Barret has a problem and it isn't Nalda.
|Barret did not know how he let Nalda get under his skin. He came from a family of two mischievous sisters and a mother who made everyone toe the line. If anyone did not have their beds made correctly, then there was no breakfast. Sometimes his sisters went into his room and messed up his bed so his mother would fuss at him. He thought that it might be a long time before he even cared to be serious with a girl.
As he went into his room, he first looked around to see if anything had been moved or tampered with. He might have to live with the crazy lady, but he made it very clear, that his room was off limits. If he found that she had been in it, then little things, to upset her might start happening.
His room was on the sunny side of the house in the morning. He liked the bed that had a firm mattress for his back. He was allowed to suggest some of the bedding and extra furniture he would use. He planned to be taking care of his dear ‘granny’ until she left either by died or was put into some nursing home. In other words she would be reassigned and the house would be his. From here he might be the contact for other activities that could be planned for the future.
The room seemed check out. The curtains were the kind that did not let the people know that he up late. His bed was made exactly as his mother preferred. The new computer was off.
He thought of his conversation with Zach about sweet, little Arlette. People would not guess it, but he was about 10 years older than Arlette. He chuckled to himself with the thought that he might go out with a girl who seemed to him as immature and self-absorbed. She made his own sister, Karina, look like Mother Theresa.
As he sat down at his desk to log on his computer, he noticed that his hand started trembling. It did not last for more than a minute but it did give him cause for concern. This problem started about six months ago when he was in the director’s office being interviewed for this assignment. He put his hand in his lap as he talked and gave this occurrence very little thought. But since then he has had the trembling happen two more times with a little increase in the trembling’s intensity. He knew that if anyone found out about this problem, then he might have to go back home. He would be humiliated.
He began log on. A dog started barking down the street. That was the little dog who barked whenever anyone walked by its house. He heard Nalda in the kitchen. He finally heard the computer sound a beep when he had successfully logged on. He searched different websites until he got to the medical part and began to research for the symptoms of hand trembling. His eyes saw the words, Huntington Chorea, a disease that consisted of degeneration in the nervous system. The last line was one that one that gave him a blow as hard as being hit by a truck. It was “runs in families.” His uncle, on his mother’s side had been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. His day was going from great to bad in about 30 seconds. He hoped that he was wrong, but a bell in his mind was beginning to ring.
Nalda finally finished the chicken and cleaned up the kitchen. She dreaded having to start her role as the grandmother, but she decided that her job was important and that she agreed to no less.
In her mind she decided that she would be visible for a few times and stay inside the house doing as much as she could for the assignment. A thought occurred to her that she might go out of the house as a young girl who was living here helping Barret with ‘the old lady.’ She would ask her superior about the addition to the scenario that they had planned. That way, she could watch Barret to see that he was following orders. She had a suitcase with several wigs and special make-up that he did not know about. The only problem was to make sure that the neighbors did not get too suspicious.
Nalda liked the idea that one house on the left side was vacant. The other house on the right side had teenagers who were running around all of the time. One time Nalda even thought that she smelled some illegal drugs coming from that direction. The parents were alcoholics. Usually the father, who was worse, was in jail for some stupid offense and the mother worked two jobs if she could find them. The rumor was that they couldn’t pay their mortgage and that they would soon have to move. Then, her house would have wonderful peace and quiet all around it.
Just as she was preparing her request in her mind, she heard Junior’s car drive up. His muffler problem was so loud, that it would wake up the dead. Junior revved the motor two times and then put it in idle. Loud, raunchy music played. Then Junior turned off the music and his car. He got out and slammed the door. Nalda knew that within 30 minutes there would be either screaming or more loud music coming out of the house. She just wished that the family would move and soon.