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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 29


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.


But aren't you dead

Garrison stopped at the upper deck railing when he saw Friday in the pool. She was once again dressed in her white bikini.

"Friday, I have someone here who wants to talk to you," Garrison told the girl.

Friday tossed her wet hair and said, "Who, another date of yours?"

Garrison smiled and replied, "I think you know who. You're here right now because he's here."

Friday stopped fidgeting in the water. Her face was framed in surprise. "He's here. Freddy's here."

Mr. Kaylor walked cautiously up to the rail and stared at the girl in the pool. Friday stared back.

"You've gotten old, Freddy," she said, sounding disappointed. "I thought Garrison was you when he first came around. I forgot how people on your side age."

Mr. Kaylor moved to the end of the rail and down the steps to the pool deck, never taking his eyes off the girl in the pool. "Is it really you, Friday? It can't be you. This is some kind of hoax. You died. You drowned. I saw you."

"You're right, Freddy. You saw me. You found me too late to save me, but you saw me."

Mr. Kaylor edged closer to the pool. "What are you doing here, Friday? Why are you still ... uh ... why haven't you -"


I'm dead, but I'm here

"Gone to heaven?" Friday finished for the tongue-tied Mr. Kaylor. "I kind of have, Freddy. Did you know there are three heavens? I didn't. Not until I got to this side. I'm still stuck in the first one. Some people like to stay here, too. I don't know why. They do, though, like those two kids who hang out up at the park. They could move on anytime they want, but they stay in the park. Beats me. I'd really like to move on."

Mr. Kaylor looked over his shoulder at Garrison. "Is this real? Is this really happening?"

Garrison nodded and signaled his father to turn back around.

"I know it's hard to believe, Freddy, but I am real. Or I'm really here. Well, sort of really here. I'm not sure what the rules are, but I can show myself one week every year. I've never bothered because you were never here. I showed myself this year when I saw Garrison because I thought he was you." Friday grimaced and continued. "I even accidentally kissed him the second day before I figured out he was your son and not you."

Mr. Kaylor's head snapped around. "You kissed Friday," he said almost as an accusation.

"Don't get mad at Garrison," Friday urged Mr. Kaylor. "He didn't kiss me back. Also, he didn't know I wasn't a corporeal being at the time."

Mr. Kaylor rubbed his temples. "I wonder if this is what a nervous breakdown feels like."

"Dad," Garrison called out. "You're not having a nervous breakdown. If you were, why would I be able to see and talk to Friday?"

"Good point," Mr. Kaylor conceded. His attention returned to the girl in the pool. "Is there some way I can help you move on, Friday?"

"There must be, Freddy. Why else would I have the chance to show up here every year for the past thirty-some-odd years?"

You can say it

Mr. Kaylor stood, rubbing his upper lip and chin. Garrison didn't know his father very well, but he knew his father did this when thinking hard about something.

When Mr. Kaylor dropped his hand, he said to Friday, "You know you can't move on until I do something or we do something, but you don't know what that something is. Then we need to figure out what we, either me or both of us together, need to do."

Friday kicked up water with her feet. "I wish I knew. If I did, we could do it and be done with it, and I could go to the next level."

Mr. Kaylor keyed in on one of the expressions Friday used. "The night you, uh, of your accident -"

"Come on, Freddy," Friday admonished the stuttering attorney. "You can say drowned or died. It's not as if you're going to hurt my feelings."

Mr. Kaylor gave a dry chuckle. "Okay. The night you died, you and I were going to make love." Over his shoulder, he called, "Garrison, close your ears."

"Dad," Garrison replied, "I already know what you're going to say."

Being a virgin isn't keeping me out of heaven

Friday spoke up and said, "Really, Freddy? You think I'm being kept from moving on to the second heaven and beyond because we DIDN'T have sex. No, somehow I don't think being a virgin is the reason I'm stuck here."

Friday looked past Mr. Kaylor and Garrison and said, "Somebody's coming. I better go. You two geniuses keep trying to think about what Freddy needs to do to get me out of here and on my way. I'll pop in tomorrow when it's just the two of you."

She swam quickly to the deep end, climbed out, grabbed her sundress off the table, and disappeared where the gate used to be in the wall.

Mr. Kaylor watched Friday until she disappeared. "Does she always leave that way, out by where the old gate used to be?"

"She has every time I've seen her go," Garrison confirmed.

The door to the family room opened, and Trina came out onto the deck with Laurel following close behind.

"Look who I found coming up the driveway," Trina announced to the two men. "This lovely young lady is Laurel. She says she is Garrison's girlfriend. It seems she has the passcode for the gate." Trina zeroed in on Garrison. "Why didn't you just give your father the new passcode when he called?"

"I hate to admit it," Garrison replied, "but I don't remember it. My cars have buttons in them that operate the gates and garage doors."

"Oh," Trina said. "I guess your explanation is reasonable. Now, may I ask what you Kaylor men are doing out here by the pool? Are you thinking about going for a swim?"

"We just came out to get some air," Mr. Kaylor told his bride.

"I see," Trina said. She closed the family room door and walked down to the pool deck to join her husband. "I, too, found myself in need of some air a short time ago. You and I, husband, have a lot to talk about."

Laurel moved to stand next to Garrison. "You're dad is married. I thought he just got engaged."

Garrison replied in equally low tones. "They eloped last Friday. Speaking of Friday, have I got a lot to tell you."

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 30

© 2021 DW Davis

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