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The dinner

Mark had Tam check his logistics, but since he didn’t have too many earnings or expenses in the past few weeks, it took Tam no time to ensure that everything was okay.

“Thank you for helping me once again, Tam. I promise this is the last time.” Mark said.

“It is okay, Mr. Henderson. I am happy to help, and also, I enjoy helping you and father like that. “ Tam Replied

Mark smiled at the boy, but if one looked closer they would see that there was a bit of sadness in his eyes that he tried to hide. If everything went as planned, it indeed would be the last time Tam helped Mark like that.

It would be problematic to lose  Tam as his help was helping him save some money, but he hoped the reward he would get would be as precious as he expected.

“You have done a lot for me those past few years, and I never paid you back. I think that should change,“ the old man said.

“It is okay, Mr. Henderson. I know your finances better than anyone, so you don’t need to get any further expenses“ Tam said.

“Well, no matter what, you deserve a reward. So tomorrow we are going to the amusement park. I have  a few friends there who can get us on some rides for free, so you don’t  have to worry about my expenses.” Mark suggested.

He truly had some friends to help him like that, but he had never used those favors since he was often too busy looking for a new delivery job.

“I…I mean, it sounds nice, but I….” Tam hesitated.

“Tam, you better not tell me you have studying to do. You know those books better than even the teachers in your school. You can have one day off.“ Mark replied

Tam just lowered his head, as he didn’t know what to say, and at the same time thought of his response.

GIRLS! We are going to the amusement park tomorrow, “he shouted before Tam thought of an excuse.

“We are going where?“ Maria’s voice was heard.

“The amusement park. We all need some….”

“But Gramps, we don’t…. “

Mark raised his hand to signal Maria to stop talking.

“It is going to be okay. For all of us, it is going to get busy in the following days. So let’s take a day to enjoy ourselves.“ Mark stated.

Melinda entered the room, following her sister.

“Can I not come? I have a busy schedule for tomorrow, “she said while she was texting.

“I am sure you can catch up with your series some other time. It is decided that we are going, and we ARE going.“ Mark reiterated

This was a rather rare occurrence of him shouting to them, but he had to do so. It surprised everyone that he did so and seemed to have the result he wanted since there were no further disagreements.

“So you Maria, how about you go make sure the guest room is ready for Tam. I will prepare dinner after making some calls.“ Mark asked.

He went to the home phone device and picked up a small notebook it had there. He had all the numbers of the people he knew there, as he couldn’t remember them all, and he could also forget some.

He called the people he knew in the amusement park to let them know they would get there tomorrow, and they were happy to help. Of course, not all of them could give him things for free, but at least they could give him a generous discount. Mark didn’t mind,  as he had thought it to be the case from the beginning.

He then went to the kitchen to prepare for dinner. He hadn’t cooked the previous nights since he returned too late, but this time around he had the time for it.

He was a decent cook,  especially after his wife passed away, and for a long time, he was the only person who could cook. After that, his daughter used to help him when she got old enough.

As for his granddaughters,  Maria was the only one that wanted to help, but her cooking skills were so bad that Mark had to ban her from the kitchen.

“Can I help, Mr. Henderson?“ Tam asked.

Mark turned towards the boy, who joined him in the kitchen.

“Hm, I could use some help. How are your cooking skills?“ Mark questioned.

Tam smiled at the old man,  picked up one of the knives, and started cutting an onion Mark was about to cut into small pieces. His use of the knife was impressive, far from a beginner.

‘He probably makes meals for himself and his father most of the time since he was working and probably wouldn’t have time to order something‘ Mark thought this to be the case.

They made a simple meal, some pasta with a sauce made from four different kinds of cheese, and a simple salad.

The four of them had some small talk during dinnertime, but they headed early to bed so that they could start early for their trip to the amusement park tomorrow.

It was just a couple of hours of driving, but Mark always wanted to have as much time as possible to look for parking space, as he wasn’t always as lucky as the last two days.

Hopefully, if things went well, he would be able to buy a car to make things easier in the near future.

[You are planning your betrayal already?] The voice asked in a snide tone.

It surprised Mark to hear the voice, as he had never heard it while he was in the house. But then he realized his bedroom should barely be within the range of two meters of the truck. His house had a big open space for him to park it.

‘You can’t expect me to drive you everywhere. I mean, I probably will, but sometimes it will be easier to use a smaller vehicle.‘ Mark replied.

[Well, it is okay as long as you don’t try to get the System of theirs. They aren’t as outstanding as yours truly.] The voice said.

‘Their System?!?‘ Mark was more than shocked.

Mark hadn’t thought that other types of Systems existed, but now that the voice mentioned it, he remembered that one of the first panels he saw mentioned the System’s name he had activated. This meant that there were possibly more.

[Don’t bother trying. Even if you passed the requirements, you can’t have more than one. Also, all they want to do is race. Our task is far better than theirs.] The truck stated

‘Then what other Systems exist? Are there others that have them?‘ Mark questioned.

Mark wanted to find them and learn from them since he got to learn very little by the voice.

[You know it is pretty annoying to think of me as the voice. It is TRUCK-KUN, you fool.] Truck-kun said out loud in his mind

‘Okay, Truck-kun. So are there any others I can meet?‘ The old man asked.

[Possible. But I don’t know who they are or how to find them. I can tell if a person has a System if they are within my range. But other than that, I have no way to detect them.] Truck-kun said,

Mark mentally nodded to him, as he had started to get used to speaking to Truck-kun without letting others know.

‘Then can you let me know if we ever encounter one?‘ Mark requested.

[Sure, I guess. But don’t expect this to happen soon. Getting one is quite rare.] Truck-kun replied.

Mark didn’t get upset by the last comment as he believed he would definitely meet someone like that one day.

After that, he closed his eyes to rest, as tomorrow was going to be a big day.

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