Meeting Richard (see Day 2 Crystal and Richard) would change Wesley’s life, but he didn’t know that at the time. At the time, Wesley thought it meant he would have someone to carpool with from work. They were both living in Conway, Arkansas’ college town, and working in a school in a town neither of them liked very much. Wesley was a science teacher and Richard was a history teacher-in-training.
There were many teacher trainees that lived in Conway Wesley could have asked to car pool with, but there was something about Richard that he warmed to. As Richard was driving Wesley home for the first time, he followed Wesley’s directions to Richard’s own house. It turned out they lived, not right next to each other, but behind each other with adjacent backyards.
At first, Richard’s wife didn’t trust Richard’s new friend and didn’t want him in the house. He was too clean cut and that was fishy. But Wesley had the superpower to make Richard’s newly born twins stop crying and fall asleep so he became indispensable to the family. Before long, Wesley would make a habit of walking into Richard’s house unannounced in his pyjamas and ask what was for breakfast.
When they first met, Wesley was a Republican or as he put it, one of the prisoners in Plato’s cave. The less that is said about ties to a right wing militia the better. Meeting Richard exposed Wes to things and ideas he’d not been exposed to before. His horizons were broadened, his worldviews shifted, and he escaped from the cave.
Richard still lives in Arkansas and Wesley now lives in Minnesota. They get to see each other on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas where they stay up till 3am talking, and watch Across the Universe on Christmas Day.