- A Serialized Novel -

Sorting out Carson's legacy only leads to more questions.

Author’s Note: Plans change so often, but it’s important to have them, right?

The Day’s Plans

Mackenna cleared away the dishes from breakfast with Carson’s help. He passed them to her so that she could load the dishwasher as she went along. She didn’t say anything, but she couldn’t help thinking that they made a pretty good team and had already settled into a routine, here and at his apartment. They’d make decent roommates.

He could stay here if he broke his lease. Well, Mac would have to agree to that, but she’d be okay with it. She would like it a lot, if she was honest. They had similar patterns of behavior—both insomniacs—and she enjoyed having someone to pass those long hours with for a change.

“I’m heading into town.”

“Okay, Mac,” she said, aware of the lingering, always unspoken question that went with those words. She didn’t do what he did on Sundays, and she didn’t know that she ever would. Maybe if she ever felt healed enough, if she didn’t find it hard to reconcile faith with all the bad she’d seen, but she just couldn’t bring herself to go there now. “We’ll see you when you get back.”

“You’ve got plans?”

“Well, we can either prep Shadow or go over Phantom some or take a nap because neither of us slept last night, but we’ll have to play it by ear. Did you want to wait on getting Shadow ready? I can save that for when you’re back.”

Mac nodded, pointing behind her, and she turned to the sink. She grimaced as she looked at the dishes that needed to be washed by hand. She should deal with them now—had to do them before Tuesday—but she didn’t want to do it. She never did. Still, this was her week for dishes, and she was getting off easy since they’d be gone for most of the week.

“All right. I’ll get them done before you get back. Carson can help.”

He frowned at her, and she elbowed him, so he rolled his eyes. “Yeah, sure. I’ll help dry them. That’s it.”

“Behave,” Mac said, heading out of the kitchen. Mackenna almost laughed, but then again, she wasn’t sure she liked what might have been implied by his warning. She wasn’t a troublemaker, and she took care of all of her responsibilities around here.

“So, out of curiosity, why didn’t you say you were going to fix the truck? I mean, that’s what you need to haul the cars to your run, right? So if you need the truck, you should work on it, shouldn’t you?”

She winced. “Oh, there is that. I don’t know that it’s salvageable, to be honest, but it’s hard to be a mechanic and admit that I can’t fix something. It’s so demoralizing. I mean, if you think about it, what mechanic can’t fix her own car?”

“If the car’s had enough, it’s had enough. You can’t do anything about it. I mean, mine’s totaled, right? That is what we’re saying about it.”

“You’re not a mechanic.”

“True, but the same principle applies. No amount of new parts would be worth it. You know… Larry really liked you, and he inherited Grandpa’s truck, the one I drove Phantom over here in, so if you wanted to ask him to borrow that one…”

“I don’t think encouraging your brother is a good idea. I’m not interested in him, and from what I gathered, his ex-wife did a number on him when she left.”

“Nick’ll tell you that’s what he deserved for marrying a lawyer in the first place, but I’m not so sure I agree. I didn’t ever like the woman, I admit that, but Larry did. He loved her. She even seemed to love him. It was just that they were from two different worlds. Her career was more important to her, and he wasn’t ambitious, and so they drifted. She climbed the ladder, slept with a few people along the way, and they split. She blamed the glass ceiling. He told her would have shot through it for her. I think a part of him still loves her. Yeah, don’t mess with Larry’s heart. It’s not fair.”

“I won’t. I promise.” Mackenna shook her head. “I don’t know. I’m not the marrying kind, but I just don’t know how a career could be more important. Of course, when you grow up a bit starved for companionship, you value it more than some people do. My aunt was such a mess, and I probably could have used some therapy after my uncle died—I was a bit traumatized and not easy to know—so I was alone a lot.”

“You really did need a brother or sister.”

“It might have helped, yeah.”

“Well, you have three now, so that’s something, right?”

She nodded. “It is. I’m glad you came here with Phantom. Even if we don’t ever get you all your memories back—and I still think we will—you coming here was important. For both of us. We needed to meet. We need each other.”

“We do. More than we knew.”

“Oh, hey, I should dig out that song. More than You Know. I think I have a version of Ella Fitzgerald doing it,” Mackenna said, thinking that washing the dishes deserved a soundtrack anyway. She could think of several songs that suggested that singing made things better, and she agreed with them. “Just a second. I’ll find it.”

Carson smiled. “No worries. I’m not going anywhere.”

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