Chartan’s Journey Continues…

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DSC_0484 (Last week Chartan and Brazil think about honesty while walking to a coffee shop. Gina tells Julie she’s happy to be pregnant.)

Chartan and Brazil, each armed with a mug of coffee, took a table in the far corner, comfortably removed from the other patrons of The Java Place.

“This the best French roast in Northern California,’’ said Chartan.

Brazil laughed. “No surprise that ‘The Chartan’ is your favorite coffee drink.

“Perhaps, this brew will be my legacy.” He thought about launching into the meaning of life, but stopped short. What’s holding me back?  It’s as if I don’t want to risk testing my relationship with Brazil. Or, is my fear that I am growing unsure of what I’ve become? At least I can be a good husband to Gina.

            “You’re drifting again, my friend,” said Brazil. When Chartan didn’t acknowledge him, he snickered and moved his attention to a poster on the wall behind the struggling guru. Calling all combat veterans, you are needed again. Brazil pushed his chair back and fumbled his way to the wall. There were 10 strips at the bottom of the poster, each with a phone number. Brazil tore one of the strips and stuffed it in his shirt pocket.  He was positioned behind Chartan who didn’t appear to have noticed that his best man had left the table. He placed his thick fingered  hand on the bony shoulder and squeezed slightly.

Chartan shook his head. “Pardon me, I was thinking about Gina.”

“Don’t think too much—it’s a sure way to ruin the fireworks.” Brazil returned to his seat.

“I’m going to be a father—that’s enough fireworks for now.” The statement came without warning.

The two men finished their coffee without speaking again.


Gina stayed by the second floor apartment window until Julie’s car disappeared from sight.  She didn’t want to see her former cell mate again–she was going to be a mother in six months–this would be her new life.

To be continued next Sunday…

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