Chapter 1.5 – Flight

Julian’s flight from the public pool ends back at the beach. Running had become something of a lifestyle, so it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. But he really doesn’t like how this was going to make him look – like a guy with serious issues.
But it doesn’t matter. Hank, Paula, Sunset Valley, and that nutcase, Bebe …all meaningless to him. Besides, what kind of kid would waste time dreaming about living in a worthless shack?
He decides to spend the rest of the day here at the pier. The fish are biting, and he’s actually beginning to forget about the pool incident. In the morning he would take off for the next town on the map. He had made a pretty good profit over the past couple of weeks, but not nearly what he had hoped for. At least it was enough to finance his next move and set up ties with fellow “businessmen” at his next stop.
Despite his efforts not to, his mind returns to Bebe’s story. He remembers the cottage, but just barely. He had just learned to walk when his dad took him. It was fun at first. They saw some pretty cool things and went to some amazing places. They settled in the slums of Sim City where, during his childhood, he worked for his dad’s “business”. He learned the ropes quickly and made a small fortune for his dad. Then, on the day he became a teen, he left Sim City to go into “business” for himself.
His travels brought him through Sunset Valley a number of times. So why the crazy story this time? The usual restlessness starts to creep up, and he begins to wonder why he hasn’t packed in and left already. He is pretty sure the fish will be biting somewhere else. He reels in his line and stows his pole only to be startled by Bebe standing only a couple steps away from him.
And it sets him off. He spends the next few minutes berating her. He accuses her of wanting to con him out of his property, accuses her of being crazy, accuses her of stalking him. He goes on, blaming her for Hank being a do-good-er, for Pauline being a tramp, and for Sunset Valley being a funny-farm. And when he finishes, he expects to see her recoiling in indignation. Her gaze is cast down from the stinging words, but she is not confrontational.
There is a long and uncomfortable pause before she tells him that she came to say she was sorry for embarassing him at the pool. She waits for further beratement, but it doesn’t come. Instead, there is only stunned silence. Finally, she reaches out and gently asks him if he would like to see the cabin on the bluff.

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