Daily Prompt: Imaginary Friend

Daily Prompt: Imaginary Friend

Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)


 

The driver nosed the limo to the curb and I stepped out. It was a nice morning in Toledo but I still had to work. We were supposed to finalize details on the acquisition today with the board members of Acme. My watch indicated that it was three minutes before nine. I knew that the rest of my team would be upstairs already. The meeting was scheduled for 0900.

I pushed through the wide brass doors of the Acme Building and made my way to the bank of elevators, arriving just in time to catch one going up. I pushed the button for the top floor and nodded to the man standing at the back of the lift. He looked vaguely familiar.

“Good morning,” I said and leaned my back against the wall. Something about this guy, I knew him from somewhere.

“How ya doing?” He said.

Immediately, I knew, it was Jimmy Mondale.

The voice drove it home. I could hear that voice in my head. An echo from my past. I remembered him running into me in the hall at Henry Harrison School. Bumping my shoulder hard, “Watch it, Pussy!” he said indignantly as the rest of the kids swerved to give us a wide berth.
People avoided Jimmy Mondale.
He slapped my books out of my hand and laughed as my papers scattered across the passageway.
“Gimme yer lunch money!” he demanded.
“What?”
“Are ya deaf? I said gimme yer FUCKIN’ lunch money!” he said again, “or I’ll pound ya!”
I gave him 50 cents that day.

Now here we are, thirty years later, alone together in an elevator. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my money clip. Peeling off a fifty I extended my hand and offered him the money. “Hey man,” I said, “take this. I want to buy you lunch.”

He kept his hands in his pockets as the bell sounded for his floor. Shaking his head he moved towards the doors waiting for them to open. “What are you, nuts?” he said, “Why would you wanna buy me lunch?” He stepped out of the elevator and turned to look at me – waiting for an answer.

As the doors slid silently back together on well greased tracks I shrugged my shoulders, “Old time’s sake, Jimmy,” I said, “Old time’s sake.” The doors closed and slipping the bill back into my pocket I continued on up towards the top floor. It was going to be a great day.


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