The Storm

I don my pastel sweater in case the whipping tropical storm wind is too cool for my sleeveless dress. The sweater is one of the things I inherited from my mother, dead 11 years now, but the sweater is still in good condition. J.C. Penney’s I think, a birthday gift from me one year.

Outside, I scan the area of my apartment complex. The storm seems to have only knocked a few branches out of the loblolly pines. It’s before dark. I feel it’s safer than going after dark in the storm. After dark, one might not see obstacles from the storm: downed power lines, displaced snakes, branches dangling, etc. Or the guys sitting at the picnic table near where I feed Tabitha. I can’t figure whether they’re homeless, waiting for a drug deal, or just chilling in the 35 mph wind. I go about my business away from theirs. I wonder if it was their blunt I smelled the night before very close by. I’m glad I went before dark, though the likelihood of those guys wanting to bother me is low.

I think K. is sore at me for going early because she went silent, but the cat was fed right?

I’m afraid K. is going to die on me. You’d think I’d be used to people croaking on me or disappearing, but… I had started to become confident that most likely I would be first. I’m fat, sedentary, eat processed foods, and anxious. K. always took care of herself and looks much younger than me, but her latest blood work seems indicative of congestive heart failure. We’re hoping it’s a fluke, some autoimmune disease from her father’s side of the family. Most people with critical levels as high as her’s are in the ICU.

I will be stoic as I was around my mother. My mind is morphing them together now when I wake up disoriented. First I think where’s Mom. Oh, that’s right, dead 11 years. Where’s K?

I’m terrified of being completely alone…but then Facebook messenger rings. It’s Other Friend. Memories of betrayal fill my mind, but more than that, knowing she’s only calling me because she’s afraid of the impending storm. I don’t answer. She literally has a whole church full of support.

The last time she came into my life, it was because her roommate had moved out, and honestly, she needed a spare friend to fill the need of someone to tell all her problems to and run errands with because she’s somewhat agoraphobic. Away from her, I can see clearly the affronts she’s given me over the years. Chiefly, accusing me of something I wouldn’t do after 25 years of friendship and then pretending she didn’t accuse me. The roommate she had was from a trashy family and my friend had pissed off said trashy family. I’d bet it was somehow related to that, but go ahead and blame me over a minor disagreement on hemophilia that I admitted I was wrong about.

She’s big on one ended conversations, usually about herself and calling repeatedly when you don’t want to sit for hours at a time listening to her problems. I really have my own problems right now, and don’t need hers as well.

So, no. I’m not that desperate to crawl back…yet.


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