The Mailman Delivers

by Robert Rousseau © 2001

"How ya doin?"

"I'm alright I guess," John answered. He really wasn't but good manners went a long way, especially with neighbors.

Old George Murphy just nodded at his answer. He was a good man, a farmer. John was too. Actually, just about everyone in the town was. There sure weren't any businesses to be had in this neck of the woods.

"How is she?" he asked.

John had to look down. If he held George's gaze he might've broke down and cried. "She's gonna make it."

"That son of a bitch, I told ya he was no good." And he had told him. George just didn't understand that kids today didn't listen to their folks like they used to. John opened his mailbox and placed the letter in it, turning the red marker on the box up. He felt George's eyes watching him closely.

"Did ya call the cops?" he asked.

"Nope, she won't let me."

George nodded, his blue eyes showing keen understanding. "It looks like rain," he said, taking off his straw hat for a second to wipe the sweat off his brow. George still had a full head of hair even if it was all gray. He looked good for a man of over seventy.

"Rain or shine, the mailman always delivers," John answered.

"Yep, that's the truth."

The mailman drove up to John's box as the two neighbors stood around it. The postman didn't say a word. Just doing his job, he took John's letter, looked at the envelope closely, and then nodded to him. He drove off.

"Yep, you made a good decision there. An awful good one John. There's no reason to put that little girl of yours through anything more. That boyfriend of hers deserves hell for what he did. She's only sixteen."

"Seventeen," said John, half in a trance. "The mailman always delivers," he whispered.

"Yep, always does, not like these cops around here. No need for a jury."

John watched as the mailman made the turn into the boy's driveway. He brushed his long blond hair in nervous anticipation. Then he heard the gunshots, a first and then a second. He looked down at the ground, afraid to look into another human being's eyes.

"Ya did right partner," George said.

"Ayup," John answered.

x x x

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