Image Chapter 8 by Wil Moore

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He didn't know he was looking for it until it stared him straight in the face. It was the little ‘Racecar Joey' that never died. Every once in a while, when the light hit him just right, he could see the little boy zooming around in the front lawn, just for moments at a time. This was one of those moments. Joe knew it too. He knew when Kak looked at him that way, with half his mouth turned up, eyes squinted, and the look of quiet reflection smothered all about him. And always Joe would turn away as if embarrassed that the silly carrot man knew him so well. But not this time. This time Joe stared back not flinching for anything.

"I don't expect you to understand it all but I do expect you to accept it." Joe paused and sighed. After a moment he continued. "Look Kak, you don't really have a choice but to accept it, and I don't either. Yes, they're gone, and no, they're not coming back. And I think about that often, more than you will ever know. But it's time to move on, get on with our lives. We can't sit here in contemplation of the past forever, you know."

Kak fidgeted, then dropped his hands to his side. He didn't want to accept it, not in the least, but Joe was right. If they were gone, they were gone, and there was nothing either of them could do about it. But only half his worries had been set to rest.

"And what about me, Joe?" Kak said, staring out the window. He couldn't bear to look at the man when he asked.

"Oh, Kak. You worry too much!" Joe said, laughingly. "Well, I guess it's my own fault. I guess I should have told you sooner but I wasn't even sure myself until recently." Joe walked over to his friend. Though Joey had grown immensely in the past few years, Kak was still much taller, but Kak being so thin, they weighed about the same. "You and I Kak... you and I are gettin' out of here."

"Out of here? What does that mean?"

"It means we are going to get a place together."

"We?" Kak's face brightened until it shined as bright as the sun. Fireworks went off one after another in the pupils of his eyes.

"Yeah," Joe assured, "I got a job downtown. Nothin' great but it's enough for a one bedroom place. You can sleep on the couch, and in the bed when I'm at work okay?"

"O—okay," Kak forced out. He was in shock; it was the last thing he expected to hear. Years worth of pent up frustration fell away like water over a cliff. "Thank you," he whispered.