Continued from here…
Sunday morning Johnny awoke to a steady rain gently tapping on his bedroom window. It was perfect for his mood. Without thinking, he turned and reached for his cell phone to see if he’d gotten his usual morning message from him. Nothing! There would be no more morning calls from Ben.
Johnny sat in bed for awhile thinking about his conversation with Kim the night before. He smiled at the thought of quitting Wellington’s. Even before his troubles with Ben began, Johnny had been frustrated at working those long hours and not getting any time to enjoy one bit of summer. He got up and went downstairs to make some coffee, and he headed into his office to figure out his finances.
After a couple of hours, Johnny finally came to a conclusion he had hoped for. If he could cut back on some things, he’d definitely be able to swing it for the rest of the summer. Besides, he’d give Stewart a week’s notice so at least he’d have one more paycheck from the flower shop before he rode off into the sunset. He was really going to do it!
There were still three days before he was expected back at Wellington’s and they were the fastest three days Johnny had ever experienced. He kept himself free from thoughts of Ben by keeping busy around the house and going to the beach with Kim. When Wednesday morning arrived, he woke up to feeling butterflies in his stomach. Even though they hadn’t treated him very well that year, Johnny still liked Stewart and was nervous about telling him he was going to quit. He wanted to do it as gently as possible so as not to burn any bridges for the following summer in case he needed to work again.
Johnny arrived at Wellington’s on time around 10 a.m. No one was there as Misty now accompanied Stewart at the flower market in the city for the week’s purchases. He let himself in and began to clean the flower shop, starting with the many dirty vases that were always waiting for him on Wednesday mornings. Usually Stewart would get to the shop around 11:30-12, and then it would be chaos for a little while as they unloaded the van and began prepping the flowers for the week. There was no way he’d be able to get Stewart alone until after lunch, probably around 2:30.
Johnny’s wish for time alone with Stewart came true early when he announced upon arriving that they had to go to Branch Lady’s house as soon as the van was unloaded. The butterflies began to flutter again as Johnny hopped into the van alone with Stewart. They made small talk on the way to the installation as Johnny tried to think of how he was going to say it. They made it to the house in no time.
“Johnny, grab the watering can out of the van,” Stewart had begun arranging olive branches in the large, empty vase. Johnny quickly ran out to the van and hurried back, knowing that it was time. Whenever Stewart worked on an arrangement on site, there was little for Johnny to do but stand there and watch. Johnny spoke.
“Hey Stewart, I’ve got to talk to you.”
“What’s up Johnny?” Stewart’s mind was still on his work.
“Well, I’ve been thinking. Ben broke up with me the other night…”
“Oh, Johnny, what happened?” Stewart looked up from his arrangement. He was genuinely concerned.
“Well, actually it was P. Diddy’s party the other night. Ben was angry that I missed another date, and besides, he told me he’s giving it another shot with Jerry.”
“Oh, Johnny, I’m so…” before he could finish, Johnny continued.
“That’s not really what I wanted to talk to you about Stewart.”
“Okay,” Stewart was curious. Perhaps he knew what was coming.
“Well, it’s been a long, rough summer for me and,” he hesitated for a moment and then he just blurted it out. “I need to leave for the rest of the summer. I’m physically and mentally exhausted and I just need time to myself. I’m going to give you a week’s notice to find someone else, but Stewart I need you to understand.”
“Oh, Johnny, it’s okay. I understand.” Stewart’s mind went into business mode, and he started talking to himself out loud, seemingly forgetful that Johnny was even there. “Geez, what’s James gonna say? I hope we can find somebody fast.”
Stewart was silent on the ride back to the shop. Though he said he understood, the blank look on his face told Johnny that he was stunned by the news. It was what Johnny expected. A week later, Johnny found himself training George, his replacement, and when the morning deliveries were finished, Johnny was done being Johnny Driver. But deep down inside he knew he hadn’t heard the last from Wellington’s.
Check out the rest of Season 2 of The Misadventures of Johnny Driver below:
Chapter 1: A Change in Personnel
Chapter 2, Part 1: Misty Langdon Takes Over
Chapter 2, Part 2: Misty in Charge
Chapter 3, Part 1: Driftwood
Chapter 3, Part 2: Conclusion
Chapter 4: Fourth of July Frustration
Chapter 5: A Budding Romance
Chapter 6: A Socialite’s Dinner Party Gets in Johnny’s Way
Chapter 7: Hostile Hamptonites
Chapter 8: Johnny Parties with Misty
Chapter 9, Part 1: Johnny Gets a Night Off With Ben
Chapter 9, Part 2: P. Diddy Takes Johnny Towards the End of His Rope
Chapter 10: Johnny and Ben…and Jerry
Chapter 11: Johnny’s Revelation