and have a look!” he said cheerily, as if I had just invited him for ice cream. His enthusiasm was certainly infectious and I found myself smiling involuntarily. “Hopefully it’s nothing too big and we can fix it quickly. Have you got any tools at home?” “You know, that is something a smart person would have remembered to check. Clearly, I am not one of them.” “That’s alright,” he let out a laugh, “I’ll bring my own and we’ll see what we can do! I’m guessing some roof tiles cracked or fell off. Do you have any trees near the house?” “Yeah, there’s two right outside the kitchen.” “Sometimes, if the wind is strong, the branches can hit the roof tiles and damage them,” he explained. We sat in his truck and he drove us back to my place. I first led him inside to show him where the water leaked, after which we went back outside to locate the possible damage. I found a ladder in one of the sheds, which Tom used to climb to the roof. Apparently, some of the shingles were cracked, letting the rain in. Unlike me, he had obviously expected that something like that might be the case, so he brought some sealant and repaired the crack. He said the gutters needed cleaning too, as they were full of leaves, but we left that for another time as I didn’t want to abuse his good will to help. Even though I wasn’t of much help at all, I stayed outside with him the whole time, so I can observe the whole process. Maybe some of his skill would rub off on me. After everything was done, I invited him inside for a beer. That’s when I decided to take the plunge and be open with him. He was unlike any other guy I had ever met, and maybe that’s what attracted me to him. I wasn’t sure, but I wanted to find out. “Tom, I hope you don’t think the only reason I called you over was to help me with the roof,” I said, daring to look him straight in the eyes. “Oh?” He was truly a man of few words. I found it amusing and very endearing. “I’m sorry if got my signals crossed, but it seemed to me that we have a connection, and I was wondering if it’d be ok if I asked you out? I’d really like to see you again,” I explained and he put his beer bottle down on the little coffee table and looked at me. “Yeah, I’d like that!” he nodded and flashed a smile. “Well… great!” I was happy to hear that. “You know I’m talking about going on a date?” “Yeah,” he nodded again. “Great! So I’ll call you to make plans, ok? Or you can call me, that works too!” We exchanged numbers and sat around for a little longer, comfortable around each other. We chatted about Kayla, my moving to Taernsby and working at the school. Even though we didn’t kiss or do anything sexual that day, I still counted it as a big victory because I’d asked him out and he said yes. I was ready to get to know him better, and although he didn’t say it, I think he wanted the same thing with me. At least I hoped so.
  3. Life has been so hectic. I sent my most recent chapter to my editor and he's always wonderful about getting it back to me quickly, so keep your eyes open the next Homestead chapter in the next few days.

  4. hobo

    New Kid In School

    in my opinion the best story of Comicality there is so much up and down fights without weapons love pain. many different characters.and then the brilliant spin-off´s. not 5 stars a sack must get this story
  5. @Comicality Just a thought: What if Ruel made a cover of Aerosmith's "Dream On"?
  6. God, this is beautiful. I love it. Great shot.
  7. A desi poem for you guys. And any and every comment will be appreciated... 


  8. clochette


    Adorable. Happy Easter to you and your family
  9. नफरत प्यार से बढ़कर बेहद नशा नफरत में ही होती है || और नफरत से बड़ी बर्बादी दुनिया में होती ही नहीं ||
  10. As it's almost Easter...here is some happy music. This performance is almost breathtakingly fine. Beautiful. Francesco d'Avalos leads The Philharmonia in Clementi's Symphony No. 4.
  11. Harley would never forgive me if I forgot his favorite holiday...


    1. spikey582


      What does body piercing and porn have to do with cannabis enthusiasm?

    2. Carlos Hazday

      Carlos Hazday

      Walmart for fun people.

  12. Ryan says to Randy that he tells his friends that cody is his friend. in the real highscholl that would be Ryan's downfall.
  13. ColumbusGuy

    Chapter 20

    An old man...giant cats...is one of them Macavity? Perhaps the man is named Possum, or Eliot. :) Now we have cats, the story has reached the highest plane of existence....
  14. Today
  15. northie


    You'll just have to keep reading, won't you.
  16. northie


    What do we know about the first drafts put in by commercially-published authors?
  17. chris191070


    Such a cute bunny. Happy Easter 🐣
  18. Wayne Gray


    Such a cute little bunny. 🙂
  19. aditus

    Day 16 to day 20

    Thank you, Parker for reading my poems and for the kind words. I had to stop myself while writing 'Soul searching'. Bees started with a joke between Val and me. The witch's name was Traut. I'll never forget her.
  20. WolfM

    Chapter 38

    Thank you, Backwoods
  21. WolfM

    Chapter 39

    Thanks, Backwoods. I like that description Last minute decisions of, "Oh, I think I'll do this" or "that's too obvious, I need to change it."
  22. and then going back to bed ...
  23. Saturdays are for waking up slow. Mmmm.
  24. Wayne Gray

    Wayne’s Randomness

    Exactly as described in the name.
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