Some Dreams Never Die
By Randall Best
If “the good die young,” like they say, then Tom was one of the best. I met Tom right in the middle of a good ol’ Colorado blizzard. Wasn’t anything but white in front of the headlights and I didn’t have the damndest idea of where I was. Then, I saw lights and pulled off the road.
I’d never been there before but Tom, the man inside the Yogurt store, said, “Hey, good to see you tonight! Didn’t think anyone would be out in this kind of weather. Come on in out of the cold and have some coffee. It’s on the house tonight.”
Seemed like Tom and I was old friends before we even met.
After we got past the small talk, we just sat there and jawed for hours. Tom sure loved his family ‘cause he talked about ‘em a lot and when he did, his eyes fairly sparkled. Then after awhile, Tom got serious. He said there was too many people in the Yogurt business and he might lose the store. If that happened, he wouldn’t never be able to hold his head up again. I felt sorry for him.
Well, I finally saw it was gettin’ awful late and I said, “Tom, I’ve gotta go. I’ve got eggs to lay and ground to scratch.”
Sure hated to leave that warm store. Tom was still standin’ behind the counter when I went back out in the snow.
I saw a lot of Tom and his wife, Dianne, after that night. Tom and I mainly talked about wantin’ to live in Mexico. I wanted a little adobe house in the mountains and Tom just wanted to grow flowers and sit in the sun.
After I moved to Mexico, I never saw Tom again and he didn’t write. His wife, Dianne, wrote once though. “Thank you so much for your kindness in sharing your dreams with Tom and me. Tom was so excited about coming to visit. The enclosed articles explain why we have not written before now.”
I was afraid of what was comin’ next. I picked up the newspaper clippings to find out what was goin’ on. The first clipping said it all: “Yogurt Man Shot by Unknown Assailant.”
I couldn’t read any more. I went outside. Wasn’t anybody there. They was only kids laughin’ and playin’ in the street. My friend, Tom, was dead. I went back inside and made myself read the rest of Dianne’s letter. “The children and I are coming to Mexico soon to scatter Tom’s remains where we wanted to retire and take life easy. It is only right to do this for Tom. Mere words cannot describe the loss we feel. It is so unjust, so brutal, so unfair.”
I put the letter down and thought to myself: Tom’s not there anymore. There’s snow on the ground in Colorado. Tom’s store is dark and cold but he’s not there…because Tom is finally coming to Mexico.