Teddy

“That woman,” Jordan wrestled with the five paper bags in his arms “why does she always have to wait till the last fucking minute for everything?” He mumbled to himself

“You had six weeks, SIX WEEKS, to organize this stupid dinner,” he fumbled with one of the bags and a head of lettuce jumped out the top. The vegetable, determined not to be captured by its owner, started rolling down the hill away from him.

“Mother-Fucker!” Jordan shouted after it. His New-England accent flaring up

An older African American man with salt and pepper hair noticed the green bowling ball and snatched it before it got too far. “I take it you dropped this?” The kind passerby chuckled.

“Thanks, bud! Yeah, you mind?” Jordan jostled the bag the escapee belonged in.

The man dusted off the lettuce and placed it in the offered bag. “Do you need some help to your car, son?”

Jordan shook his head “Na, I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“You’re not at all. Here let me-” The man reached for the heavy looking bag resting against Jordan’s shoulder.

Jordan jerked away “No really, its alright man. See the blue compact over there?” He pointed to a car parked along the sidewalk “That’s me.”

The older man chuckled again and put his gloved hands back in his jacket pockets. “If you insist fella.” He started his walk back up the hill “Happy Holidays to ya!” He shouted over his shoulder

“Yeah, you too,” Jordan mumbled while fumbling with his car keys. While he selected the trunk key, the handles of the paper bag dangling from his right hand gave out. Sending it plummeting to the asphalt. “Oh, come-the-fuck-on!” He plopped his remaining bags on the top of the trunk and started to gather the dispaced groceries back into the handle-less bag.

*ring-ring*

The phone in his pocket starts blaring

“Perfect timing” He gropes around in his pockets till he finds his cell.

“Yeah?” Jordan pinches the phone between his ear and shoulder while he finishes gathering the last of the lost produce.

“Yeah hon,” he grunted “I’m already out of the grocery store, and before you ask, no I can’t go back.”

“What do ya mean ‘what do I mean?’ You send me on this last minute wild fucking goose chase, and now you tell me you absolutely have to have a bushel of cilantro?”

With the last tomato gathered, Jordan picks the bags off the car one by one and pops open the trunk. “No, don’t you ask me to ‘check my attitude’ Kathrine. I can’t help it if you forgot your bitch mother is a fucking vegetarian and now everyone needs to eat like a fucking rabbit for Christmas.”

Trunk open, he starts unceremoniously tossing the bags of food in. “Na babe, I said and meant bit-”

He was cut off as a massive fireball erupting from the deli across the street. The explosion sent shards of wood and glass all over the road.

“What the fuck?!” Jordan dropped his phone from shock. Dozens of people ran past him screaming.

“Move boy!” Someone grabbed him by the back of his shirt and jerked him away from his car. Just in time before a massive Escalade, losing control on the icy road, smashed into the side of his car and speed down the hill.

Jordan’s ears rung. Wiping his face, he realized he was covered with ash and blood “Wh-What the hell?”

He looked around to see the face of his savior and found the old man seated next to him on the sidewalk. He was mouthing something to him, but it took a moment for Jordan to finally hear what he was saying.

“I said are you, ok son? Are you hurt?”

“N-Na” Jordan looked over himself, “I-I think I’m good.” He looked back at his totaled car “Were you the one to pull me away from that?”

The man nodded and wiped his glasses off on his shirt.

“Why would you do that? You could have been killed, man.”

“And then what? Watch you get squished like a little bug?”

Sirens started blaring nearby “Hopefully those are the ambulances” the old man stood up and offered a hand down to Jordan “Let’s get you checked out by the professionals.”

“What’s your name mister?” Jordan asked, taking the mans offered hand.

The man threw one of Jordan’s arms over his shoulder and walked him to an awaiting ambulance “The name is Teddy.”

The ambulance worker laid Jordan out on a stretcher and started his examination “Thank you, Teddy.”

Teddy chuckled “No need to thank me for something one human is just supposed to do for another.” He remained by Jordan’s side till his wife came by to pick up and an hour later.

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