They settled into the chairs by the computer desk, and set their tea cups down on the woven cloth coasters that Shelby had made for Mother’s Day a few years back.
“Do you think he still has it?” Shelby asked.
“I’m not sure. It has been on my mind since the whole thing happened. I guess I need to find out for sure. So, can you show me how to find him on the internet?”
“Sure,” Shelby answered, “click on the icon that looks like a globe, that represents the internet.”
“How does that represent the internet?”
“It’s the World Wide Web,” Shelby replied.
Mrs. Stockton clicked on the globe and in a few seconds, a search engine page popped up on the screen.
“Now, type Johnny’s name in the box and hit enter. We’ll start with that.”
She typed the name into the box and pressed enter. A few seconds later, a few search results popped up.
“Now we look through these and see if anything looks familiar. Hey, this one talks about Frankton. Let’s click on that one.”
Mrs. Stockton took the mouse and clicked on that link. All of a sudden, a picture of Johnny popped up on the screen.
“That’s him!” She exclaimed, “that’s Johnny!”
Shelby didn’t think they would find anything that fast.
“It’s an article about him and his auto service shop. Looks like he still lives in Frankton. We can now do a search on his name in the city of Frankton and get his address,” Shelby said.
She had her Grandmother start a second search, specific to Johnny Kidler, Frankton. An address and phone number popped up on the screen.
“They have this much information about people on the internet?” Mrs. Stockton asked.
“Even more, if you know how to do searches. Some pages you need passwords to get into.”
“Amazing,” Mrs. Stockton said.
“Well, should we try and call him?”
“I’ll make the call tomorrow,” her Grandma said. It’s too late to call tonight.”
Mrs. Stockton finished her soup and crackers and had the dishes put away by 6:30 PM. She decided that she was going to call at 7:30 PM, after dinner but not too late. She tried to watch a show on TV to distract her, but it didn’t work. Time was moving so slow that when the the clock on the mantle finally said 7:30, she felt like she had waited for years. She dialed the number they had found on the internet and let it ring. After four rings, a male voice answered,
“This is. Who is this?”
“My name is Shirley Stockton, well it was Hanson when you knew me.”
“I’m sorry lady, I don’t know who you are.”
“I’m the girl you took a pocket watch from many years ago. We used to get off the bus at the same place and you would make a nasty habit of teasing me.”
There was silence on his end of the line. Mrs. Stockton’s hand was shaking while she was holding the phone. It was crazy that she still felt a little scared of him after all of this time.
“Hello?” Mrs. Stockton said to break the silence.
“I’m still here. You know, I do vaguely remember that watch. It was gold, right?”
“Yes, it was,” Mrs. Stockton replied anxiously.
“Well, I don’t have it any more. I sold it.”
“Why did you do that?” she asked, sounding disappointed with his answer.
“A day or two later, I took it to the travelling flea market and sold it for cash. Then I went to the movies.”
“So you picked on me, took something that meant a lot to me and sold it so you could go to the movies?”
“At the time, it’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t know that watch meant so much to you and your family. Probably wouldn’t have mattered to me though.”
“That’s just terrible,” Mrs. Stockton replied.
“I was just a dumb kid at that time. What did you think I did? Saved it in a box to give back to you someday?”
“That would have been nice. What did I ever do to you?”
“Again, lady. I was just a dumb kid who was looking for something to do.”
Mrs. Stockton was really bummed out about the watch. She had been holding out hope that she would get her family heirloom back. She now had to accept the fact that it was gone forever.
“Well thank you for your time,” Mrs. Stockton said.
“Sorry I didn’t have what you were looking for.”
“I guess I did find something I wasn’t looking for, closure. I can thank you for that,” she replied.
They got off the phone and she sat there for a minute not sure how she she was feeling. Shocked that it didn’t work out the way she wanted, but maybe in a way relieved that Johnny didn’t have it.