The phone rang and I went inside to answer it. By the time I got there, it had rung several times. As I reached for the receiver, I glanced at the caller ID screen. It read ‘caller unknown’. A male voice said, “Hey Jack-O, guess who?” I didn’t recognize the voice right away but the use of the nickname ‘Jack-O’ told me everything I needed to know. It was my childhood friend, Eddie.
I smiled to myself as I said, “Hey Eddie. It’s been ages. You still in the Air Force.” I was trying to remember the last time I’d heard from him. He was always stationed somewhere around the world but never close enough for us to get together. We’d talked on the phone but I couldn’t remember that we’d done even that since I moved here ten years ago.
“Nah. I just retired. Just finished up my twenty. Jesus, Bro, it’s been a century since we talked. I ran into Frankie yesterday. Jesus, Bro, she is fucking hot. She was just a kid when I left. She reminds me so much of Anna. Anyway, we had coffee and chatted about things and life. She gave me your phone number. I didn’t have it for your new place.”
I interrupted, “It’s not new anymore Eddie. I’ve been here ten years.”
Eddie said, “Fuck. Has it been that long. Anyway, that’s a good segue into why I called. I just got out yesterday…”
I interrupted Eddie again, “You make it sound like you just got released from prison.”
“In a lot of ways, it was just like that, but I kept re-upping for the bonuses and the fact that I had nothing going on the outside anyway and then I had so many years in, it would have been stupid to leave the military pension on the table. Anyway, I called because I was hoping you could put me up for a few days while I look for a place to live.”