A woman faces intervention
|It was a hot, suffocating, July evening and Molly was on her way home from work. She was hot and sweaty and just hated the awful heat of summer. To top it off, It had been a brutal week. She was tense and tired and verging on the high side of cranky. She really needed to unwind. A few of her favorite stress-busters came to mind. A quick dip in the pool. A long lazy bath in an ocean of bubbles. Or...the best way of all, a puzzle or two of sudoku! Or maybe three puzzles...or maybe even four...or however many it took to relieve all the tension from work.
Before she could enjoy some sudoku, though, she would need to get dinner on the table. It was a good thing she'd remembered to put the crock pot on today! She'd rummaged through the fridge and gathered every left-over she could find...well, the left-overs that were still good, anyway. She'd dumped them all into the crock pot and gave it a stir. A little salt. A little pepper. And voila! She had a fancy version of "Must Go", her favorite crock pot dish. She even remembered to lay out paper plates and cups with plastic forks. When everyone was done eating all they had to do was throw everything away! No better time-savers than those. Molly smiled to herself and turned the radio up just a notch. She started to sing along in the car. Already the stress was melting away.
Molly made a hard left turn onto her street and barreled into the garage. She grabbed her handbag and files and then let herself into the house, only to find it was quiet. Maybe even empty.
"Hello?" she called. "Anyone home? Roxy? Where are you, girl?" Not even their loyal golden retriever, Roxy, came to the door to greet her. How unusual. "Hello?" she called again.
The quiet house didn't bother Molly at all. She thought maybe everyone was out. That was okay with Molly. It would give her time for a sudoku puzzle, or two. Or maybe even three. Molly kicked off her shoes and threw her handbag on the chair and made her way down the hall to her private study. Molly pushed open the door expecting to throw herself into the leather recliner and grab her copy of "The Biggest Book Ever of Sudoku Puzzles". Instead she was met with six pairs of eyes opened as wide as they could get. One set belonged to Richard, her husband of nearly twenty years. Three other sets belonged to her sweet, wonderful children. And not to be forgotten there were the baleful eyes of Roxy, their golden retriever. And the last set. Now that set belonged to an unfamiliar face. Molly lost her breath. A shiver ran up her spine.
Richard jumped up immediately to take Molly's hands in his own. "Darling!" His face was taut, his eyes serious. "Darling, I know you weren't expecting this, but we had to do it this way. We just had to...for your own good...and our sanity."
"Richard?" Molly whispered. "What? What is this?"
The unfamiliar face leaped up then and stood near Richard, his hand on Richards shoulder. "Molly, I'm Timothy. And this is an intervention."
Molly frantically looked around the room. The bookshelves were bare. The desk was bare. The magazine holder near her leather recliner was bare. Not a book in sight. Not even a pencil or eraser. All of it was gone. Molly's face reddened and steam rose from her ears. "What have you done?" she screamed. "Where are they?" It was then she lost her balance, and all her strength. Her eyes rolled up and she went limp, fainting into Richards arms.
She woke two hours later and realized there was no way out. She would be forced to complete a recovery program. And she already knew it would be the Six-Step Program. That was the same program her dear friend, Samantha, completed when she was at her worst. "And now," Molly thought, "I'm at my worst." Molly hung her head. She accepted her fate and then looked to Timothy for direction.
"Are you ready for the first step?" Timothy asked.
Molly shook her head, yes.
Then Timothy recited each step in the program. Molly repeated every word.
"S - Say you have an addiction."
"U - Understand your family is trying to help."
"D - Destroy all physical evidence of the addiction. That includes books, pens, pencils. And erasers."
"O - Open the door to a world without sudoku."
"K - Kick the habit for good by never picking up another puzzle."
"U - U can do it! Sure it's spelled wrong, but it's the only way to make the letters work."
Molly had taken the first step toward sanity. Not just for herself, but for her family also.
She was exhausted, but her family seemed happy. She said goodnight and made her way to bed. She placed her handbag on its shelf, and then she stopped short. An evil, devilish smile spread across her face. She opened the side pocket of the handbag and pulled out a pocket version of sudoku puzzles. "Everyone knows the six-step program doesn't work. There's no cure for sudoku." And then she happily got out a pencil and eraser.