Of Mice and Men: The next chapter
The brisk autumn breeze swirled the brown and crisp leaves in the same old pattern. George felt he had seen this all too many times. He needed a change.
“But how?” he said quietly to himself while he sat alone in the bunk house. He heard an uproar outside and muffled his ears with his hands. He didn’t want to hear anybody or anything. Slim came striding in. “Those guys are fighting again over money. Is that the on’y that matters at this ranch?” George just lay on his bed with his eyes closed and his hands over his ears.
Slim sensed George’s remorse. “George, you hadda’ do it. There was no other way. If you hadnta’ done it, Curley wouldda’”
“I know” George mumbled
“I admire your courage, George!” Slim said as he patted him on the stomach and got up. “You comin’ to town tonight?”
“no” was all George could manage to say as he was holding his tears back so well that nobody would have known he even had a tear in his body.
Slim just nodded his head once and left the room.
As the door slammed shut the uproar began again when the rest of the ranch workers tried to ask Slim for advice. The noise seemed to move away. It sounded like they were following Slim as he tried to escape their company. George just lay on his bed, still, alone and silent as one tear lined his dirty face. George closed his tired eyes and prayed for sleep. His prayer was answered with a nightmare. George was in a glass box, and Lennie was hunched over in a ball on the other side of what looked like a large pond. The box kept shrinking and shrinking and shrinking until George couldn’t breathe anymore and with on dying breath his eyes opened to find himself surrounded by ranch workers all talking. Slim pulled me out of the bunkhouse in a hurry, grabbing me by my elbow.
“George, what are you doing?!”
“What’d I do, Slim?”
“You was shoutin’ in your sleep. About Lennie”
“I can’t control what I do in my sleep!”
“Well, you’re gonna hafta learn!!!” cried Slim as he stormed off into the abyss of the field facing the bunkhouse.
George thought of his options. He could either; train himself to keep silent in his sleep, or, the option that he had been thinking about quite seriously; leaving the ranch. He decided that very moment that he really only had one option. He wasn’t happy in the ranch at all, and it was reminding too much of Lennie. He needed out!
So that night in the dead of night, he packed his things silently and got up to leave. As he opened the door he heard somebody waking up and then realised it was just Carlson turning over. He stood in the door way creating a breath-taking silhouette of him looking out at the moons glow. He set of on his journey north. He had a picture in his head of what he was going to do. He was going to travel north for as long as his legs could carry him and when he could not go anymore, that’s where he would find his true life’s work. He had convinced himself that his theory will see him through. So he started on the dirt path with a sign post saying; San Francisco. In his head he thought that from there he would try and find a way to get to New York. Where he would fulfil his dreams, or so he thought.
In the end he got to San Francisco. And stayed in San Francisco, where he met Robin. She was standing on the beach. She says she was listening to the waves. The two of them sat on that beach for hours and talked. George learnt that her husband had died in a fight with the town’s bad boy. He was shot. She had never found anybody else to love after that. And George poured his heart and soul out to her.
Over the next few months he began to grow a trusting friendship with this girl. George asked her out. She agreed. This dating went on for over a year. And on the anniversary of Lennie, George proposed to Robin. She said yes right away. George told her that there might be a bit of a wait before they got married because he didn’t have enough money as he was working on a little cottage out in the country which he and Robin would move into in a few weeks.
George felt like he had it all. All in this one girl, he loved. And he truly loved her, with all his heart. One day they went of to a nearby field to have a picnic. Robin stood up and said;
“George hunny? I think…..Well…..I think I might be, well…..Pregnant!” with glee!
George’s face lit up with happiness and he jumped up and took her hand.
“we must go to the doctors now and get you check out” he said with a grin.
They went to the local doctor and it was confirmed. George was going to be a daddy! He rushed home with his soon-to-be-wife and started to plan their small white wedding. They made each decision together, carefully! Their wedding would take place in the summer in a little church just outside of the town they lived in. George was talking about invitations;
“We gotta invite my old friend Slim, and Le-…….” The mood dampened and George hung his head, and Robin walked over and hugged George tight around his shoulders.
“It’ll be fine. He will be there.” She said in a low comforting voice.
Days went by and the wedding past and Robin’s due date was approaching. When she started contracting George got frightened and went into panic mode. He brought her to the front room and closed the dusty curtains and told her to breathe as a miracle took place, the miracle of life.
“What’ll we call it darlin’?”
“Can we call it…?”
“Lennie!” They both said at the same time with the same amount of glee as the each other. And it was settled. So little Lennie grew up with the most loving family in the whole world!
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