SHELLY REUBEN: Parking Space: A Love Story! Chapter 15 - Questions but No Answers

By Shelly Reuben
SHELLY REUBEN: Parking Space: A Love Story!  Chapter 15 - Questions but No Answers

Shelly Reuben’s new novel is about … well, we’ll let you find out for yourself as we weekly serialize the chapters. If you miss one, get back up to speed with our article archive. Now, welcome to:

Parking Space: A Love Story!

Chapter 15 - Questions but No Answers

 

Noah Pitt got home at ten o’clock on Tuesday night, exhausted after twelve hours of plowing snow. He ought to have pulled off his clothes, fallen into bed, and dropped into a dead sleep, but he did not.

He could not.

Instead, he fretted about a parking space on Chestnut Avenue, and questioned why reality was not behaving in the way that reality should. Eventually, he concluded that there was nothing he could do about it.

But he could not turn off his brain.

By 11:00 p.m., his eyes were fixed on the luminous dials of the clock across the room, and he reached for his bedside telephone. He punched in the number for his old partner and friend.

Amos Goode picked up on the fifth ring, and in a voice hoarse with fatigue said, “What?”

“Are you asleep?”

“Yes.”

Noah said. “Sorry I woke you.” But he did not sound sorry, and he did not disconnect.

Neither did Amos Goode.

A leaden silence hung between them. Finally, Amos sighed. A disconsolate, long-suffering sigh.

“Damn it, Noah,” he said. “What do you want?”

“There’s something I have to show you.”

“Now?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“I can’t tell you on the phone. It has to be seen to be believed.”

“Where?”

“On Chestnut Avenue. Between 83rd and 84th. East side of the street.”

Amos took in a deep breath. He exhaled noisily and asked, “Can’t it wait until morning?”

Noah said, “I guess that depends.”

“On what?”

“On how important it is to investigate a broken law.”

“What kind of a law?”

Noah replied somberly, “A law of nature.”

Twenty minutes later, Noah Pitt—driving his truck with the snowplow still attached—picked up Amos Goode in front of Amos’ apartment building. Noah refused to answer any of his friend’s questions as he drove, and he did not speak again until he had pulled parallel to the unoccupied space in front of 1582 Chestnut Avenue.

He shifted gears into PARK and said, “We’re here.”

Both men opened the truck’s doors and stepped down to the street.

Amos Goode surveyed the area. He looked at un-shoveled sidewalks, plowed roads, and crowns of snow atop fire hydrants, street lights, and cars. He turned to Noah and said, “So?”

Noah nodded grimly and walked around the front of his truck.

Then he waved the Director of Public Works toward the vacant space beside the truck. Amos studied Noah, searching for a clue as to what his friend was thinking. He saw nothing but

anxious eyes and a furrowed brow, so he shrugged, turned, and started to walk where he had been directed.

Two seconds later, Amos was holding his hand up to blood spurting out of what he thought must be a broken nose.

Noah handed him a handkerchief.

“Sorry, Pal,” he said. And he meant it. “But I didn’t know how else to explain the inexplicable.”

Copyright © 2021. Shelly Reuben. Originally published in The Evening Sun, Norwich, NY - evesun.com Shelly Reuben’s books have been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards. For more about her books, visit www.shellyreuben.com.