After Maisy has gotten her fill of answers from her dearly departed neighbor Grace, she finishes her tea and rises to leave.
“Oh, and about that roommate. A woman in my garden club has a daughter fresh out of college looking for a place to live. I’ll get your flyer to her. The name is Nancy Goodwynn. Now then, that should be easy for you to remember. Like your surname, Good, but with wynn on the end. W-y-n-n, not w-i-n, mind you. I’m meeting the garden club tomorrow, so you should expect to hear from Nancy later this week.”
“You don’t have to do that,” I say as I see her out.
“Nonsense. Suppose you don’t find a roommate and then can’t live here and I’m forced to drive into town to see someone. The parking is atrocious. No, I like you right where you are so I’ll see to it that you can stay put. This isn’t charity, mind you. It’s networking. You’re young, so you know all about that.”
We’re ten years apart in age, at most. But if she wants to call me young, so be it. “Thank you.”
On Thursday, Nancy Goodwynn shows up at my door.
“I know I should have called first. But Maisy said you have a home business so you wouldn’t mind if I just dropped by. I’m Nancy, by the way, Nancy Goodwynn. Nearly the same last name as you, but with wynn at the end.”
Her red curls bob up and down as she speaks. I swear each freckle on her face has a piece of glitter on it, making her appear to sparkle in the sunlight.
The just-after-dawn barely-morning-sunlight.
When normal people are sleeping. Okay, maybe not normal people. But certainly me. She’s a morning person.
“May I come in?” She says as she sidesteps around me, not waiting for an answer. “Oh, dear. Have I caught you too soon in the day? Shall I wait in the parlor while you freshen up?”
“I, umm, it’s just really early.”
“Yes. Did you oversleep, or do you usually waste daylight? I like to have ten things done before the sun is finished rising.”
Really, really a morning person. “I tend to do things closer to midnight.”
“Oh no, that isn’t good for you. Early to bed, early to rise.”
“Yeah. This isn’t that kind of house.” No sooner do I say it then dad’s ghost blows by.
Nancy shutters. “Oh my, quite a chill. Have you had the insulation checked? My father knows a good home inspector. You should have that done before I move in. Wouldn’t want either of us to catch our death from a chill.”
“It was a ghost,” I say as I rub my eyes.
“Oh you,” she laughs. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. Let me ask you this, how do you get in your bathroom while in that wheelchair? I notice there’s no button to shoot the door open.”
“I manage.” What kind of question is that? Not as if it matters. There’s no way she’s moving in.
“Well, I suppose at home you can make do. But what about out in public? I know there are stalls for you people in the restrooms, but how do you get past the heavy doors to get into the room?”
There should be a law against morning people. Especially if they’re going to impose on the rest of us and not even have the decency to bring coffee. “It’s a challenge sometimes. But that’s the way of the world. Doors aren’t made or hung by many people who are largely confined to sitting. Look, if this is going to continue, especially with you calling me a ‘you people,’ I’m going to need caffeine.”
“That’s against the Lord’s law. Nothing addictive but prayer. We’ll get your life cleaned up, don’t you worry about that. Have you heard the good news?”
“Is it that you’re leaving now?” Shut it down. There’s zero chance I’m letting this girl move in.
“Of course not! Oh you are a silly billy, aren’t you? I’m just going to rise up your stairs and have a peek at the floor I’ll be renting. You just stay there and think about it.”
I wheel into her path. “No. The upstairs is closed.”
*** 718 words