Anna tries to pick up her life again.
|Anna walked inside the foyer and closed the door. She had to stand still a few minutes and let her eyes adjust to the darkness. She felt for the light switch and flipped it on. Nothing happened.
"What? Has Sandra had my power turned off?" Thinking out loud, she mumbled to herself. "It was a good thing the cop didn't insist on coming inside. He'd have wanted to know why I had no electric."
She felt along the wall until she came to the doorway to the kitchen and sidestepped along. The sun was shining through the kitchen window. What a beautiful sight. Now for a nice cup of tea. She grabbed the yellow kettle from the stove, held it under the tap, and pushed the lever. Water gushed out. Now for the big test. She placed the kettle on the burner and turned on the knob...and yes, the gas was on, too. At least she could have that cup of tea.
She looked around to see if anything else was disturbed, but everything looked the same. Her pretty yellow cloth was on the kitchen table with its matching sunflower place mats. The wooden fruit bowl was in the center, but someone had taken her fruit.
"I imagine Sandra is responsible for that, too." Anna talked to herself a lot, living alone as she did.
It seemed so long ago now, but it was only yesterday morning the van from the Tender Loving Care Center had come to take her to that place. They had treated her okay, but there was no way she was staying there with those old, decrepit people. Some of them couldn't even walk and were in wheelchairs. Why, she wasn't at all like any of them. She walked everywhere, did her own grocery shopping, worked in her yard. The nerve of her children! There was nothing wrong with her. Just because she forgot where she was sometimes was no reason to put her in a place like that. After all, she had gotten home by herself today, hadn't she? Well, not counting the cop. Her children were just being mean and unreasonable. She would call Sandra later to try to talk some sense into her. She certainly didn't want them worrying.
She had an idea Sandra didn't care for her new friend, Raymond. Of all places, she had met Raymond at the grocery store. They had both reached for the same cantaloupe and when fingers touched, Anna almost felt sparks fly. Who knew that could happen at her age? A conversation about favorite foods had evolved naturally after that as though they had known each other for a long time. They were comfortable with each other from the very beginning.
Sandra had immediately shown some animosity when Anna told her about Raymond, about how he had carried her groceries home for her and come in and had a cup of tea. Sandra said she was being extremely irresponsible inviting a stranger into her home for tea. The nerve of her daughter. It was her home and she would invite in whomever she darn well wanted to. Sandra hadn't cared for that response either and had hung up the phone on her. But she had called later and apologized, and Anna had thought everything was okay. Now, she wasn't so sure.
First things first. She couldn't live without electricity. She must call the power company. Hopefully, the phone still worked.. She picked up the receiver, and there was a dial tone. Anna dialed 411.
"I'm having trouble seeing the numbers. Could you connect me with the power company?" The lady on the other end was nice and did as she asked. Anna told them the cutoff request had all been a big mistake. Her power would be back on tomorrow.
She dialed another number, one she had dialed many times before. Barbara, her next door neighbor, answered the phone.
"Hi Barbara, it's Anna."
"Anna, where in the world have you been? I been so worried. I seen the van yesterday and the police car today! What happened?"
"Can you come over, Barbara? I need a little help"
"I have to wait till Joey gets home to stay with Stan." Stan, her husband, was in a wheelchair and didn't like to be left alone.
"That's okay. I'll be waiting."
Pleased with herself, Anna suddenly felt tired. She sat down at the kitchen table with her cup of tea, laid her head on her arm and soon dozed off.