Finding Their Girl
H olding up the first framed 8” by 10” photograph, Barb was trying to make sense of what she was seeing. The picture showed five people, dressed for an important occasion.
She recognized Tyler on one end and Spencer on the other end. A magnificent cake was displayed on a table in front of the group, with three people in the middle, posing behind the cake. An attractive middle aged woman was bracketed by two attractive men about the same age. Everyone was beaming. She didn’t know them but she could see a definite family resemblance to Spencer and Tyler.
Seated cross-legged in the big blue recliner in Spencer and Tyler’s apartment, Barb had both men crouched beside her, Tyler on her left and Spencer on her right.
The three of them had just finished a wonderful dinner and she had been promised Apple-Cheese pie for dessert. In many ways it was like the times the three of them often spent together... casual and relaxed. Then, before the pie, Spencer had said they — THEY? — wanted to talk with her about something important.
She put the picture back in her lap and held up the second one Spencer had given her. From the same event as the first picture, five other people had joined the group in this image. They were older than everyone from the first picture. Again, she wasn’t sure what she was looking at or what the significance was.
Here she was, sitting her in her favorite chair, surrounded by two hunky guys and trying to puzzle out the meaning of some family photos? How had this happened? Just a few months ago, her life had been empty and lonely, but it had been running a predictable course.
B arb’s loud alarm rang harshly in the dim light. Rolling over reluctantly, she opened a bleary eye. She always got up early on Wednesdays and did her laundry. It was a PITA to get up that early, but the trade-off — having an empty laundry room, privacy to read, and no one hassling her, was well worth it... or so she told herself.
Now, with the damn alarm blaring, she wasn’t as certain. She reached out and swatted the offending clock which subsided after a final blast... of defiance?
She rolled over on her back, willing her eyes to open and stay open. Once she was sure they were cooperating, she sat up and swung out of bed.
First stop was the kitchen where she hit the coffeemaker’s ON button. She’d filled it last night. That onerous chore done, it was back to the bedroom.
Laundry day. Crap. She was short of clean clothes, which meant that laundry wasn’t optional. It also meant that getting dressed might be a challenge.
She rooted around and found bra and panties... that was good. Her fat jeans would do. They hung on her, but who was gonna see her? She found an old worn tee shirt and a soft but holey sweatshirt. It had been one of Raymond’s and it was about all she got out of their two year “engagement”... if she ignored the mountain of debt he’d left her.
Hmmmm... one raggedy sweatshirt and how many thousands of dollars owed? It made her head hurt so she decided to ignore it. Back to the task at hand... getting dressed.
Now, socks... after several fruitless minutes, she gave up. Okay... no clean socks. What were her options? She couldn’t wear any of her shoes without socks. It was too cold to wear sandals. So, what was a girl to do?
She looked around the room, hoping for inspiration when Rocky and Bullwinkle waved at her.
They weren’t really Rocky and Bullwinkle, her favorite cartoon characters. They weren’t really waving either, truth be told. They were a mismatched pair of huge furry slippers. She’d bought a pair of Moose slippers and a pair of Squirrel slippers. Because she didn’t want to show favoritism, she had mixed and matched, ending up with two pairs. This pair had the left Moose and the right Squirrel.
She could wear them without socks and her feet would stay warm. She hated to walk across the rough parking lot pavement in them, but if she just made
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