“You did see them outside didn’t you? They’ve been here all afternoon.”
“So I’ve heard.” Cindy said. She began to look at her friend with a cautious glance.
“They’re nice guys Cindy. “ Randi re-assured her.
Cindy took a deep breath. She began to smooth back some of the stray red hairs that Randi’s comb missed.
“I’m sure they are. Wes told me they struck up a little friendship with you.”
“Yeah. From one writer to another. That type of thing, that’s what we’re going to talk about. ” Randi said. She packed up the rest of her stuff and threw her purse into her athletic bag. She walked back over to the locker and slammed it shut.
“Do you want to go down that road again sweetie? It’s not those two I’m worried about.” Cindy now looked very concerned.
“You know Cindy, to be honest, I’m not sure. But I also know I can’t continue to wait on table for the rest of my life.” Randi told her friend.
“There’s nothing wrong with waiting on tables Randi. It’s a good living.” Cindy told her.
”No there isn’t Cindy, not at all. It’s just not for me. Can Jon or Richie help? I don’t know. Would they want to considering how they here specifically to be bothered. I don’t know either. But being who they are, I can’t help but to be very excited and learn from whatever they have to say. Right or wrong. Good or bad. I don’t know. I can’t give up Cindy. I just can’t. “ Randi said with tears welling up in her eyes.
Cindy walked closer to her and gave her a hug.
“Be careful. Please. You got hurt the last time and I’d hate for it to happen again.” Cindy said.
“It won’t Cind. Being very cautious. “ Randi smiled through tears.
Cindy kissed her on the cheek and walked out of the locker area.
Randi took her bag and walked out the door and back out into the diner where Jon and Richie were waiting for her.
Randi smiled warmly at them both.
“Okay guys. Ready?” she asked.
“Where to?” Jon asked her
Randi said. “Follow me and I’ll show you. Everyone have a good night!” Randi yelled.
“Night Randi!” Wes said.
Cindy looked concerned as she watched Randi get into the car. She watched anxiously as Jon and Richie followed Randi’s car to the quarry. .
Dusk was arriving in Madison as the sun dressed the canyon in several shades of purples and blues. Jon couldn’t help but to stop and step off his bike for a moment to take some photos to show the children.
Randi stopped and got of the car.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” she asked him.
“This is what you call God’s country. This is beautiful. You must get so lost in your thoughts here.”
“Sorry. I don’t.” she said.
“No?” he asked.
“I don’t get to see this type thing of that often. The back of a limo? Yes. Canyons with a gorgeous view? Nope.”
“Never thought about it that way.” Randi said.
“Don’t get me wrong. I have a good life and wouldn’t change any of it. But this? This proves that life and how we live and deal with things are so small when compared to this.” Jon told her as he walked back to the bike and put the back into its bag.
He got back on his bike, winked at Richie. The two waited for Randi to get back into the car and they followed her the rest of the way to Rooker’s Quarry.
The Quarry was gorgeous. Large walls of beige stone surrounded a silver lake.
Jon and Richie were stunned at its beauty.
“This is gorgeous. “ Richie said.
“It is.” Randi said.
‘This is where I get lost.” She whispered to Jon. The two men followed her down to the shore with guitars and notepads in hand.
The three of them talked well into the night. They spoke about kids, life, work and death.
“Did I tell you Jon that Ava likes a boy?” Richie said.
“Huh?…Mmm. No?” Jon said.
“That’s what I said. “ said Richie. “ Isn’t she like eight?” Jon said.
”Yep. And she’ll grow up to be the prettiest girl in that convent.” Richie said.
“A boy.” Richie said sarcastically. “Well Rich, it could be worse. “ Jon quipped. Randi laughed.
“Honestly, I’m not ready. She’s too young. I’m telling ya both. It’s payback. I can see it now.” Richie said. Jon laughed.
“Then I’m getting it tenfold because Steph doesn’t tell me anything. Not about boys, her friends, school…Nothing. “
“No?” Randi said.
“Nope. She hates me.”
“No! Jonny C’mon.” Richie said.
“Richie you saw her before we left. She does. I betcha she’s so happy that I’m gone.” Jon said.
“No. I doubt that she’s happy you being gone. All of this is why you and I are here is good. Steph does not hate you. She misses her mother and is looking for something to blame what’s happened. It’s not your fault either. So stop blaming yourself for that. .” Richie told him.
“Ava mad at you leaving? “ Jon asked.
“I don’t think so. I thought she would be but I think that because of dad being gone that she wants to be with her grandmother. According to my mom, I was the last thing on her mind.” Richie said.
“But her new boyfriend was.” Jon quipped.
“Richie smiled. “She can see him when she’s 80. “ Richie snickered. Jon and Randi laughed.
“So Randi. Do you have kids?” Richie asked.
“I do. I have a son.” She said.
“Do you ?” Jon said.
“I do. He’s four. And his name is Everett and he has blue eyes like me and he’s got read hair like me. Here, let me show you.” She said as she opened up her bag and took out a photograph of her son and passed it to Jon. He smiled. “Man, you couldn’t give him away. He’s adorable. Randi, he looks just like you.” Randi smiled proudly.
“I’d never give him up. That’s why I left his dad.” She said weakly. “He wanted it to be just the two of us. Good guy. But when it came to being a dad…He wasn’t having it. Everett meant more to me than a writing career and most of all him.
Jon looked at her and put his arm around her. “Sorry Rand.” He said.
“For what? I’m more sorry for him not realizing what a great son he has.” Randi said. She took a deep breath and smiled Jon gave her back he picture. She put it in her purse. “Okay enough about me. “ she said. “I have to know what are two rock superstars riding around with no security doing here in Madison, Arizona?”
“Catching a breath.” Richie said.
Just then Jon began to take off his shirt. Randi looked over at him stunned. As if there weren’t a care in the world. He took of his pants. “Mmm. Me? About to go swimming. Care to join me?” he said. Getting a running start and then jumping into the lake.
Randi was frozen.