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Owner of A Lonely Heart

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Hopper finishes off his third beer inside the Dept. Sheriff truck. Tossing it into the the bag on the passanger seat he lets out a loud belch and looks around the wooded area he parked inside to hide.

It's been a slow day and he knew nobody would be around or making any noise since it was a Saturday.

 

Knowing he would probably get a call from Flo just to make sure he was alive he decides he better make a presence in town just so they knew he was around and watching the area.

Turning on the cruiser he drives off back towards the small town.


 Joyce walks out of the store in a hurry with Will's medicine in a white paper bag. He has been dealing with the flu since he brought it home from school on Thursday.

 Before she left Will had a high fever of 103°, she told Jonathan to keep an eye on him while she was gone so she could get more medication.

 

Placing her cigarette in between her lips she climbs into her car and quickly pulls back from her parking spot with a loud squeal from her tires.

Joyce speeds down the street not paying attention to anything else on the road, her mind was back with Will. She was so deep in thought she never saw the sheriff cruiser pulling out of the woods and stopping that the stop sign.

She didn't slow down when she passed the cruiser. 


 Hopper stops at the stop sign and watches a car race down the street, he couldn't believe it. Never in his time working in this town did someone speed so fast down the street.

Hopper tightens his hands onto the steering wheel and revs the engine.

"Not today asshole." He flips on the lights and slams on the gas speeding after the car.


"Don't you worry sweetie, I'm gonna be home in just a few minutes. I'll give you your medicine and you'll start to feel a whole lot better. I promise." Joyce says talking to herself as if Will was with her inside the car.

The sound of sirens coming from behind her pulls her out of her head and into the real world.

She was still on the road, racing home to her sick son. She glances down towards her speedometer and feels her heart drop when she realizes she's going 70 in a 30.

"Shit!" She shouts slamming her hand onto the steering wheel knowing she screwed up and was gonna be home later then wanted. She begins to slow the card down until she pulls over to the side of the road, the sheriff cruiser pulling up behind her.

"Damn it Joyce." She shouts to herself as she puts the car in park.

Leaning over she grabs the registration from inside the glove box and her drivers license from her purse.

Smashing the last of her cigarette into the ashtray in the car she blows out the rest of the smoke.


Hopper grabs his cheif hat and paper to write the ticket. He knew he should have stopped at two beers instead of 3.

Letting out another belch he climbs out of the truck and walks towards the car.


Joyce doesn't want to watch the sheriff walking her way to scold her, she knew she messed up. Maybe they would let her off with a warning when she lets him know that she has a sick kid at home.

With a knock at her window she rolls down the window and waits.

 "Good evening, you have any idea why I stopped you today?" Hopper asks.

Joyce sighs and closes her eyes.

"Yes, I was speeding." She answers opening her eyes to look at her lap.

"You sure as shit were, I mean I've never seen anyone go that fast down this street." He says.

Joyce knew that voice, she could recognize that voice anywhere. Looking up she sees Hopper.

"Hop?"

 

Hopper bends over and sees that he stopped Joyce.

"Joyce?" He couldn't believe it. Of all people to break the law he wouldn't think Joyce would have the guts. "What the hell?"

"I didn't know you became a cop again." She says.

"Well in all honesty after we talked at your house that night I decided I might as well try." He answers. He looks to her car she's driving and realizes why he didn't know it was her driving.

"Who's car are you driving?" Hop asks.

"Jonathan's." She answers. "I'm happy you decided to join the department again." She smiles.

"It was all you. I just listened, when I came into the station Flo saw me and smiled. She called one of the sheriff's in and he remembered who I was. Two day later I had the job, just a bit different job."

"Different?" She asks.

"I'm the cheif of police now." He smiles down towards her.

Joyce squeals with excitement as she opens the driver door, climbing out she gives him a hug.

"I'm so happy for you." She says. Hopper gladly tightens his arms around her hugging her just as tight as she was with him.

They haven't hugged since that night.

How long ago has it been? Two months? Three?

"How've you been?" She asks still enjoying their hug.

"Getting better." He answers.

She takes a deep breath getting ready to say something when she smells a familiar scent.

Beer?

Why does Jim smell like beer?

He wouldn't drink while on duty, would he?

"Good." She answers pulling back to look at his face. Joyce knows what he looks like when he's drunk, it may have been years ago since they both had a Friday night party after school but she remembers they look he would have.

Eyes becoming squinted from feeling the alcohol relaxing him and making him feel a bit tired.

She smiles up towards him seeing his eyes squinted.

"How about you?" He asks. "How have you been?"

She shakes her head and remembers why she's in the position she's in.

"My son Will, he's got the flu and is running a fever. I had to get his prescription to make sure he gets the medicine he needs." She answers.

"The reason you were speeding."

"Exactly." She nods.

"Then I'll let you go, get your kid his medicine." He says placing his hand onto her shoulder and tries to lead her towards the car.

"Thanks Hop." She says. Turning she looks to him again. "Congratulations on the new title and I'm happy that you're starting to feel better."

Hopper smiles. "Thanks Joyce. It means a lot coming from you."

Joyce takes a seat in the car and turns to look to him.

"Wait, Hop do you still want to give me the ticket?" She asks knowing she sure deserves it.

"No, just make sure to go the speed limit Speedy Gonzalez." He chuckles.

Joyce gives a chuckle and salutes with her right hand.

"Yes Cheif Hopper."

He smiles. "That's got a ring to it doesn't it?"

"Sure does Hop." She says as he closes her car door and starts to back up to let her drive away.

"Don't be a stranger, come over some time." She says starting up the car and bucking up.

"I'll have to take you up on that offer sometime." He answers walking back towards his truck.

Waving one last time she drives off and heads back towards the house.

Joyce thinks about that night those months ago when Hop came over in tears.

How he felt like he couldn't do it anymore. How he said his ex wife left him because of his drinking problem.

Joyce knew Hop was drinking tonight, she smelt it on him and his eyes told the truth.

As she drives back hone she can't help but begin to cry for her friend. He was still dealing with his pain by using alcohol to numb it.

She knew her friend still wasn't okay.