In the aftermath of a summer shower the evening air is cool. Simply sitting on the front porch is sublime.
The newspaper is folded to the sudoku puzzle; his latest addiction. Half the boxes are filled when the phone rings. He’s tempted to ignore the interruption but rejects the idea.
Stunned by the voice that has reached across time, he doesn’t answer immediately. “Bud?”
Nervous laughter is the response. There was no mistaking the baritone voice that put radio men to shame. “Hey Bud. It’s been awhile.”
In the uncomfortable silence that stretched out, Bud cleared his throat anxiously. “Uh, yeah. Yes, it has.”
This was no social call. Not based on Bud’s hesitancy. “It’s good to hear from you Bud. Sound’s like there’s somethin’ on your mind.”
“Uh, there is. I hate to call you out of the blue all business and no etiquette.”
Jim smiled. “You must mistake me for someone else. Assuming all that’s necessary. What can I do for you Bud?”
Awkward silence seemed to be Bud’s go to. “Thanks Jimmy. I just feel awful insensitive calling you for something like this when I haven’t reached out in years just to check in.”
“You feelin’ sensitive. Go ahead Bud. Tell me why you called.”
“Okay Jimmy. There’s been a death.”