shelby trotter was a 45 year old man. He had been on his own since he was 18 years old. Life and work had broken him down. He was short, stocky and walked with a limp. Hard labor will do that to you. He was not blessed in anyway but is hard to be disappointed in life when you never expected much. When you know life did not pick you to achieve anything. He is single his last girlfriend he had left him for another man. They broke up when she found someone else. They were together for five years and he thought she was the one. He was thinking about asking her to marry him. But she cheated on him. She admitted it to him and he begged her to stay. But she said she was in love with another man. She had been carrying the affair for over a year now and she felt guilty so two weeks ago. She sat him down and told him everything.
That is not a deal breaker he told her. I still love you and I want to be with you. forever and ever.
Standing stiff and with no emotion whatsoever she told him "I think I want to marry this man. I do not love you anymore shelby".
Still not a deal breaker and I will take you back. I love you. This is a temporary split. He said. Let's give it another go I can be a better man.
I think this is more than temporary, Shelby. I do not love you anymore. Forget about me and find someone else. She said
I do not want anyone else. I want you.
She felt sorry for him but knew she wanted more out of life.
This man wants more out of life, shelby. He is manager at a bank. He has been around the world. You have been working the same job, same position I need a man with goals and ambition. I have lots of big dreams. I dont want to live here forever, stuck in this nowhere existence. Take care of yourself, shelby maybe in another lifetime.
She laid it on thick. No vagueness.
You have my number if it does not work out you can call me anytime. He told her.
Shelby worked as a cashier for a wal mart. It was a job a job he had been doing for 25 years. Same job, same location. Nothing has changed with him. He had seen so many come and go, they started families, graduated from school and did big things with their life. He was still there. He tried doing the school thing, he graduated high school went to college for a few years but he flunked out. He tried but he was not made for book learning. He tried and tried but could not get the grades to stay in school. He Dropped out he took a job at wal mart to provide for himself. He found himself a job, moved out and has been on his own since.
He applied for the job when he was twenty, which means he is 45 years old now. And has not done anything with his life since. You ask him who he was he would tell you shelby trotter , wal mart employee. No accomplishments, no aspirations. He was not ashamed of his life he did the best he could. He works his 40 hours at wal mart, more if his boss needs him. Most of the time he ends up working 60 hours a week because many of his coworkers call out sick. His boss loved him because he was reliable he did not call out and if he needed him for overtime he always said yes. He was always there, others called out sick, but not shelby.
He does not have many friends. Not much of a social life. His childhood pal , Paul Reeves, his best friend, other than that he is a loner. He does not go out much but he does love watching television. He loved game of thrones and now he is stuck on ozarks. His best friend Paul was a civil war reenactor and he brought him in. He was hesitant at first because he thought it was a bunch of nerds play acting. But he got hooked and now Shelby has been doing it for ten years. He did not know much about the war when he first started but ever since his buddy got him involved in it he immersed himself in the history. When he started he was doing it to stay busy and have something besides work to do. But now he read all the books and even collected some memorabilia. He was proud to call himself a scholar and hold his own against anyone with regards to this time in history. He knew all the important dates , and characters in that bloodied past. He was civil war history buff now, he something in his life other than wal mart cashier. His main audience are kids who are brought there on a school trip. He sees this a chance to get them hooked and interested in something besides video games. They do not want to be there a lot of the times. So he knows how important he is to them. He wants them to know as much as he does about this country's history. This is his chance to shine because he wants to entertain and enlighten them. Is important to him to get them excited about their country's history. When he first started His favorite possession is the letters he gets from adults that watched him when they were kids. They are all grown up now and became civil war buffs because of him. They will send him pictures of them posing with Confederate statues. It filled him with pride who would have thought a high school dropout could be as educated as any college professor on a subject. He values those letters because he knows he was able to make a difference.
You know it was eating him up not to be able to perform. So every weekend without fail he would call up his friend and ask him when they were going to restart their hobby.
Paul tried telling him look is going to be a while before we can restart this the mayor wants us to social distance which makes what we do impossible.
Every day Paul's phone would ring he knew it was shelby asking about their reenactments.
Shelby missed the reenactments but he also missed hanging out with his buddies after work. They finish putting on a show and they would get drinks afterwards. He missed all of that.
He loved doing it but he did not realize how important it was to him. He was in a funk. These last six months with nothing to do besides his job was driving him crazy. He would call his supervisor to give him extra shifts.
He was excited when he saw his supervisor's number on his call waiting. Hey shelby said jonathan bloom we dont need you right now. With this pandemic I am going to have to cut back your hours. We are not doing so good.
Yeah. Buddy. We are not going to be needing you for this week. The Corona is kicking our butt we have lost a lot of business. So we are going to have you on stand by.
He hung up the phone. Sat back down and nursed his beer. No work, girlfriend or his hobbies he grew a little angry.
Shelby what will you do?
He called his ex a few times but she would not pick up. He hung up but after a few beers he left her a message. He was getting angrier and so were his messages.
I want you back was the message he left after call number 76. It was a different tone for call 156. How could you do this to me I loved you. How could you break my heart. I dont want to live anymore.
He was on call number 234 and he hung up. Tired and defeated. He went to sleep with his liquor bottle.
Woke to, he was hungover and forgot what took place the other day. It took him awhile to realize he had no girlfriend and for the moment no where to go.
He laid about until 3pm when his buddy called him.
Yeah said shelby
We are back in business replied Paul. We got a gig at the state park. You in?
Hell yeah I am in.
Alright let's do this. This saturday. I will pick you up. Be ready. I will be at your door at 12pm. They both hung up the phone and shelby was excited that he had an excuse to get out of the house. He was down but this was the boost he needed.