"Well, this is a surprise." Emily told Archie in the kitchen while she was making him a roast beef sandwich. He looked hungry. She didn't know if he even wanted it or liked mayo on his sandwich.
She sat it down at the table with a glass of apple juice she'd been giving the girls. Archie sat down as if he was supposed to and started eating.
"What made you decide to-"
She thought he was going to say something when he looked up at her, but he went right on chewing for a good while, in fact. As if it could wait. Or he might not tell her at all. She went to get herself some juice then. Of course, she had to wait until he'd devoured the whole sandwich.
"I dunno, thought I might take a drive, and ended up here." He nodded then thanked her for the sandwich. "I kind of forgot about eating. I didn't smoke one cigarette on the trip, either."
Of course when he lifted his T-shirt to expose his stomach, there were half a dozen nicotine patches stuck to him.
"Well, I guess that's a start." She gave him a smile for trying.
"I'm feeling pretty good, too." He nodded.
"OK." Emily gave him an open smile then. It was probably the nicotine patches.
"And I have to tell you something," Archie sounded as if was the biggest news ever.
Emily sucked in a breath. He was going to say, she could feel it. "My brother told me everything, I know who you are, Emily. I know what he did." Emily's heart beat tighten. It was coming. Something, she didn't know if she could stand to here him even say the words.
"What is it?" She was sitting there at the kitchen table, gripping it almost, and waiting.
"Well," he said slowly. "I'm going to die."
Emily just stared even lipped. She flinched ever so slightly as he said that sentence. She pressed her lips together, wishing she'd put on chap stick, Vaseline. Something. He was staring at her face.
"Some day....and ...and until then would you let see you? You know, every now and then. I'd really like to spend some time with you." He scratched his oily head of hair then.
"Oh." She felt a lump in her throat.
"Well, I know you're busy. And I live in Omaha and you're here. It would be hard, but it would be worth it. It would. I'd see to that."
Her eyes were wet. She felt her heart sinking. What was happening?
"Are you all right?"
"Yes," Emily said quickly as if he were going to walk all the way here every weekend. "Yes, I would like that."
"Swell." His smile brightened. "Well, then I guess I'll go then."
"Where will you go? You just got here," Emily squinted.
"Oh, I'll sleep in my car." He told her.
"My cat's in the car."
"Well, bring him in. You're not going anywhere." She told him. She'd figure something out tonight about what to do with him.