“Is this your place? It’s very nice but the decor seems more feminine. Not your style at all.”
“This isn’t my place,” he informed her. “This is my sister, Annette’s place.”
“Oh. Why are we meeting here at your sister’s place instead of yours?”
“We could drive out to the farm if you like. It’s about a 17 minute drive from here.”
“Yes. That’s where I live.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No, I’m not. I live on a farm in Hilltop.”
“I thought you lived here in Minneapolis.”
“I was living in Saint Paul when I was attending Concordia but after I graduated, I bought myself a farm.”
“But why would you buy a farm?”
“I’m a farmer.”
“But, I thought that you were a businessman. When we met at the Dakota Jazz Club, you were so well-dressed and–“
“I am a businessman. I run a farm which is a business.”
“You’re not my idea of a farmer at all.”
“And what exactly is your idea of a farmer?”
“Well, I’ve always imagined a farmer to be older, poor, dirty and uneducated.”
“That’s a stereotype born out of Hollywood. Farmers don’t wear straw hats or bib overalls or cowbells or carry a garden hoe. Just like the average citizen, they too can hold a four-year college degree.”
“I don’t have anything against farms or farmers.”
“That’s good to hear. Maybe after we have lunch, we could drive up to the farm.”
“Um, I–” she had been about to object when his cell rang.
He answered it. “Hello, Sam. What’s wrong?” He listened and his face became pale. “I’ll be there right away.”
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
“It’s the farm.”
“What about the farm?”
“The crops are ruined,” he said, dragging his fingers through his hair, his expression drawn.
“By the Hilltop hailstorms common to Anoka County.”
She stared blankly at him. “What are hilltop hailstorms?”
“They are hailstorms with powerful winds which can cause a lot of damage to crops across large areas. The falling hailstones and strong winds bend and break plants and strip them of leaves and bark. Farmers suffer heavy losses during such storms. Months of hard work can be destroyed in an instant.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I’m driving out to the farm right now. I’ll leave a note for Annette.”
“So, this means that lunch is out?”
He looked at her. “Yes. We’ll do lunch another time.”
“So, what am I supposed to do now? Go and have lunch by myself?”
He glared at her. His hand tightened into a fist as he tried to keep his temper in check. “I just told you why we can’t have lunch and all you can think about is how you have been inconvenienced?”
“On second thought, let’s not do lunch another time or ever.” He caught her by the arm and escorted her to the front door. He angrily pulled it open. “Go find yourself a city boy,” he muttered curtly before he slammed the door shut.
He furiously scribbled the note for Annette, packed his bag and left the apartment and Minneapolis.