Nothing else to say. Wish the last part was true.
|Ever meet someone and think to yourself, "This person just cannot be for real." Well, that was Vivian. I hadn't been in town long, but I was getting used to working my local bureaucrat job when we first met. I went to the front counter to see a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies that were still warm from the oven. Standing on the other side of the counter was a woman, maybe late 30's, long dark hair and brown eyes. The rest of city hall was already reaching for the plate, and their mouths were full so fast, no one was left to make an introduction. Turns out, she didn't need any help.
"Hi," she said in an southern Californian accent, "I'm Vivian. But everyone just calls me Viv."
"A pleasure. I'm Colin." We shook.
"Oh, I know. This is a little tiny town, everyone knew you were coming." She smiled and lifted the plate. "Cookie? Secret family recipe!"
My instincts, drilled in on some mean streets, incorrectly kicked in. "Oh, they smell great, but I just had a snack."
"Well, I hope you try one later," She was still smiling. "And I'm sure I'll see you soon!"
"You come in often?" I asked.
She leaned on the counter, "I help out wherever I can. I enjoy volunteering."
After she left, the cookies were devoured. Perhaps it was my upbringing, but eating food dropped of by a citizen was never a good idea. You'd be lucky if it was only laced with pot or LSD, and not rat poison. When I related that, those women either choked or spit out their treats, but only to laugh. I wasn't sure what was so funny. They just told me I didn't know Vivian. This was true. I watched her pull weeds, work tables at various functions, and help out whenever people needed her. We never really connected until I built an amphitheater, and wow, she wanted in on that! I also never knew she'd twice beaten cancer, even though she lost a breast to it. I'm not sure how that makes you so chipper and willing to help others, and she tried to tell me. I didn't understand.
It came back. Bad. I got the horrible news when her husband called me. He told me she asked for one more fun Halloween, so we did our best. We lit her place up with every decoration we could find, and then we went for pumpkins. We gabbed big ones an small ones, but only those who looked just right. Then he saw something odd and pointed it out. I assumed someone lost a shirt, it was awareness month. No, it was a pink pumpkin, and hell yes we brought it home!
She was in horrible shape on the 30th. and could barely talk. I saw that pink thing, and figured it was worth a try. As we both held it, she got better. Cured, the doctor said, and I faded. It was an easy choice, and I only said one thing.
"Remember me." She did. No one else ever knew I existed.