She put her bags down and left the room. Her life would never be the same. How could she go back to country life after the bustling busyness, the sheer energy of the city. Cars honking madly if you drove too slowly, or carelessly stepped off the curb even when you knew you had the light. Garbage cans banging loudly as they were thrown down the street by angry city workers who hadn’t gotten a raise in three years. The economy sucked. The neighbor down the hall had Fiona Apple singing Better Than Fine”. The base notes drummed into her skull in a rhythm that make her headache worse. The dog in 325 yapped, and yapped, and yapped till she wanted to take her skillet and pound its door down. Candidates whined day after day about the deficiencies of their opponents on TV. She hated election season. It seemed to get longer every year. Well, maybe the quiet life would be better after all.
Her plane takes off in 45 minutes. She wondered if he’d meet her at the airport or whether she’d have to take a taxi again. Do they even have taxis? She wished she’d thought to call and make sure he’d be there. Leaving a message wasn’t always best.
She wasn’t sure he ever checked voice mail any more. Her head ached as her stomach churned, tied in knots. What am I doing! WHAT am I doing? She pulled out her sweater, placing her bag in the overhead compartment and snuggled against the window to read her book, “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child.
The cat said,” what took you so long.””
She sat there on the stool, like a princess on her lofty throne, a touch of arrogance in her green eyes, as she looked down her long nose. “I’ve been waiting for my dinner, and none of that icky shrimp and chicken liver. I want the salmon.” Oh and a nice bit of that cheese Anda brought over. No, no cracker today, I’m watching my waist you know. She raised her svelte little body, stretched her legs and settled in again on the stool.
It had been a long and boring day at work. He wasn’t sure he was ready to kowtow to Magnolia tonight, but he knew she would never leave him alone till she had her way.
Something was happening tonight. What was it? A memory skirted the edge of his mind—something important ……oh well, if it‘s important it would come to him.
He took a dish from the cupboard, the one with roosters on it, and opened a tin of tuna. Umm that smells good. I think I’ll have one too, he thought. He put the dish on the floor in the accustomed place and got a can of Chicken Of the Sea out for his dinner. He chopped celery, onions and sweet pickle. Tossing in a few craisins and pecans, the way Gwyneth always used to do, he stirred in the Miracle Whip, no mayonnaise for him and spread a thick layer of it onto the fresh whole wheat hazelnut bread he’d picked up an Hanna and Nate’s on his way to work this morning. Tucking the Journal under his arm, he walked out onto the screened porch for dinner and to watch the evening sun go down.
The cat jumped down from her throne to check out the dish. “Tuna! I said I wanted salmon you lunkhead ! See If I’ll ever snag another mouse for you! Oh well, might as well eat, I’m going to be ignored till tomorrow.” Maybe I can sneak out later and go hunting.”