Mike watches the weather with mounting disquiet and decides to check on the two elderly ladies that live in the duplex next to his. He first calls on Molly before checking on her neighbor, Jessamine.
She watches DVDs of her favorite TV shows. Right now, it was Remington Steele. The show is older than me, but it’s still good. She’s got me hooked on it too.
“I came to see if you want me to police the sidewalks later.”
“Oh, please. I can’t pay you for it, but I got gas for the blower.”
“I don’t need your money, Molly. Pay me out in cookies. I can eat my weight in those.”
She giggled happily, knowing it was true. I’m a pretty good sized guy. I don’t mean I’m fat, I’m solid. About six feet, I weigh maybe 190. It’s muscle though, I want to emphasize. I lift weights, hike, ride my bike around town, do yard work, that kind of thing.
“Hey, you know what? You could give me some tips. My mom and a couple others are coming for a visit. I don’t have any idea what to buy.”
“Will they be eating with you?”
“I dunno. Ma didn’t say. I need some stuff, maybe breakfast, coffee, that sort of thing.”
“I’ll make you a list while you eat your cookies. When are they coming?”
“This time next week.”
“Then we’ll have time to go to the store together this weekend and stock up. I’ll fix some meals for you, if you buy the ingredients.”
“Super, Molly. You’re the best. I swear, if I was older, I’d snap you up!”
“If I was younger and half my size, I’d let you.” She blushed, batting her eyelashes.
We always tease like this. Truthfully, if she was just half her size, I’d do her in a heartbeat. She’s a beautiful woman with a lot of spirit. I could, quite frankly, do a lot worse. But I just can’t make myself seduce a woman who weighs almost three hundred pounds. I’m not that desperate.
She worked on a list, I ate cookies and we waited for the snow to stop. I visited with her awhile, watched Vintage Steele and I went next door to Jesse’s apartment.
Jessamine Williams is a lovely black woman who is old enough to be my grandmother. She’s small, delicate boned, a real lady. Her hair is as dark as night, her smile radiant. I take her shopping too, and the three of us have an awesome time aggravating everyone in the grocery store.
“You’ve been visiting Molly. I smell chocolate on your breath. Those cookies will be the death of you.”
“I’ll work it off later doing your front walk, Jesse. I’ll never gain an ounce.”
“You say that now when you’re a young man. Give you a few more years, you’ll start to pudge right out. Happened to my boys, it’ll happen to you too. My youngest was all skin and bones until he hit thirty, then it went all to fat.”
“I’m not thirty yet.”
“That’s right. It’s someone’s birthday today. Happy Birthday, Michael!”
“I’ll bet Molly didn’t even say a word.”
I thought back to the hour and a half I’d spent next door. “Nope, not a thing.”
“She didn’t forget. She had those cookies on purpose. They were going to be a surprise. However, we’ve a thing or two up our sleeves.”
“Got your candy for tonight?” I changed the subject, not wanting her to tell anymore secrets.
“All set,” she said with a grin. “What’s it like having a birthday on Halloween?”
I shrugged, forgetting for a moment she couldn’t see me. She has glass eyes that look very realistic. Sometimes I forget.
“I can’t hear a shrug, Michael. Well?”
“I dunno, Jesse. Not so different from any other day, except everyone dressed up in costumes for my birthday party. We always went trick or treating after. I think my brother always felt cheated.”
“Cause his birthday’s in May. Half the time, it’s Mother’s Day. He hates to share.”
“Selfish little prick,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Truer words,” I agreed with a chuckle. “I need to run some errands provided it’s not too snowy. You need anything?”
She handed me a neatly written list. I don’t know how she can do that when she can’t see a thing, but her handwriting is better than mine will ever be. I glanced at the list.
“These are party supplies, Jesse.”
She put her finger to her lips. “Shh. I won’t tell if you won’t.” Then she winked at me, handing me some money.
© Dellani Oakes 2014
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