Invisible - Part 8

Continued from Part 7: Memories

(Public Domain)
Part 8: Musings

Miriam blinks in surprise. "Me? You want me to help you? How?" 

Margaret smiles and begins, "Well..." Just then, her attention is caught by Mooch, who darts from between a row of shelving. Margaret leans down to pet him, but then she gasps and jumps to her feet. 

"Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit! Mac Mackay, is that you?" 

When Mac looks over toward the seating area at the front of the shop, he sees a vision in technicolor rushing over to him. It takes a moment for him to recognize her; after all, it's been ages since he's seen her. This woman is older, of course. He remembers his friends ragging on him about her. "Margaret Jackson is kinda dowdy, dude."  The woman throwing her arms around him in a big hug now could never be called dowdy She is, well, magnificent.  If anyone could be called dowdy, it's him, standing there in his bus-wrinkled khakis and rumpled chambray shirt, looking gobsmacked.

"Maggie Jackson! How the hell are you, Girl? Wow, you look great!” 

"Do you know, no one has called me 'Girl' since you took your idiot self and went off in search of fame and fortune, breaking my heart in the process. For that matter, no one's calls me Maggie Jackson. I'm Margaret Shaw now.”  

"Of course. You're married. Well, no matter the last name, you’ll always be Maggie to me. But, I'm not Mac Mackay anymore, either. Hollywood decided I'd be a bigger box office draw if I were Mackenzie Chastain. Can you believe it? I got used to it, though, so..." 

“I’m not married anymore,” Margaret says, a dark cloud crossing her face. “Andy---that was my husband; we met in college---he was killed in Iraq during W’s folly. IED. We never had the chance to have kids. I’ve been a single lady ever since, throwing myself into my work.”  

“Oh, I’m sorry about your husband. I didn't know” Mac says. 

Margaret gives her head a little shake, setting the unruly grey hair around her face into motion. The cloud on her face passes and a sunny smile replaces it. “Anyway, I’m a slave to my job no longer! I retired yesterday.” 

“So, tell all,” Margaret goes on. “I’m not much of a movie-goer. Did you find the pot at the end of the rainbow?" 

“Ha! I guess the studio was wrong about that box office draw part. I had some bit parts and even go a lead in a sorta successful film.” Mac lets out a bark of a laugh, bringing the dog hustling over. “But even if you were a big movie fan, I can pretty much guarantee you wouldn’t have recognized me. So, short answer to your question: no. 

“I spent most of my time in LA working odd jobs. I ended up doing construction, and liked it okay. I decided I could do it back home in Middleburg just as well as in LA, so I gave up the Hollywood fantasy and here I am.” 

“Geez, I’m sorry to hear that.” Margaret chuckles. “I remember you sashaying though the halls at school wearing your shades, saying someday we were going to see you in one of those sunglasses ads featuring famous Hollywood stars.” 

Mac pulls sunglasses from his shirt pocket and slips them on his face. "Never found the fame, but I've got the Foster Grants."

Margaret glances over at Miriam, watching them from her chair, one hand over the right side of her face. She turns to Mac, her face alight. 

“Wait! How long are you going to be here? Where are you living? What are you doing tonight?” The words tumble out of her mouth, falling all over each other. 

“Whoa, whoa! Same old Maggie. I just got here this morning. I came here right off the bus, looking to have lunch at the old corner drugstore.” Mac shakes his head and laughs.  ‘Things change, I guess. I’m back for good. I’ve got to find a job, and a place to stay. My folks passed years ago, but I guess you knew that. So it’s just me.”

 “You’re not married either? Great. I can help you on all counts.” Margaret reddens a little and laughs. “I mean, not on the marriage part, but I can give you a job and a place to stay, if you’re up for it.” 

Mac stares at her. “Um…” 

“Hold on.” Margaret goes into the stacks and emerges with Milo in tow, Mooch trailing along behind.  

“Come with me and I’ll explain.”  

Leading him to the seating area, she introduces Mac to Miriam. She responds with a blush, which highlights the scar on her cheek. “Hello. Nce to meet you,” she says, blushing even more furiously. Her right hand lifts to her face again, but Mac reaches out and gently takes it to shake.  

Smiling he says, “Nice to meet you too, Miriam.” 

Taking them all in with a sweeping glance, her eyes sparkling with excitement, Margaret says, “Look, I think you all can help me with my big plan. Milo has already agreed to come over tonight to talk about it. I was going to call you, Miriam, to ask you to come. But I’d like you all to come. Bring Mooch too.” 

“But…” Miriam begins, but Margaret interrupts. “Nope. I need you, Miriam. You’re a nurse, and, Milo, Emmaline was my oldest friend. That pretty much makes you my old friend too. I need to pick your brains. And Mac, you know carpentry. Besides, you were my first love. I need you most of all." She winks broadly.

"Come on over around seven. You know where I live, 1420 Emerson Lane. I’ll make a light dinner, and we can talk while we eat. I can't wait to tell you what I have in mind. Oh, and dress casually. The place is a wreck.” 

Without giving them a chance to object, she turns to Mac. “Grab your suitcase, big guy. I’ve got tons of space. Come with me. I’ll get you settled into one of the guest rooms.” She starts for the door, calling back over her shoulder.

“See you guys at seven!” 

Mac picks up his suitcase from behind the desk. Shrugging  at Milo and Miriam, he follows Margaret out the door. 

Continued in Part 9

Posted for River of Mnemosyne Challenge 11, Muse 8: "Who's That Behind Those Foster Grants?"

1 comment:

  1. Oooooh, sorry... my brain combined Miriam and Emmaline, so the confusion from the last chapter is on me.

    Also, nice font shift!

    I have to admit that I had to delve into Foster Grant's history in order to utilize the Muse properly. Luckily, it sorta works.

    Second paragraph: "then she gaspS"

    Tenth paragraph: "Margaret gives her heaD a little shake"

    Mac to Miriam paragraph: "“Hello. NIce to meet you,”


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.