THE CRAWLEY MOTEL.
THE CRAWLEY MOTEL.
He saw her for the first time in the town square. She was the new girl in town. She had long dark hair, and soulful eyes. She was shy and radiated innocence. No one knew much about her. She worked at the only motel in town. She was the receptionist cum waitress cum chamber maid. The motel overlooked the square, and when she had her break, she came out for some air and a coffee. She ignored the course remarks from the truck drivers that stopped by and equally turned down the local suitors too.
Hank the local pharmacist had asked her out to no avail. Matt from the real estate office, recently divorced had tried his luck too. In a small town where everyone knows everything there is to know about all the other souls, she was a mystery. Some said she had come from California, while others said she was from New York. You just could not pin down her accent. She had lived in several states and she never had any visitors.
When Harley Richards, the youngest child in the Richards’ family started working at the motel, helping out during his holidays, it was said that he became her confidante. He was her link to the town. He informed her of who had done what, where and when. It was also through him that the rest of the residents got to know something about her. That she was a divorcee even though she was only twenty three; that she had been to Europe; that she had run away from her ex husband, who was cruel
and involved with the Mob.
It was not long before rumors started circulating about how Harley had been seen kissing her. Others said they had walked in on them in the motel reception or restaurant. The Richards’ family had sat Harley down and questioned him to no avail. James Richards, the middle aged father; a cultured, calm man had somehow been impressed by his son’s prowess at such an early age. He himself had been quite shy at that age. The boy was only sixteen. Harley’s older sister, studying the arts at the local college was too busy in her own world to pay much attention to the gossip. It was thus, that the only person incensed enough to do anything about it was the mother, Miranda.
She drove to the motel and parked close by. Not wanting to make a scene, she planned to casually walk by the square when Rachel came out for a break, introduce herself and have a word with her. Rachel denied everything and convinced her that that it was a misunderstanding. She asked Miranda in for a coffee and somehow the two women began a friendship that was based on mutual empathy. Miranda had also lived elsewhere. They spoke of big city life and travel. The relationship between Rachel and the boy was never brought up again but it was always an undercurrent, especially when one day, after her coffee, Miranda kissed Rachel on the mouth as she was saying goodbye. Far from the rejection she feared, her kiss was met with an even warmer response.
So now new rumors started going round. The boy knew about his mother as much as she knew about him and Rachel. Rachel managed to keep the two from meeting at the motel and everything seemed to hang in the balance, albeit for awhile. That was until, one day, fired by jealousy and passion, the boy walked in on them and fired a round of bullets into both. To this day, the residents of this small town talk about the scandal that erupted on that mild spring afternoon. The remaining Richards moved away, and the motel became an office block.