Read Remember My Name Online

Authors: Chase Potter

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Remember My Name

Remember My Name

 

 

Chase Potter

 

 

 

 

CHASE POTTER
BOOKS

www.chasepotter.com

 

Remember My Name

Copyright © 2015 Chase Potter

 

All rights reserved. No part
of this may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior consent
of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

 

This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the
products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely
coincidental.

 

ISBN-10: 0692376682

ISBN-13: 978-0692376683

 

 

__________

 

 

 

For my brother.

 

 

 

__________

Acknowledgements

 

So many people have helped me
along the way, but first I’d like to thank all of my readers. Your encouragement
and criticism have helped shape me as a writer, and this book wouldn’t have
been the same without your help. Thanks for sticking with me!

 

For feedback and
contributions to this novel, I would also like to thank Brian Gumm, Nick
Pageant, Joseph Prout, Sunne Manello, and my husband, Mitchell.

Chapter One

Jackson

 

“Is that all you want?” His
words hang thick in the air like the day’s humidity – similarly coming on
strong and definitely contributing to the perspiration under my arms.

“Yeah, that’s it,” I manage,
ignoring my discomfort at being the focus of his piercing brown eyes. From the
moment I entered the store, I haven’t been able to look anywhere else.

He picks out the air hose
connector from the shelf and sets it into my open hand, the tips of his fingers
making the briefest contact with my palm. I glance up at him, letting my gaze
linger there only a moment before I look away.

Following him back to the
front of the hardware store, I wonder who he is. Northfield isn’t that big, and
he seems about my age, but I’ve never seen him before. He has a decent build,
and he might even work out. It’s hard to really tell, because his weathered
t-shirt is a size too big and hangs off his shoulders. Splotchy grease stains
cover the fabric, making it look like a dirty leopard print. Engine grease, not
fast food grease.

He rings me up at the till.
“Four seventy-five,” he says, watching as I dig out the wallet from my back
pocket. “Cash or credit?”

If the idea weren’t
completely crazy, I’d think that the extra looks I’m sending his way are almost
being reciprocated. But they definitely can’t be. That would be just a bit too
brazen for this town, regardless of who this guy is.

“Um, cash,” I say, sliding a
twenty across the counter.

He makes half an effort at a
smile as he gives me the change and points a glance at my purchase. “You
working on some kind of project?”

Suddenly the blue shirt with
the white lettering feels tight across my chest. “Redoing the roof. This is for
the air nailer.” I could elaborate, but I don’t know what else I’d say. Unable to
withstand his expectant gaze any longer, I look away. “See you.”

“Later,” he says, the hint
of something I don’t recognize filtering into his voice.

The door chimes behind me as
I step out onto the sidewalk and squint into the sun. Rounding the corner, I
let out a long breath. I’ve never met a guy like that before. I get myself in
trouble sometimes, letting my eyes stray or saying something I shouldn’t. But
for some reason, I feel like part of him was right there with me. He wasn’t
exactly checking me out, at least not like I was doing to him, but there was
something there.

I shouldn’t get my hopes up,
because it always gets thrown in my face. Sometimes literally, like last winter
when the thing getting “thrown in my face” was a fist.

But that guy… he didn’t seem
to mind. Could he really be like me? If not, what else could it have been?

I’m halfway down the block
when a voice calls after me. “Hey, wait up.”

I turn as he slows to a
walk. Eager smile, inquisitive eyes. It takes me a moment to remember to move
my mouth. “Can I help you with something?”

Holding his hand out, he
reveals a pair of aviators in his palm.
My
aviators. “You forgot these.”

I pause, making him wait
several seconds before I finally take the sunglasses. “Thanks.”

“I’m Matt,” he says quickly.
Fingers drifting up, he brushes shaggy black hair out of his eyes. Is he
nervous?

I hesitate before giving him
my name as well. “Jackson.”

“You live here in
Northfield?”

I nod. “A few miles out.”

He brightens, but at what, I
have no clue. “Cool.”

What’s he waiting for?
Silence wedges itself between us, beginning to threaten awkwardness when he
asks, “You need help on that roof?”

“You’re serious?”

Redness hits his face like a
crimson sunrise. “I’m pretty handy, and that hardware place doesn’t give me many
hours.” He’s talking really fast. “Anyway, it’s cool if you don’t need any
help, it was kind of a dumb idea. Sorry.” He takes a quick breath as he turns
away.

“Sure.” Did I really just
say that? My heartbeat is loud in my ears.

He freezes, already several
steps away. “Huh?”

“I mean, I’d have to ask my
dad, but I think we could use help.” Moisture on my palms, across my chest,
under my arms. Am I really agreeing to this? I don’t even know this guy. But
part of me hopes something more is going on here.

“You know where to find me.”
He smiles, catching my eyes for an extra moment.

 

*     *     *    
*

 

“Here it is,” I say, holding
out the connector across the bench seat of the truck.

He looks up and takes the
part between his fingers. Just like mine, his hands are perfectly average.
Neither long and thin, nor broad and strong. Unlike mine, however, they’re
rough with calluses and threaded with lines.

“Looks good, Jackson. How
much was it?” Wrinkles around his eyes betray the age that has crept up on him
over the last ten years.

I shrug. “Like five bucks, I
think. I wasn’t really paying attention.” Actually I was just distracted.

He runs two fingers across
his cleft chin and its covering of stubble. “If you’re ever going to run a
business or have a good job, you’ll need to get better at keeping track of
numbers. Accurate record keeping is one of the most important parts of adult
life.”

“Okay, Dad.” I’m careful to
add just enough deference into my tone so he doesn’t think I’m talking back.
“Can we go home now?”

“Sure,” he says, starting up
the truck.

As he pulls out onto the
highway that will take us out of town, I remember the reckless suggestion
presented to me only minutes earlier. “So, um, what do you think about getting
some help with the roof?”

Dad gives me a look like I
should know better. “Like a contractor? I can’t really afford to pay for that.”

“What about just one person?
Like a weekend job for someone my age?”

He shrugs, his voice
pensive. “That wouldn’t be terrible, I suppose. You have someone in mind?”

 

*     *     *    
*

 

When I step into the
hardware store for the second time, I’ve prepared myself enough so that I’m not
overwhelmed when Matt’s attention lands on me.

He’s leaning against the
counter beside the cash register, twirling a pen between his fingers. “Hey,” he
says. He sounds glad to see me, and a feeling of lightness flutters in my
stomach.

“I was, uh…” I’ve never had
a problem with public speaking, but this is on an entirely different level.
Poking my toe at a dust bunny on the floor, I force my eyes upward to meet his
waiting expression. “I was thinking we might be able to use your help on the
roof.”

He lights up almost before
I’ve gotten the words out. “Seriously? I could totally use the cash. I work
here every summer, but they never give me enough hours.” When he smiles, his
whole face comes alive.

“As long as you’re sure that
you’re up for it. It’s a lot of work.”

His eagerness not
diminishing in the slightest, he nods quickly. “I know. I’ve roofed before.”

“Really?”

“Don’t look so surprised,”
he says with a laugh. “Do I not look like the type?” Judging by his biceps, the
physical part of the job won’t be an issue. Noticing my gaze, he grins. “That’s
what I thought.”

My face might actually start
to burn if it gets any hotter.
Time to bail, Jackson
. Swallowing away my
embarrassment, I ask, “Can I leave my number with you?”

Sporting a sly, lopsided
smile, he hands me a slip of paper and the pen he’s been spinning between his
fingers. Hastily scrawling out the number, I push the paper back at him. “When
are you free to help out?”

He shrugs, glancing at the
paper with my number. “Just let me know a few days ahead and I can make sure my
schedule is free.”

“Sure,” I say, wanting to
get out of there as fast as I can. It’s getting hard to keep forming coherent
sentences with him shooting off that smile of his. Before I go, I remember that
Dad told me to find out how much we’d have to pay him before I promised him any
work. Better late than never.

“Um, how much do you want an
hour?”

Cocking his head to the
side, he examines me, as if that has some bearing on how much he’ll work for.
“Roofing is hard work. Fifteen an hour.”

Crap. Dad said no more than
twelve. My fingers fidget with the keys in my pocket. “Deal.”

“See you later,” he says. It
sounds more like a promise than the required goodbye.

Giving him a little wave, I
step outside. Before I’ve even gotten in Dad’s truck, my phone vibrates with a
message from a new number.
Now you have my number too. –Matt

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