"Ed. Ed wake up."
I slowly open my eyes to see who in the world would be waking me up at this hour and then I realize I can only be one person. Audrey. She's across the room getting dressed for work as should I. I get up and start getting dressed for work next to her.
"What are you smiling about?" she inquires.
I didn't know I was. The truth is that I still can't believe that after all these years she still wants me, that she still wants this shack and all that the aces turned me into.
"Nothing," I reply.
Together we walk out of the bedroom and to the kitchen where together we prepare breakfast before heading off to another day of driving cabs. Audrey makes the food and I make the coffee. I pour a cup for me, a cup for Audrey and I almost pour one for the Doorman but then I remember the Doorman is gone. I put the cup I grabbed for him back in the cupboard and then set the other two on the table.
A lot of things have changed, a lot of people have left since the aces stopped coming.
The year the Doorman died so did Millie and Bernie. I still go see her from time to time though. I miss being Jimmy. I miss having coffee with the Doorman. Bernie's movie theater is gone though. It was sold to a construction company and was demolished to develop new apartments.
A few years ago the Tatupu's left town. Lua got a job in the city and moved the family there. I still get calls from them though. They're always inviting me and Audrey up to the city to see the new house. At Christmas we will go, to see the lights. Sophie's left too but for college. I see her sometimes when she's home on holiday. I walk down to the field where the Sledge game is held and see running around the track. She's shoeless as always. The woman and daughter from Edgar street are gone too. The daughter, Angelina, grew up and moved away. For a few years the mother stayed behind but then she left too.
There are a few things that are still the same. The gang still gets together and plays cards every so often. More people come now. Marv married Suzanne soon after the aces stopped coming so he brings her and Melinda the other kids they've had to the games sometimes. Ritchie's found a girl too. They're not married but they are shackin' up and she comes to the games too. I still sit in Father O'Reilly's congregation every Sunday. He's grown old but he hasn't lost his enthusiasm for preaching.
It took me a few years to do but eventually I convinced Audrey that having kids would be good for us. We tried, oh boy did we try but they never came. I'm not mad or angry about that. Even though I was able to convince Audrey to try it I guess she's still afraid of being hurt by the people she loves. I can accept that.
After breakfast Audrey and I walk to the Vacant Taxis like we do every day. But it's all right because I'm with her and because of the aces.