Becky and Richard

“I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.” Becky was having iced coffee with her friend Richard. They were sitting on the patio on Main Avenue where they could watch and make fun of the gawky tourists. They were on break from their jobs as sales experts in the new marijuana industry. Both were in their late twenties, college educated, and liked the small mountain town ambience where they lived and were happy being away from their midwestern roots.

“What do you mean? Another asshole stoner customer?” responded Richard.

“No, I’m used to them. It’s my dad. He’s being jerk as always. Still wants me to come back and work in his fucking car dealership. He called me again last night and he was just awful. Called me an ungrateful bitch. My own dad called me a bitch.”

“Why would he do that? Haven’t you told him you don’t want to move back to Des Moines? You’ve certainly told me, like a thousand times.”

“Oh yeah. I’ve told him, keep telling him, but he somehow thinks I owe it to him to carry on the family business. My brothers bailed. Did he call them ungrateful bitches? No, he blessed them and sent them on to their own lives. But me? He always demanded way more of me than my brothers and I hated it. It was always, ‘Excel in sports. Excel in school. You’re not trying hard enough.’ Mean time, my lazy ass brothers sat around playing video fucking games all day long.”

“Maybe he just wanted you to do great things. Wanted you to do something other than work in a weed dispensary.”

“Who the hell side are you on? I like my job. I like living here. I like the people here. I don’t need or want my father’s overblown expectations. And I don’t want to sell his fucking cars.”

“Hey, check out that couple. Total tourists. Both wearing tee-shirts emblazoned with some five-k run from their hometown. They come out here looking for something special, but can’t leave their home town. Weird.”

“You’re changing the subject. Whose side are you on anyway?”

“I’m on your side. Just observing. Sorry. What about your mother? What does she think?”

“My mother. She doesn’t think unless it has to do with tennis or golf, or some fundraiser. She was always too busy to pay much attention to what was going on.”

“Wow. I’m sorry. Do you ever talk to your bothers?”

“No. We’re never really close. They’re both married and have kids. Both got away as fast as they could. But, somehow, I’m the one who’s the ‘ungrateful bitch’. Talking about it makes me want to cry. You never told me about your childhood? I’m the one always whining.”

“Pretty mundane. Grew up in Sioux City. Dad worked at a bank and my mom raised my older brother and sister and me. She went back to teaching after we were all in school. We did a lot of family stuff on weekends, camping, hiking, canoeing, stuff like that. My folks are happy I got through college and am gainfully employed, even though they aren’t real excited about my present job. But they tolerate it.”

“Wish my parents would be like that. Can I meet your parents sometime? I might like them to adopt me. Hey, time go back to work. Thanks for listening.”

Becky and Richard took their empty mugs into the shop, depositing them on the counter. They walked away hand in hand into a sunny southwestern Colorado afternoon.

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