Melanie was still in a phone conversation with her sister, Lalique, regarding her new neighbor Samantha Ottomas, the mother of the absent Brian Ottomas.
Lalique had informed her at that time that, slowly but surely, Samantha Ottomas had revealed various things. Like Brian was still with the same band, traveling around, and the name of the country-rock band was Eminent Domain. The drummer was Tim Donovan and Wayne Tabor played bass.
“How did you get the name of the band and the band members?” Melanie asked, “I mean without her getting suspicious? “
“I told her in case I wanted to go see the band I needed the info—she was so happy to think someone from Pleasantview might want to go see him play. She’s really very sweet and it made me feel dishonest.”
“Anyway, she says that Brian comes home about twice a year for two to three days and usually stays with his parents and Damon. He did this when they were in their home in Asheville and now that they have moved back to Pleasantview she expects him to stay with them and not Bridget. Evidently his sister doesn’t even live in that house any more. He still isn’t married, but oh, dear, Samantha would love to see Brian married with children since, out of six children, they have absolutely no grandchildren. So far, that is. I felt kind of sorry for her. Anyway, the group is in North Carolina right now playing in the Charlotte area.”
That had been over a year ago and all these things Melanie had kept from Lori. At the time she still worried that Lori was secretly addicted to Brian.
So much had changed with regard to Lori and her relationship with Harvey in the last eighteen months—they were definitely talking marriage--that Melanie did not know what to do with the information. She was now convinced that Lori was over Brian and truly committed to Harvey. She was also beginning to feel it was not her information to keep, that it was Lori’s right to hear it and decide for herself what it meant to her; whether that was nothing or everything.
For that matter, she knew it was technically not the right of any of them to know Brian’s movements, but since Mrs. Ottomas volunteered the information and it involved someone Lori once cared about she deserved to be told. As for Lori and Harvey, if they truly loved each other Melanie did not think the information was a deal breaker for them. Still she hesitated to speak to Lori.
Then, only a few days ago, Lalique had called Melanie,
“You are not going to believe who just came home again for a visit to his folks,” Lalique was gleeful.
“It has to be Brian, the poor stalked man. You know, I never knew you liked being a spy so much, Lalique.”
“Neither did I. What else have I got, though? I’m dating the same two guys I have for two years and don’t love either one anymore. Anyway, I’m realizing Brian is sort of hot in a desperado kind of way.”
Lalique Flynn talking to her sister Melanie:
Lalique Flynn talking to her sister Melanie:
“Oh, no, not you, too!” Melanie said, “Funny, Lori never talked so much about him being 'hot' or 'sexy'; just his pretty eyes, his musical talent, how nice he was, how sweet, and oh yes, amusing, she thought he was very funny, he just cracked her up.”
“Really? I’ll try to get a closer look at his eyes. He doesn't strike me as the “sweet” type, but whatever.”
“Well, so what did you see?”
“He’s mostly inside on these visits, all I see is him walking to his car or getting the mail, but you know how it’s been really nice out the last three days. When I went out on my back porch to hang up some dish towels, he was there in the hammock under the tree. I couldn’t believe it. He was just lying there; dreaming or sleeping, I don’t know which. I was trying to think of excuses to be outside but there’s nothing in my yard on that side. Finally I got an inspiration. I got my binoculars; remember Dad gave me his old ones? Anyway, I went out and pretended to be bird-watching.”
Melanie was laughing,
“Oh, yeah; that would be a bird sleeping in a hammock.”
“So I used the binoculars to look up in the trees but then every once in a while I’d peek over at him and then back up into the trees. He didn’t even notice me there. It was kind of amazing. After a while, he took out a book and was reading. It must have been poetry because every once in a while I could see him read aloud. When he went in I pretended to watch birds a coupe more minutes not to be too obvious. Later that day he came out of the house and was trimming the bushes just like he was a husband in the suburbs. Of course, he was not dressed like a typical suburban guy. He was wearing a denim vest instead of his usual leather one, a cropped tee shirt and jeans and he had one of those bandannas tied around his head like the kids wear. Okay, you can stop laughing now, Melanie.”
“I only wish you could have taken pictures!”
“Oh, but I did; four pictures!” Lalique was obviously proud of herself, “Of course two of them are pretty far away; I forgot to put the telephoto on. One of them he’s in the garden, one is of him in the house, one in the hammock and one in the pool with his brother. I couldn’t get a photo of him hauling himself out of the pool, facing my house, darn it, not quick enough. Too bad I missed it, too, because he looked really good; defined biceps, chest hair, six-pack, the whole nine yards and all wet. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him swing through the trees on a grapevine with a half-dressed girl clinging to him.”
“Lalique, you need to fan yourself!” Melanie was giggling, “But how in the world did you get a photo of him inside the house?”
“I did remember to use the telephoto lens on that one. He’d just got home, and was holding a can of juice or Coke at the kitchen sink. I was in my bedroom when I saw him. So I turned out the lights and opened the window to get it. A couple fireflies flew in and one stinkin’ mosquito, but I kept it open until I got the shot. Want me to send them to your phone? They’ll show better if I just email them to you, though.”
“Yes, email them to me. I’m dying to see. Any other personal touches you want to tell me?” she teased her sister.
“Yeah, here’s a personal footnote for you: I’m fighting a powerful temptation to invite that hunky man over here for lemonade or something else refreshing. We went to school together, you know, and I sure would love to do some reminiscing with Guitarzan!” Lalique whistled, “Of course I think he’s leaving in the morning, if I got his itinerary right from Samantha.”
“Lalique, you bold thing! ‘You are over-stimulated, my dear’,” Melanie chuckled as she quoted their ladylike mother’s phrase when they got too rowdy as kids, “I meant any impressions about him in a general sense.”
“Well, okay, his hair is a lot longer now—you’ll see that in the pictures. He still dresses in jeans tee shirts and leather. Mother, mother! He wears his clothes so tight you’d think they’d cut off the circulation. His kid brother must adore him, he’s been dressing the same way the whole time Brian’s been here and he used to dress kind of preppy before. He keeps up with his music on these visits, too. I could hear him jamming on the drums at some point during the weekend, but naturally I couldn’t see him. It wasn’t Damon playing because I’ve heard him play lots of times and he’s still learning. Brian was really all over those drums. On his last visit I could hear him playing guitar. I know he was one of the band kids in High, but how many instruments does he play?”
“I don’t know. Lori said he played both guitar and piano in high school.”
Melanie reflected that Lalique sounded almost as exhilarated as Lori used to when she rhapsodized about Brian. What was this guy’s power to inflame women? Or at least some women...
Next update: Sim State U Ch. 4 Melanie and Lori's Place Pt. 4 HERE