Deacon couldn’t understand why Dino would put her through that. She was crying when she finished and ran from the stage. He watched her go out, then turned to another group of teenagers, urging them to sing something by Metallica. The distinctive notes of For Whom the Bell Tolls started loudly from the speakers.
Deacon rose with difficulty and followed Kacy. He could hear her sobbing in the lady’s room. Tapping on the door, he ventured a peep inside. A pair of older ladies were standing there, speaking French, and gave him a gimlet eye.
“Do you require the restroom, young man?” one of them said with a heavy French accent.
“I apologize, ladies. I’m checking on my date,” he said. “She got some bad news. I wanted to make sure she was all right.”
“Certainment! We saw her rush in.”
“Merci,” he replied, exhausting his French vocabulary.
The ladies gathered their things, hustling out the door as Deacon hobbled into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
“Kacy,” he heard her sobbing in one of the stalls. “Kacy, come out please? I’m sure Dino didn’t mean anything by that…. Please come out.”
“Leave me alone! Just leave me be!”
“I’m not leaving until you come out and talk to me. I’ll make Dino take us home, okay? I’m getting tired, my leg hurts like a mother and I really want a beer. What say?”
She opened the stall door and wiped her eyes on a piece of toilet paper. “That was embarrassing.” She tried to smile. “I’m sorry, you must think I’m some sort of basket case.”
He smiled down at her understandingly. “It’s not crazy to miss somebody. Come on, I’m ready to get out of this place. I could really use that beer.”
“I left my bag in the dining room.”
“I’ll get it.” He limped back into the dining room, catching Dino’s eye as he went to get Kacy’s purse. “I need to go home, Dino. My leg hurts like hell, and I don’t think I can take too much more jocularity this evening.”
“Is Kacy okay?”
“Yes, she’s fine. Why did you do that to her? Was that some sort of intervention thing?”
Dino shook his head. “Pete loved that song and…I can’t really explain. It was a wish of his, in his will, for me to ask her to sing it for him once more. I feel like a heel doing it, but it’s a promise to an old friend. That’s a sacred bond.”
Deacon wouldn’t have put it quite that way, but he agreed that a wish like that had to be honored. Kacy must have known, or she probably wouldn’t have agreed.
“I’ll bring the car around and we’ll slip out. Truth is, I don’t feel like staying much longer myself.”
He left quietly, without really saying goodbye. However, when Deacon turned to go, his limping gait attracted attention.
“You’re not going so early are you?” The giggling girls surrounded him, trying to make him stay.
“Ladies, as much as I’d love to stay and watch, I regret that if I don’t get off this bum leg, I’m going to be worthless for the next few days…and nights.” He winked provocatively, kissing each of them on the cheek.
It had the desired effect, distracting them enough for him to get away. They were sighing dreamily, trying to determine which of them got the best kiss.
“I should be used to that by now,” he muttered as he stumbled to the door.
“Used to what?” Kacy asked, glancing over his shoulder at the dining room.
He tipped his head toward the dining room. “Women. Present company excepted.” He added rather belatedly, but she didn’t bridle at the comment.
“What about women?” She raised an expectant eyebrow.
Figuring he was in for a beating, he jumped into with his next comment. “Falling all over me, giggling like a gaggle of geese,” he said, trying to make a joke of it.
“Not all of us giggle,” Kacy remarked without ire.
Dino pulled up and Deacon was spared further comment, as he hauled himself in to the front seat. None of them spoke on the return trip. Kacy sniffled once or twice in the back seat, and Deacon knew she was still crying. He felt so strongly for her, it hurt. He couldn’t imagine losing someone you loved like that. He had lost Frieda, but their relationship had been fraught with trouble from the very start.
It had taken him a long time in the hospital to realize that a relationship based completely and totally on sex, was destined to fail. It was amazing it had lasted as long as it did. He thought of her now, and didn’t even feel sad. That phase of his life was over.
Dino dropped them at the door to the guest house before parking in the eight car garage. Deacon was leaning rather heavily on Kacy, his leg feeling like it was going to explode. He collapsed on the couch, struggling with his pants leg. He pulled off the ace bandage and put his foot up, tipping the recliner back.
“Shit, that hurts!” He saw her look and realized what he’d said. “I’m sorry, Kacy….”
©2021 Dellani Oakes