"Need some help lady?" A deep voice called out.
"Yes, please! I think I have a flat and I'm going to be late getting to my book club meeting," she called. She had turned around and saw a large blocky man approaching her. He wasn't dressed like the farmers in the area; he wore black jogging pants and a grey tank top. A muscle shirt she thought she had heard Trey call them. Or maybe a wife beater shirt? She couldn't remember. Anyway, the man looked, well, sturdy. Broad. Wide. Muscular. He sure didn't look like her little old scrawny Ernie that's for sure. She felt a little guilty for thinking the thoughts, but pushed them out of her mind.
"You're from up the road, aren't you?" he asked.
"Yes, the U-Pick Blueberry farm." She couldn't take her eyes off his arms as he began to rummage around in her trunk. This man had muscles on top of muscles she thought. "Technically I guess it's a couple of miles, but too far to walk back home."
"Got a son? Tall boy?" She heard clanking sounds as he moved around the tire iron and some cans of oil.
"That's my Trey." she replied with a smile. "He's gone out to Missouri now to university."
"Nice looking kid. Didn't think I'd seen him around in a while. I used to see his truck go up and down the road to the high school."
By now he had taken out her spare and propped it up against the car.
"Kids grow up so fast." He poked a chubby finger at the tire, rolling it a bit back and forth.
"At least he hadn't gone off to college when Ernie died." She stopped. She couldn't say the word "died" yet without feeling a twinge of sadness.
"Yeah, your old ma- husband, I mean". He stopped short, hoping his error hadn't been noticed.
"That's ok, everyone knew his age." Lois laughed a weak laugh.
The man cleared his throat, probably embarrassed Lilith thought.
"Look, lady, your tire..."
"Oh I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself. I'm Lilith Flatwater. And you are?" she let her voice trail off so he could fill in the blank.
"Just call me Jack. Jack Bronson."