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The Lisper of Bright Street

Bright sign

The row houses that line Bright Street were built in 1898. The front of each house was built with beautiful clay bricks, laid with precision by skilled stonemasons. They are not large houses, and most became homes for people who worked in the surrounding industries.

After 100 years of devolution, the homes were on the cusp of being demolished. A real estate developer with a bit of imagination bought up the whole street, in 1998. He brought the homes up to date, with beautiful interiors and contemporary utilities, and offered them for sale. Of course, the close proximity to the business district and public transportation made them very desirable to young management professionals.

Bright Street

Milo Coccio was One of the last people to move into a home on Bright Street. His unit was between homes owned by single women; Jennifer Dodge on his left and Lana Munroe on his right. They first saw Mr. Coccio on a Saturday morning, when he was moving in. Milo sat beside a woman who was driving the minivan that pulled up in front of his new home.

Jennifer Dodge was sitting on her small porch in the morning sunshine, reading Senator Al Franken’s book, ‘Lies and Lying Liars Who Tell Them’. She was slight in build, with pale skin and blue eyes behind dark glasses. She wore white satin pyjamas under a matching robe. She watched with interest as the woman and Milo Coccio carried boxes into the house. She assumed they were a couple.

Seated on her front steps smoking a joint, Lana Munroe saw the couple moving in too, but she could see the family resemblance and assumed they were siblings. Every item that she could see, from the van to the house, was a man’s item. She saw no female items going into the house. She wondered why a big, good-looking man was moving into a carriage trade home all alone. She assumed he was either divorced or gay, although he showed no sign of gayness, but that doesn’t really mean anything.

The next morning was warm and sunny. Lana was seated on her steps smoking a joint, just as she had been the previous day. Milo Coccio stepped out onto his small porch.

“Welcome to the neighbourhood,” Lana called out happily.

“Thank you,” said Milo. He turned and went back into his home. Lana put the remainder of her joint into a coffee can and left for her job at the soda bottling plant, just a few blocks away. As soon as she was gone, Milo took a folding chair onto his porch and sat in the sun. He looked at the separate homes across the street, and envied them their garden.

Jennifer Dodge was sweeping her porch when she saw Milo.

“Good morning,” she said. “I’m Jennifer, welcome to Bright Street.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I’m Milo.”

“Nice to meet you, Milo,” she said. “If you need anything, a cup of sugar or something, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you,” said Milo.

“You don’t have much to say, do you?” said Jennifer.

“No,” said Milo. “I am embarrathed by my thpeech impediment. Don’t be offended, but I’d really rather not be asthed to thpeak.”

Lana and Jennifer formed a pact. They would work together to get Milo Coccio out from behind his self-imposed wall of silence. He should get from society the kind of life a handsome, single man should have, lisp or not.

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