Stepping into the cozy warmth of the Tavern I sought sanctuary from the cold eastern winds. Still traveling with no destination in mind, I was searching for something I couldn't put a name to. A lost soul. A wanderer, but I care not what people call me. I've long since told my Mom that I would be one with the wind, going where I may, until I've found my heart. This was a small fishing town with old history seeped into its bones. Perhaps lady luck would look kindly upon me.
Most people at the pub were engrossed in their own conversations and lives, so I sat at my corner table sipping hot coffee when the door opened and a gust of cold wind blew in. A tall scrawny, lanky young man in scruffy clothes shivering with his hands clutch at his sides looked around, seemingly out of place. The bartender looked up and yelled, "Get yee out of here, this is not a shelter." A few people glanced over, but no one paid him any attention. The young man shifted from foot to foot with uncertainty and finally with a sigh, he turned and walked out.
"Damn runaway probably. Kid's been coming around a few times." Muttered the bartender, wiping the counter.
I threw money on the table and picked up my bag to walk out, to see if I could spot him. He was squatting and huddled into the bushes on the side of the building for warmth. He watched me warily as I approached him slowly, palm up like I might a skittish cat. "Come inside, I'll buy you a drink."
"Why? What do you want?" His voice was full of distrust as his eyes darted from my face to the door of the pub, the wheels in his head obviously turning. "I don't have money or anything of value." He added. He had the bluest eyes and a mop of dark blond hair.
"So? I'd enjoy your company for a few moments. Is that ok?" I started to put on my gloves, the snow was falling hard and fast. I didn't want to be standing out here much longer.
His eyes widened and he looked me up and down. "My company?"
It dawned on me. "No, not that. I meant inside the pub. Just have a drink and maybe you'd like to eat something. Are you coming or not? I'm going back in." I turned around and started walking back to the oak doors. I heard footsteps following me and I glanced back at him.
I sat down at my former table. He sat down and eyed the bartender reluctantly when he heard "I thought I told you to get..."
"He's with me for the moment, if that's ok with you?" I tilted my chin up and waited.
"Fine with me if you're paying. And when she goes, you go. Got it?" Then he motioned the waitress over, and I ordered two hot coffees and a pot pie.
My temporary guest was looking down at his hands on his lap, and glanced around nervously. I was reminded of a friend I've known a few years back. He reminds me of Cory. He looked unsure of himself and lost.
"What is your name?" I asked, pushing the cup of coffee towards him and the pot pie. "Brandon." He rubbed his hands against the coffee cup. "You don't have to tell me, but if you want to...I'd like to hear your story."
He was silent for a very long time, just digging into his pot pie. I waited.
"I'd prefer not to." He finally answered. "Fine." I said.