Drucker's General Store

It started out like any other day in the town of Hooterville. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and all around, the residents in the small city were going about their usual routines, either tending to their crops or running their small businesses (or in Mr. Haney's case, crooked businesses). Amongst those people was Mr. Drucker, who at the moment was busy sorting through boxes of mail and preparing for yet another "Old Mail Day", which was quickly approaching. He had gotten through a good number of boxes when a trio of very well known customers walked in to his general store.

"Well, good morning Mr. and Mrs. Douglas! Good morning, Eb," he greeted them warmly. He put aside the numerous boxes of mail before him before resuming his regular stance at the cash register.

"Hello, Mr. Drucker," Lisa replied, though her sentence was somewhat mangled by her thick Hungarian accent. Eb strolled up to the register and returned Mr. Drucker's hello with a big goofy smile of his own, and Oliver merely nodded and smiled politely.

"Well, what can I do you for today," Mr. Drucker asked, scanning the three of them for any clue.

"Yes," Oliver piped up before his wife or hired hand had a chance to answer, "We just came in to get our mail."

"And four packages of spas-ghetti," Lisa added quickly, almost to the point where it wasn't understandable.

"Excuse me," Mr. Drucker asked in confusion, but instead of getting an answer, he saw Oliver slowly turn towards Lisa with a stern look on his face, almost as a father gazes upon a child when they spoke out of turn.

"Lisa, I told you, we are not getting anymore spaghetti."

"But vhy not," Lisa whined in return, sticking out her lower lip in disappointment.

"Because, you're last few attempts at making spaghetti ended up all over our ceiling! We still haven't gotten the remnants down," Oliver replied with a frustrated roll of his eyes.

"Vell, how vas I supposed to know mixing vinegar and baking soda vould cause it to explode like that," Lisa challenged.

"It says on the vinegar bottle! 'Do not mix with baking soda!' Besides, those ingredients do not belong in spaghetti anyhow!"

"Oh, but Olivah! Just give me one more chance," she begged. "I promise I von't make anything explode again!

"No! End of discussion," Oliver replied resolutely, but Eb quickly jumped in to add more.

"Aw, come on dad! Let mom have her fun!"

"Don't call me dad," Oliver retorted, nearly exploding with anger himself. "And you're not allowed to have a say in this! You're the one who have her the half-brained idea to use vinegar and baking soda in the first place!"

"Did you just call me half-brained," Lisa asked him incredulously, looking as if she was about ready to smack him. Oliver quickly put his hands up in defense.

"Of course not, I said the idea was half-brained!"

"So you were implying that I'm half-brained," Eb cut in angrily. Oliver rolled his eyes in Eb's direction.

"Well, if the shoe fits," he retorted hotly. This led the three to get into a bitter argument until all of what they were saying blended together into one chaotic din. Seeing that tensions were beginning to run too high, Mr. Drucker put on his post master hat and sorted through a bag of mail that had just arrived that morning until he found one with the name Douglas written across it. Hoping to high heaven it would be enough to distract them, he raised the letter over his head.

"You got one letter here, Mr. Douglas," he said, having to yell to be heard over the noise. "It's from a Leslie Dubois."

At the mention of that name, all arguments immediately ceased and a stunned silence seemed to follow. Simultaneously, all three of them slowly turned their faces to stare at Mr. Drucker, the same look of shock etched across all of their faces. Mr. Drucker started a bit from the intense looks they gave him and returned their looks with a surprised one of his own.

"Was it something I said," he asked, seeming to snap the group out of their reverie. Oliver, whose mouth was nearly hanging open, shook his head to clear it a bit but never lost that flabbergasted look in his eyes.

"Leslie Dubois," he repeated her name slowly, as if turning it over in his mind. "I haven't thought of that name in years!"

"Who's Leslie Dubois," Mr. Drucker asked, but the three carried on as if he hadn't spoken.

"Neither have I," Lisa added, absentmindedly walking over to her husband and taking his hand.

"Who's Leslie Dubois," Mr. Drucker tried again, but he still remained in the dark as he was once again ignored completely.

"Why would she write to you just all of a sudden like that," Eb asked, looking as thoroughly confused as Mr. Drucker was, but for different reasons. "I thought that part of your lives was over.

"What part," the general store owner asked, attempting a new approach but failing miserably.

"I thought it was," Oliver answered, prompting a stern look from Lisa. "I mean, I know it is," he quickly amended himself, "but apparently Leslie doesn't think so."

"Who's Leslie Dubois," Sam Drucker practically screamed, causing the trio to jump in surprise. Oliver smiled apologetically.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Drucker. Leslie Dubois was….well, she was….," he came close to just spilling out the whole tale, but he quickly decided against the matter. After all, reliving what could have been the biggest mistake of his life was just too painful. Instead, Oliver shook his head. "Oh, forget it! It's too long of a story!"

"Oh come on, Olivah! I would love to hear it again," Lisa prompted him, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.

"Yeah," Mr. Drucker added, "and I have all day to hear it!"

"But I don't! I have farm work to do," Oliver insisted and attempted to make a quick exit, but Lisa's firm grasp on his hand prevented him from doing so.

"Oh come on, dahling! Please," she begged him, giving the pout she knew her husband could not resist. Oliver sighed.

"Fine," he relented, causing Lisa to jump for joy and give him a peck on the cheek. Despite himself, he smiled at the warm, familiar gesture and seemed to gather strength from it. He took a seat in the middle of the store, prompting the others to do the same, and took a deep breath before beginning his narrative.

"Well, do you remember when we told you how my wife and I met during the war and were reunited in Paris," Oliver asked Mr. Drucker. Mr. Drucker thought a while before responding.

"Oh yes! You proposed to Mrs. Douglas and were married after you got her father's blessing."

"Well….it's not quite as simple as that," Oliver confessed, offering Mr. Drucker a somewhat sheepish smile. "We sort of left a chunk of the story out."

"A big chunk," Lisa threw in.

"Huge," Eb offered as well.

"Will you two stop helping," he Oliver snapped at them before returning his attention back to Mr. Drucker.

"You see, I was actually engaged to be married to Leslie Dubois, that woman who sent us that letter, before I proposed to Mrs. Douglas." Mr. Drucker's eyes nearly bugged out of his head.

"So you mean you were reunited with your wife after you had gotten engaged to another woman," he asked incredulously. Oliver nodded in affirmation.

"And it's a long sorted story after that," he added in a somewhat tired tone.

"As I said, I have all day," Mr. Drucker responded cheerfully. Oliver sighed once more.

"Well, it all started twelve years ago….."

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Hello again! Sorry this one kinda got off to a slow start, I had a hard time coming up with ideas for the intro. But don't worry, from here on out, it'll be nothing but romance, a bit of drama, and a forbidden love! Doesn't that sound exciting! Well anyway, hope you enjoyed it thus far and reviews are greatly appreciated! Ciou for now!