"Hey, it snowed." Declan woke River on the couch the next morning. It was an amazing snowfall. Undisturbed and quaint. But he knew it would be a slow go to work.
He suspected River needed a place to stay, and Declan was glad he'd said
yes. He knew where River slept, in his car in the back parking lot of
the grocery store.
But Declan knew he bore River. Completely. Did River really like
anything? But his cigarettes? Declan brought him coffee, with milk and
"Jesus, my car might never start now." River rose up from the blanket he
was under and took a look out the window, but still set at the couch as
if he needed refuge of some kind. He looked for a cigarette, instantly
in his stash by the couch.
"How long have, you, smoked?" Declan wanted to know.
"Dunno. Maybe fourth grade." River lit up.
"How old were you?" Declan couldn't think of a life like that. Not in his house. No smokers allowed.
"Dunno. Eight. Nine?" River guessed. "My brother and I would steal
cigarettes from other people's houses. You know, for kicks, I guess." A
faint smile came to his face as if those were the good old days.
"Your brother?" Declan went to get more coffee.
"Yeah, Phoenix. Older than me." River shrugged.
Declan smiled. Glad River shared this with him. Perhaps he wasn't the complete cad, Declan imagined.
"Yeah, my Mom swears she slept with River Phoenix in Vancouver." River
cracked a smile then. "She had two of us. Said we were her River
Phoenix." He rolled his eyes at that. "She was a bitch."
Declan's face grew dim. He would have never called his mother such
names. Of course, she'd hit him quite often growing up. Not that it
mattered now. Nor would he breathe a word about her. But if he looked
around the remains of the house, there was always something bad he could
recall, if he let himself.
"So, do you need a place to stay?" Delcan quickly asked. He really thought it best not to dwell on such darkness.
"I couldn't pay you." River wouldn't hear of it. There were debts he
needed out of his life. It seemed he'd bought Noah a lot of crap on his
credit card. Things Noah wouldn't do with out. Like a new gaming system
and a flat screen TV.
"That's all right." Declan nodded. It would be good to have someone around. Maybe they could talk.
He'd tried having a dog, but it chewed up the chords to the TV. The
couch too. Matilda lasted a week, and he had to give her to someone in
the country. She was a beauty. Black and beastly, but uncontrollable at
times. The rockwheiler had to go. He got a bit misty eyed, thinking of
her. It seemed he wasn't really good at any sort of relationship. With
his luck, River might last the weekend, while he was in the hospital.