Anna remembers what happened....
|Anna had lived in her little house almost fifty years. She loved the white picket fence across the front yard, and the gate with its arched trellis, almost covered now with climbing pink roses. She had only scant grassy patches because of her penchant for all kinds of blooming plants. Working in her flower beds was one of her favorite pastimes. The smell of jasmine, gardenias, and roses made her feel as though she was already in heaven. Gardening kept her active and feeling young.
She and Michael, her late husband and soul mate, had built this house just after Sandra was born. They did a lot of the work themselves, and it seemed they both were part of the house. Even now that Michael was gone, she sometimes saw him out of the corner of her eye. Anna missed him terribly. She often cut roses and carried them to his little plot in the cemetery nearby. She told him about her day, and somehow Michael helped resolve all her problems. She couldn't imagine what he would think when she told him about Sandra and the home...and losing Buddy.
They had a bedroom added on when David, their second child, came along. David had given them some trouble growing up in the 70’s and 80’s with the drug culture being what it was, but he had gotten his life together and had been at his present job for three years now. Sandra, their first-born, was another story. She had never given them a minute’s trouble when she was little. In fact, she was too perfect, always wanting to boss everyone around and run their life for them. Anna didn’t know where Sandra had gotten those genes! She knew she was too diffident sometimes and would have to be more assertive with Sandra from now on. Anna was never going back to "that place" again! Michael would agree.
Unlike Sandra, who was big-boned and overbearing, Anna was small and petite with flowing white hair. She tried to keep it in a twist on top of her head, but sometimes it sneaked out of her hairpins. She was a beautiful woman when she was younger, and even now at almost seventy-two, she retained her classic features. She still got many admiring looks from gentlemen some years her junior whenever she was out doing her errands.
Thinking back, it was one of those errands that had gotten her into trouble. There was a bus stop at the corner of her street, which made it convenient for her to do her weekly grocery shopping, drop off her dry cleaning, and take care of any other incidental shopping. The day it all happened she had walked to the bus stop as usual, gotten on the bus, and sat down. All of a sudden she hadn't known where she was or where she was going! Her mind had just gone blank! She must have said some choice words to the other passengers because the bus driver had looked in her purse (not without a fight) and called Sandra to come get her at the next stop. Sandra had lost no time taking charge, and Anna ended up in "that place."
“Anna, Anna! You okay?”
Anna woke with a start. Her neck was stiff, and she had a big red mark on her forehead from resting it on her arm. Who was shouting her name? She must have dozed off. It sounded like Barbara…..she remembered now, she had called Barbara, asking for her help. She tried to hurry to the front door but her legs were a little stiff too.
“Barbara, I’m fine. I’m so glad you’re here.” Anna threw her arms around Barbara, and Barbara hugged her back. “Come into the kitchen, and I’ll make us some fresh tea. I have so much to tell you.”
Barbara followed Anna inside, and the two friends began to update each other on all that had occurred during the past two days of Anna’s absence.