As in part one, the link provided is intended to be part of the story, but this time full understanding is only likely if you follow the link. Comments, as always, are cherished, nurtured and grown into something you never intended them to be but which I then feast off of for weeks.
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Jonathan seemed to be enjoying the awkward silence which followed, only reluctantly breaking it when the characteristic laugh forced itself from his broadly grinning mouth. He clapped Walter on the back, who grimaced at the act, and laid a hand on Kati’s shoulder, who seemed none the happier, while declaring, “I knew it. I just knew you guys would hit it off fabulously.”
With this cheerfully delusional comment, Jonathan strode off inviting them by gesture to join him. When neither of them followed he looked back and upon seeing their faces was able to say only, ”See, there it is. You are like two peas in a pod, looking at me identically like that, mouth open wide, shock across your faces,” before collapsing into such a paroxysm of laughter that tears ran down his face.
“You are an infuriating man, Jonathan” grumbled Walter, collecting his bags to follow Jonathan.
“Your grasp on reality is even more tenuous than it used to be Jonny.” Kati laid emphasis on the Jonny as if to correct Walter’s jonathan, and to show her closer, more deserved connection. This did not escape a barely recovering Jonathan who was somehow so amused by this show of possession that it started him all over again.
Walter sighed, “The difficulty of course is that we’re stuck here, until he’s composed himself. I gather he’s here to pick you up as well?”
“You too?” she answered, beginning to be amused herself, despite herself by both the situation and the way Jonathan so often ended up in control of situations while trying so hard to avoid any responsibility at all.
Silence. While they stood there, Kati studied Walter. He was not an unpleasant man to look at. He was not only a handsome man, but a sort of regality attended him, a bearing of nobility even. Despite her encounter he didn’t look like an angry or cruel man. The lines of his face were soft and elegant. He glanced her way, surprised she was looking at him and in that moment of surprise she saw sorrow. In a blink it changed to confusion, consternation, and then settled into the controlled, slightly haughty look which he mostly wore. She decided that the first look, the one caught in surprise, was the unguarded one, the genuine uncalculated Walter.
Then in that moment Kati decided to try again, or rather, to give him another chance.
“I think it’s worse than that.”
He looked puzzled, “What do you mean?”
“You own a farm?”
“Yes, but I don’t see…”
“An unusual one?”
“Well, yes one of a kind I believe.”
“Right, well, Jonathan came not only to pick me up, but to show me this unusual farm. So you see, we must not only ride together, but I think he’s some idea of our spending the day together. I always believe in making the best of whatever comes my way and right now that appears to be you…so…truce?”
Walter looked pained, but nodded, “Truce.”
They watched Jonathan a few more moments,as he seemed to be gathering himself, waving at them to wait taking a deep breath and then, just as he seemed about to be ready to go, he looked up at them and immediately collapsed again in helpless giggles.
“Really!” said Kati, shaking her head, shifting her weight and straightening her dress.
Walter sighed again and said, “It doesn’t really matter you know.”
“Making the best of what comes your way. It doesn’t really matter.”
“Are you saying we should make the worst?”
“No, not that. We must do our best of course. I’m just saying what comes comes, and it really doesn’t matter. If destiny smiles on you, well then enjoy it, but if you happen to be one of the unlucky few who are cursed…”
“What nonsense you are talking! You believe you are cursed, some kind of voodoo or Shaman?” Kati forgot about Jonathan, her discomfort, in fact everything else for a moment at this new game unfolding before her.
“Well, no not in any way you’re suggesting. I don’t mean cursed really. I just mean destiny smiles on some of us, like our friend Jonathan there, and on some of us it well…” He trailed off.
“Well if you really know Jonny, you know that he makes his own destiny. So do we all.”
“That’s not what he says.”
“Oh, I know what he says, but it doesn’t mean he believes it. And what about you? From what I understand you are born into a prosperous family, own your own farm… you don’t look to be hurting to me.”
Walter sighed again, an affectation Kati now realized was well practiced. “Oh very propserous, and a vast fortune just waiting for me to take it. Just reach out and it’s all mine. “
“Indeed? A vast fortune”
“Oh yes, in this very town, I have but to sign the papers and I own it.”
“The town. All of it. The land, the likely gold mines, the farms…all of it.”
“Destiny seems to not only be smiling, but quite gleeful, like our friend over there.” pointing at Jonathan who, as if on cue, doubled over again in laughter.
“hmmm, yes. But also like our friend there, being smiled on and laughed at, are not at all the same.”
“Alright, alright, “Said Jonathan breathlessly finally ready, “let’s go. This argument isn’t supposed to happen till later, when I can more fully enjoy it.”
Walter looked at Jonathan and smiled for the first time, “You seem to be enjoying yourself just fine right now.”
When they arrived at the carriage, there was an awkward moment of deciding who should sit where, but Jonathan invited Kati to sit up front next to him while he drove so that they could catch up and Walter was relieved to sit inside with no further conversation.
“Is he not the most unusual man you’ve ever met?” Jonathan asked with that same twinkle.
“Well I don’t know about that, but is it true that he almost has a vast fortune, but something prevents him from getting it?”
“Almost!? Why it’s his for the taking, but he refuses to sign the papers to make it so.”
“But I gathered something had happened to prevent him claiming it.”
“No that’s the beauty and wonder of it. He is only prevented from doing so by his own actions. “
“Well why doesn’t he?”
“He is convinced it’s quite useless. That fate will not allow such a man as him to be happy. So he refuses to sign.”
“But you called him remarkable?”
“Oh and he is. In so many ways. I said that’s it, but I didn’t say that all he is. There’s his farm for example.”
“What kind of farm could such a man have? Ground he refuses to till? Seeds he refuses to water?”
Jonathan seemed amused by her question and almost ready to succumb to laughter again, but instead he asked her a question.
“Remember what you used to accuse me of? When I would assure you things would be alright, remember what you used to say?”
“When we were kids?”
“Yes, when we were kids. Remember what you used to call me?”
“Yes, ok, I remember, but that’s a long time ago. I hope you’re not still…”
“Oh no, I hold no offense. But would you agree with me that Walter makes a more fitting target for your accusation?”
“Yes, definitely, but really Jonny, why do you bring this up?”
Jonathan could no longer contain his laughter, and just in time for they pulled up at their destination
Walter’s farm, not farm land, but an animal farm, and not just any farm, but a new farm, a very popular tourist site with a rare and unusual bird.
Kati saw it and comprehension dawned and she joined in Jonathan’s laughter,”oh, very appropriate indeed.”
Laughing quietly, they drove onto Walter’s Farm