Byron Forbes: The journey home

Byron was quite pleased by the sight of Madison. Whatever else may have come from her being in the wilderness of apes laughingly called civilization, she had not given up on exercise. She looked marvelous. Slender but not overly thin. Well curved with features cosmetically enhanced to near perfection.

This was not a surprise of course. He had seen Madison’s picture in that dull rag of a magazine she edited and published many times over the years. They also exchanged photographs in Christmas cards. Yet, somehow he was not convinced she would look as good as she appeared until he saw her in person. Seeing was believing, as the hoary old saying went. Even so, he had always thought as she aged, she might let herself go. Perhaps that was merely his way of feeling better about them not remaining together originally. Regardless, she was quite a vision.  He wondered how she managed to stay single all this time. Could it be she never found anyone to equal himself in her eyes? That was a notion quite pleasing to Byron on many levels.

“My pleasure.” He added to his compliment and led them toward the exit. Along the way more activists with leaflets were buzzing about the terminal. Everyone from religious groups to greenpeace seemed represented. He rather hoped the folks from greenpeace would approach him. He could then explain he and his lovely companion had no time to talk. They were heading to lunch and greenpeace of all people should know how fast humpback whale can go bad. Not that he meant such a line. He just enjoyed shocking peoples sensibilities. Unfortunately, none of the activists approached them and he and Madison were allowed to leave in peace.

Outside Madison remarked on how lovely the snowfall appeared. She had a point. The first snowfall was always the best. Winter in general could be the most beautiful time of the year. Granted, it could get slushy and messy but for the most part Byron enjoyed it. He could never understand the constant complaints from people about heavy snow and icy conditions. It was merely part of the season. If you did not like it, why be in the area? There were plenty of places in the country that seldom or never received an inch of snow. He supposed some of the more malcontent members of the community needed to have something to whine over. The winter season was as good a subject to complain about as any.

Turning to Madison he nodded. “Indeed. The snow is beautiful. And quite remarkable actually. Why did you know this area is one of only a handful of places on earth that gets lake effect snow? It’s like a meteorologists dream around here. As well as a skiers paradise. Though why anyone would care to go flying down a steep hill at ungodly speeds and risk their lives needlessly is beyond me.”

She had hailed a cab and promised the driver a generous tip. That suited Byron fine. He had paid once today. Now it was Madison’s turn. He was all for equal rights. Let the women pay too. The driver happened to be the same man that drove Byron to the airport. That too was just fine. At least they would have a chauffeur who was above the common rabble. With that they loaded luggage and stepped into the taxi.

Pleased by the promise of the large tip, the man quickly tooled the taxi into traffic and headed to interstate 90, the fastest route to Byron’s home. The driver was surprisingly silent on the route home. Byron would have thought he would have been fawning with admiration over his celebrity passenger again. Yet, Byron understood the driver’s quiet demeanor. After the hefty tip he had given the man and now another forthcoming from Madison, he was probably going over ways to spend his surprise income.

In short order they reached the turnoff to Byron’s district and his home shortly after. Madison paid the driver who thanked her verbally and with a tip of the hat before driving off. Byron grabbed the luggage and brought it to the door. The wind was picking up and the snow was coming down harder, causing the previous sly grin Byron wore at the airport to return. He found himself humming the Dean Martin version of ‘Let it snow’.

On the porch, he set the bags down to unlock the door then, after opening up, picked them up again, carrying them inside. Once Madison was inside, he set the luggage down once more and closed the door, triple locking it.

“Please.” He told Madison. “Have look around. I’ll attend to your bags. The bedroom will be yours, I will use the pullout sofa bed in the living room. And once I’ve tucked away your bags, I’ll give you the guided tour. My housekeeper should be here within an hour. She can brew us some coffee and make breakfast. She is a frighteningly good cook.


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