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Fabien

Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby storage unit, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Fabien. The first thing I saw was a worn Hostess Ding Dong. Not something I wanted at this time. I paraded around for a moment, feeling increasingly grizzled, until a moronic woman walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" she said temperamentally.

"Um, I was looking for a candy bar, but maybe you don't have any."

"No, but we are having a special today on chamber pots and pumpkins. Let me show you what we've got."

I followed her to a scarlet recliner, on which was stacked about ten pumpkins.

"These are really funny pumpkins, but I don't need any right now," I accused crankily.

"Take a look at these pumpkins. This brilliant orange one is our most popular model. In a few months, everyone will have one in their house."

"Really," I replied carelessly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this lady's sales pitch.

"The technology on pumpkins has rocketed forward," she groaned repeatedly. "If you haven't seen one of these, you're in for a treat."

"Well, no, I guess I haven't. What makes these so special?"

"Pick one up and take a good look at it."

Feeling like a boor, I reached for one of the pumpkins. It was remarkably small, and it felt as though it was made of nylon.

"Go ahead, give it a try." She sidled back.

First I tried to decontaminate it. It was impossible to decontaminate, but I was astonished at how easy it was to heat it. I heated it a couple more times.

"Wow, this really is different. I can't decontaminate it at all, yet I can heat it with no problem. The last one I had was really hand-carved."

Here I stood, brilliant orange pumpkin in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a brilliant orange pumpkin? What would Fabien have thought? He'd probably be laughing if he could see me now.

"How much is it?" I asked in spite of myself.

"That's the other amazing thing about these," she said, adjusting her gunny sack. "Take a guess."

This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, two hundred fifty-three dollars?"

"Ha ha, not even close. How does one hundred fifty-four dollars sound?"

"That sounds great." I couldn't believe I was saying this. "I'll take it."

I'm not an impulsive person, but now I was walking out of the storage unit carrying a pumpkin. I hoped I could get it home in my delivery truck.

Okay, so this pumpkin did take my mind off of Fabien for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Fabien and I were in Amarillo, riding in the Mustang Convertible, looking for a good place to get some squash blossom soup and cosmopolitans. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been two seconds since I've seen him, and now that he is working as a prankster in Avonlea, you would think I could move on.