The Boy At The Marketplace

Evie Wilson is a small town girl at heart. But when she falls in love with homeless musician, Willard Hudson, will her family approve?

  Evie turned the shiny, new card over and over in her hands, marveling at it's 'newness', and it's 'belonging-to-her-ness'. It was her driver's license. She'd gotten it only minutes ago, and she still hadn't used it.

"Evie, honey, do you think you could run to the store for me real quick?" Evie's mother called from the kitchen. She was preparing for Evie's little sister's birthday party with all of our family members, and she was making a lot of food.

"Um.. yes, mama!" Evie called back, running out her bedroom door to the kitchen. Her mother stood there in front of her, holding a pair of car keys in the air. "You can take the truck." Evie could feel her face crumpling in confusion. "But.. we don't have a truck, mama." Her mother smiled, and she looked like she could bounce off of the walls. "Well, we do now. And it's all yours." Evie smiled as big as she could, and leaned forward into an embrace with her mother. "Thank you, oh Lord, thank you!"

Evie ran out the creaky screen door through the browning yard. When her bare feet met the dirt driveway, she looked in front of her. A bright red, brand new 2009 Mazda B-Series truck. It was exactly what she'd wanted. She circled around the truck, examining it's every last part. After she had given it a thorough inspection, she hopped in the driver's seat and started the engine. She put the car into reverse, got out of her driveway, took it out of reverse, and started down the road to the market.

She was listening to a hip-hop station on the car's radio when she looked into the rearview mirror and saw her mother chasing after her frantically, yelling between pants. Evie brought the truck to an immediate halt and went to her mother.

"Mama, what in God's creation are you doin' runnin' around out here? Are you okay?" Evie put the back of her hand against her mother's forehead. No fever.

"I-I-" She took a big gulp of air, then continued. "I forgot to give you money.." She handed Evie a twenty dollar bill. "And, and the grocery list.." She handed Evie a sheet of notebook paper, then caught her breath once more.

"You're going crazy, Ma. How 'bout you get in the truck and I can take you home?" Evie led her mother to the passenger's seat and turned around to drive back home again. "Maybe I am going crazy, Evelyn Ann Marie, maybe I am. But you have no right to address it to me, bein' my daughter, not a doctor. Understood?"

Evie shuddered at the sound of her name. "Yes, mama." She pulled into the dirt driveway and brought her mother home. When she had driven a few blocks back towards the market, she said under her breath, "Mama's goin' crazy. Her denyin' it just makes it a heck of a lot more obvious that she is."

She pulled the truck into the parking lot, thanking God that she didn't have to parallel park. She stuffed the money and the list into her purse, locked the truck, and headed into the store. When she got into the entrance, she was greeted by the most melodious voice she had ever heard, accompanied by the soothing sound of an acoustic guitar. She looked to the source of the music. There was a boy, about her age maybe older, with dark brown, shaggy and slightly matted hair dressed in holey jeans, a fleece jacket, and a pair of worn out shoes. He had the prettiest hazel eyes that Evie had ever seen; she loved how they sparkled at the touch of light. There were freckles scattered acrost his perfectly shaped nose, making him all the more cute.

She must've been staring at him for quite a long time, because the boy finally looked up at her and smiled. "Hey. Nice truck. 2009 Mazda B Series, if I'm not mistaken." Evie was surprised. She didn't expect for him to start talking to her.

"Um, yeah. Got it today. Sort of a... belated birthday present, I suppose. From my mama and papa." She fumbled with the zipper on her purse, feeling awkward. She heard the boy chuckle.

"My name's Willard. Willard  Steven Hudson. But everyone calls me Will. What's your name?" Evie smiled. She really liked Willard. "I'm Evelyn. Evelyn Ann Marie Wilson. But everyone calls me Evie. You know, you got quite a voice. You're not too bad with the guitar, either." Will shrugged. "Well, I'd suppose I'd better be. Don't got no other way to make a living. Music's all I got. What about you, you sing? Play anything?"

Evie scrunched up her nose. "Well, I sing a little bit, but... well, you know."

"No, I don't know. How 'bout you sit down here and sing a song with me, just a quick one? I can play almost anything."

"Oh, I don't know.. I came here to run errands for my ma, I gotta get home soon."

Will smiled. "C'mon, just a quick one. Please, Evie?" The sound of his voice speaking her name made her melt.

"Alright, just a quick one. Do you know.. Dirt Road Anthem?" Evie hummed the song for Will.

"Yeah, I know Dirt Road. You ready?" Evie nodded, and he started to play Jason Aldean's song, and Evie sat there, helpless.

She was falling in love, and she knew it.

The End

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