See disclaimer chapter 1
In the three weeks they had been on the road, they had fallen into a rhythm. Logan would wake first, and prepare the coffee. If they were on the road that day, he drove until the boy got up. Francis was responsible for breakfast and lunch, and the dishes, and Logan was responsible for the dinners. Every few days they would stop to do laundry, Logan would load the washers and dryers, and Francis would fold. They would also stop at grocery stores to pick up provisions, stop to fill up the water tanks, stop to dump trash.
If Francis was bored, he said nothing. He would do his chores without arguement, work on his school assignments, upload all his pictures from his digital camera, and just chat with his father about any subject that popped into his mind. They went from place to place at random, just looking at a map and picking a place.
Logan had continued with his assistance in finding Francis a nickname. Francis was not amused, of course, but the search continued. Thus far the list of possibles included Zippo, Skippy, Piglet, Lucky, Gonzalez (in honor of one of the boys favorite cartoon characters), and of course Junior. The boy hated all of these, but Logan continued to try, being a helpful nuisance.
The two were bundled in their beds, waiting for sleep to claim them. It had been a lazy day, for they had decided to remain parked in the small valley, just wandering and hiking and having a prolonged snowball fight, which Francis won by staging a sneak attack from Logan's flank, landing a well aimed snowball in Logan's right ear. And of course the boy related details of his victory to his grandmother, who was proud and very much amused.
Logan could hear the boy tossing and turning, and he glanced over to see the lump on his bed moving. "What's wrong with you?"
"I got an itch."
"Can't you wait until I fall asleep until you do that?"
The lump froze, and then a head emerged from beneath the sleeping bag. "Not that kind of itch! Jesus! That's disgusting!"
Logan chuckled as he watched the boy get comfortable once again. He remained still for several minutes and Logan thought he had fallen asleep, so he closed his eyes as well.
There was a full moon out and the sky was clear, so the interior of the RV was bathed in a gentle blue glow. From the other side of the room, Logan heard a soft voice.
"We only have one week left, right?"
"Oh." The RV fell silent once more. The lump on the boy's bed began moving again. "I wish it was longer. I'm having a good time."
"Yeah? Glad to hear it."
"I like it up here. Not too many people, scenery's nice."
"How 'bout we build a log cabin out in the woods and settle down?" Logan opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. Silence once again fell over the RV.
After a few seconds Francis asked, "Could we really do that?"
"Sure. But wouldn't you miss your grandmother and all your friends?"
"Yeah. I wish we could do both; see our friends and live out here. But we can't, can we?"
"It's a thought. Something to keep in mind. Go to sleep."
Again silence, again broken by the boy. "Are you having a good time?"
Logan sighed, he actually was. "Yeah, I am."
"Do you miss Anita?"
Logan turned his head and looked at the boy, and could see his eyes shining in the darkness. "Why?"
"I miss Steph. I wish she wasn't going to move of away."
Logan wasn't aware the news had been broken yet. "Who said she's moving away?"
"She's always talking about Atlanta, and her Dad, and I think she's gonna move there. Anita too."
Logan felt there was no sense keeping from the boy what he had already figured out on his own. "Yeah. Looks like they are going."
"Yeah. I guess I could still keep in touch with her, right?"
"Don't see why not."
"there is that one girl at school. She's kinda cute and all. You know the one, with the blue eyes and blond hair."
Logan had to smile. The kid hadn't even broken up with his first girlfriend yet, and he was already checking out replacements. "Toni?"
"Uh huh. What do you think of her?"
"Not my type."
"Come on. Tell me."
"Don't know that much about her. Isn't she that real shy one, who blushes a lot?"
"Yeah. Do you think she'd be interested in me? I mean if I asked her to hang out?"
This particular girl was indeed a cute, petite little girl; painfully shy, but a perfect match for Francis. She had only been at the school for a few months, not really used to being part of a crowd. All Logan really knew of her, was that she had been home-schooled because of her 'affliction' as her parents put it, and Logan could not ever recall her saying a word. She only would turn beet red, and melt into the background.
"Wouldn't hurt to ask. Never know 'til you try."
"Maybe when we get back, I can see if she'd like to go to the mall or something. Or ask her to play video games. What do you think?"
"You'll figure it out. Now go to slepp."
"How 'bout you?"
"How 'bout me what?"
"Anita is getting back with Steph's dad, right? What are you going to do?"