Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chapter 15

I didn't think I would sleep last night but I did.  In fact I slept so hard I woke up stiff ... and embarrassed as the mattress had deflated a little during the night and we wound up mashed together in the center.  I didn't know there was a snuggle response that you can't control in your sleep.  That's the only explanation I can come up with for the fact that I was wrapped around someone that I had known for less than twenty-four hours.  Once that thought hit me I started mentally freaking out even more when it began to hit me that this was real life and not an episode of that old show Fantasy Island.  I was really married and it was to someone that before yesterday I didn't even know existed.  I also wondered if I was the only one feeling that way.  I didn't say anything though because Sawyer seemed in a bad mood.

He helped me get out of the truck but then went growling around looking for stuff (I think it was his pants), fussing about already running behind (which made me look at his and nearly run into a tree).  I decided that it was time to pull myself together and I carefully felt my way through the dark and into the house to use the bathroom real quick and to pull my one pair of jeans on instead of my gym shorts.  When I came out I was happy to see that what I had set up the night before actually worked like it was supposed to even if most of the bulbs in the kitchen didn't.  I poured the coffee in a mug and then walked out to the porch where Sawyer was mumbling under his breath, most of it foul.  I didn't know whether to interrupt him or not so I stood there for a second and then finally said, "Sawyer."

"What?" he snapped back.


He turned and stopped in the middle of a grumpy growl.  His eyes followed the mug of coffee when I sat it on a plant stand.  I then backed up and went into the house to stick the cheese toast in the broiler ... the only thing I could figure for breakfast out of what was in the house and baskets since I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in the artificial eggs I found in the back of the frig.  If it had just been me I would have had whatever I could throw together but I was trying to be normal ... or what passes for it ... so it had to at least pretend to be breakfast.

I was taking the toast out of the broiler when I heard the screen door open.  I looked up and just pointed.  Sawyer turned to look and then fell on the coffee maker like a long lost friend.  "Where did this come from?"

"That front room where the bed is.  Don't worry, I sanitized it yesterday after you said coffee first before conversation."

He hunched his shoulders and started petting the coffee maker so I shut up and put three thick pieces of the browned cheese bread on a plate and slid it in front of him before escaping with my slice out to the BBQ pit where I sat about trying to start another fire for more boiling water to clean with.  The short galvanized trash can worked so well the day before that I determined to use it again, or at least as long as the bottom of the can held up against the fire; after that I'd have to find something else.

I finally got a flame to catch in the dew dampened wood and backed up to get out of the smoke.  There was a deep growl behind me and I almost lost it because it definitely wasn't a human growl.  Slowly I turned and spotted the biggest cat I had ever seen outside of a zoo fieldtrip I'd been on with one of my foster families.

"S ... S ... S ... Sawyer!!"

From the screen door he said, "Hush, I see it.  Just be still and it'll take off.  It's a bobcat."

Finally the cat decided that I was more scared of it than it was of me and with its day made picked up the rabbit lying at its feet that I hadn't seen and hightailed it into the woods behind the house.  As soon as it started running Sawyer came down the porch stairs with a clatter and walked over to me.  "Dogs, bats, now bobcats."

My heart was still trying to come out of my chest and it was just all too much.  I snapped, "Don't you dare make fun of me you cranky, cussy, coffee-swilling ... grrrrr!  Just you move."  I was so angry I didn't use good sense and tried to go up the porch steps without holding onto the rails real good.  I hit the bottom riser with just the toe of my shoe on my weak foot about the same time I remembered I hadn't put my brace on yet.  I did manage to catch myself before I looked like a complete fool but it was just one more knock on my pride.

I started up again only I didn't get anywhere because two hands on my waist picked me up and pulled me back.  "What's the big idea?  Turn loose."

"Let me see your knee.  You came down hard on that step."

"It's just a bruise now lay off."

"No.  Don't make me prove I'm bigger than you 'cause I already feel like a big enough ass.  It was just a joke Kay-Lee.  I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"You didn't so ..."

"Bull.  C'mon now ... say you forgive me."

"Ugh.  Don't blind me with your Greek-godly-ness.  It is just plain wrong for you to look like that this early in the morning.  It's not fair.  And don't use puppy dog eyes either.  No don't."

"Aw c'mon.  Tell me it's working.  C'moooon, you know you wanna smile."

"Geez you're awful.  See I knew you liked getting your way."

"Every guy likes having his way.  Aunt Nel says it’s genetic ... something to do with the y-chromosome.  Really, she says it’s a scientific fact.  And even though I can't help myself I really am sorry."

"You don't look sorry, you look naughty."

"I am ... but I'm sorry too."  Then he got serious.  "Really Kay-Lee, I am.  I told you I'm not worth much until I get a cup of coffee in me."

"What happens when the coffee is all gone."

"What happens when ... gawd.”  He just collapsed on the porch steps looking horrified.

Feelling a little vindicated I told him, "If your grandfather is right and the stores might close, it got me to thinking about what could be hard to get and while there is a lot of coffee in the pantry ... from the look of things that is just about all Mr. Baffa survived on for the last while ... what happens when that is all gone?  What else gets rid of your PCS?"

"My what?"

"PCS ... pre-coffee syndrome."

"Aw ... now who's making fun?"


Sawyer went back and forth about leaving me at the house but I finally convinced him that he'd need to go or there was no telling what his family would think.  The sky was just turning pink as his tail lights faded and I went back in the house to try and figure out where I was going to start.  I decided the first was going to be a load of laundry ... the drapes and table cloth and seat covers that I had set to soak yesterday.

Next I cleaned up the dishes from breakfast and thought about taking stuff out of the cabinets but decided it was more important to start dealing with the stink that seemed to permeate everything.  I put my brace on since I was going to be climbing the stairs and then started hauling linens down by the bedroom full.  Everything smelled musty, dusty, and dirty.

I decided to go room-by-room.  First I took down the curtains and shades if there were any then I opened the window.  Next came the bed linens then after that any rugs.  Any kind of linens sitting out came next, like table covers and doilies.  Last I started on the drawers of whatever furniture was in the room.

First room I did was the big bedroom on the second floor, the one Sawyer had considered the master bedroom.  I refused to think about why I was starting on that room but I'm glad that I did.  I found that most of the stink in that room came from the rows of old shoes sitting in the little room that was being used as a closet.  Some of them were women's shoes but in a style that looked like they were from the 1940s and 1950s.  I had done a project earlier in the school year on fashions from those two decades so I was pretty sure I knew what I was talking about.  There were a lot of clothes hanging on the racks that were way out of date as well.  From the 1940s to the 80s or so.  I just took everything down and started laying it on chairs on the back porch.  I thought about scrubbing the room before going on to the next one but figured until I got rid of what was holding the smell, scrubbing wasn't going to do any good.

The room that Sawyer had dubbed the "nursery" held a bunch of odds and ends, some boxed but most just piled up.  I was about half way through bringing everything out of that room when there was a vroom and then a beep-beep from the front yard.  I looked and a big furniture van was backing up to the porch.  I went down the stairs as quick as I could without breaking my neck and had just gotten to the bottom when there was a knock on the door.



  1. Thank you, I had almost forgotten about the hospital furniture.

  2. As strange and unnatural that marriage between a man and a woman that do not know each other may seem to us, it was a common practice through history and still is in many parts of the world. Kathy thanks for the great story and the new chapter.