Rick took one last look at the house he had lived in for several
years in Hawley, a small town west of Boston. He started the engine and put the pickup truck in gear. Wow, he thought, I'm already thirty years old. He shook his head. Well, the divorce is final and there isn't anything to keep me here. He knew, as a freelance writer and novelist, he could ply his trade just about anywhere. Of course, the inheritance left by his great aunt eased the financial bumps of freelance work. Giving his ex-wife a large chunk of it, however, left him bitter. What little he owned of a personal nature was now stuffed into the shell camper on his pickup.
Before leaving town, Rick parked at the post office and mailed the last installment of his most recent novel to his agent in Boston,
hopeful it would be published before year end. He filled out a
change of address card and left.
He hadn't heard from Fred, his high school buddy, in over a year and his phone had been disconnected. Rick decided to look
him up on his way north. It was a bit of a detour, but he had nothing but time. Fred had bought a diner in Milford and had been doing well for years; but something had happened.
Winter was over and new green was evident on the trees. The
temperature was in the fifties and he lowered the window a couple of inches, the air refreshing. Midday he arrived in Milford, a few miles inside New Hampshire. After topping off the fuel tank, he parked in front of an old diner tucked between an antique store and a barber shop. The Towne Diner looked much as he remembered from years earlier. He entered and sat at the counter. The place was busy with all the booths occupied. A stout middle aged woman placed a menu in front of him and smiled,
order book in hand.