Chapter 4

Anna didn't return to the junkyard for several days. It wasn't so much that Don was a disgraced sex offender living in a junkyard trailer with no chance for a successful future or that he had told her his entire sorted and soiled perverted story that would have nauseated most women. What upset Anna the most was that the jerk remained oblivious to her feelings, loyalty and commitment even after all these years.

Anna never understood what Don saw in Gail even in high school. She was much too serious and stoic for him, rarely laughing at his humor or understanding his good natured look at life. Gail was serious and intelligent, as proper and refined as the antiques in her family's store. She was good looking with flaming red hair, of course, and among the more popular girls at relatively small Mt. Griffin High so she was a good 'catch' for a guy like Don who wasn't the most confident guy around (as Anna understood even more now that she knew his entire story).

Anna was convinced that she was the obvious choice and the perfect girl for Don but he was too blind (and foolish) to notice what was right in front of him. Why in the hell did he think she stayed working at the motel when most of the high school hired help left after graduation? She stayed because he stayed, duh! Gail was gone at the first sign of trouble and disgrace! At least Anna was loyal enough to show up at the junk yard three separate times.

Don wasn't surprised that he didn't hear from Anna once she learned his story. He knew that most people were repulsed by what he did no matter how honest he was about his regrets and shame. It hurt that someone like Anna who had been his friend for so long would be the latest one to turn on him. Apparently, only his high school pal Schwartz was bold enough to give him a second chance.

Don was seated in a lawn chair underneath an umbrella reading a book in the warm sun glaring off the windshields of the nearby wrecks of the junkyard when he saw the familiar green Subaru station wagon make its way into the salvage yard. He was happy to see that Anna had returned although he wasn't quite sure why she was back.

"Did you need some more information for your paper?" Don asked when Anna got out of the car.

"There is no paper," she said with annoyance. "I made it up. I'm not at Green College doing the University Without Walls Program."

"Why did you lie about that?" a confused Don asked as he stood, leaving his book on the lawn chair.

"Because I needed an excuse to come here," she groaned. "I was too afraid to tell you the truth."

"What truth?" the dumbfounded Don wanted to know.

"I'm a thirty-five year old front desk motel worker who lives at home with her parents," Anna sighed. "I have no life."

"What does that have to do with you coming here and getting me to tell you my story under false pretenses?" Don wondered.

"You were supposed to be my life," she revealed, sounding almost angry.

"I don't understand," Don said with puzzlement.

"You never did," Anna complained. "I've been in love with you forever, jerk."

Don stared at her with disbelief. "You have?" He asked dumbly.

"You were the boy I grew up with who became the man you are," she said.

"Not a very good man," Don sighed with defeat.

"I fell in love with you and a hope for a future with you," Anna said, her eyes tearing up as they stood staring at each other across the dirt of the junkyard. "It was easy falling in love with you because you were perfect for me."

"This is hardly a perfect scenario," Don said, gesturing around their surroundings.

"I don't care about any of it," Anna insisted. "You did your time. You paid for your mistakes. You're not peeping now. My world fell apart when your world fell apart. I struggled when you struggled. It's always been you. But I could never understand why I wasn't good enough for you. Why you never noticed me. Hell, you didn't even spy on me!"

Don gawked at her, dazed by her unexpected confession.

"When they closed the motel and sent you away I had nowhere to go," Anna continued. "I was lost."

"Now I'm the one who's lost," Don said.

"I still believe in you," Anna let him know. "I'm not going to hold your past secrets and failings over you. I forgive you for being stupid enough to pick Gail instead of seeing that it was me. I forgive you for peeping on others when you could have had me. I've let go of the resentment, the bitterness and the hurt. That's my choice. I'm happy to see you again. Maybe I'm being selfish, but I like it that you're here alone. Now I have you all to myself." She bit on her lip for a moment. "There," she concluded. "I said it. Now you know. And now it's your choice what to do next."

There was along drawn out painful moment of uncertain wait between them.

"Would you like to stay for supper?" Don finally asked.

"Yes," Anna answered.

He nodded and motioned for her to come with him to the trailer.

"Just let me grab a quick shower," he requested once they were inside. "I won't be long."

"Okay," Anna agreed.

She took a seat on the couch and a moment later she heard the shower running. She slowly stood and went to the bathroom door. She carefully turned the knob and discovered that it was unlocked so she entered the bathroom. The shower curtain was closed so she raised her hand and peeled the curtain back just enough to see a naked Don standing under the shower spray. It took him a moment to realize that she was there.

"What in the hell are you doing, Annie?" Don asked with surprise.

"All of us are voyeurs in one form or another," she replied as she watched him shower.