I am thankful I wasn’t there.
I don’t think I could have stood to see the indignities required.
Not that my imagination didn’t go there.
Still, I imagine it is best as an unsupported vision.
The real vision would have surely been far worse.
At the end of the day, or at least my end of the day with other people, I politely passed on so many sincere offers.
No, I don’t want to stay somewhere else tonight.
No, I don’t want anyone to stay with me, either.
No, I don’t want Sadie to go home with you.
No, I want Sadie here with me and Miss Fred.
No, thank you, I’m not hungry.
No, please do not order me food, even if you were going to order for yourself, anyway.
No, I don’t think I need anything.
No, no need to call me later.
No, I don’t want to call you later, either.
Ok, yes, I will call you if I need anything, but, no, I won’t need anything tonight.
I’ve lost the time between the fish sandwich and the goodbye questions; and the time between the goodbye questions and turning down the bed covers. I slept in our bed, on my usual side with Sadie and Fred.
Freddie took up her usual awkward spot on my knees. Sadie lay by my side as if she was still happily sandwiched in her regular space between Jeff and me.
“I know you won’t understand this,” I told them, scratching simultaneous circles on their heads. “But, it’s just us girls now.” Fred blinked, said something in her scraggly voice, took a turn and snuggled in. Sadie rolled over closer and uncharacteristically licked my chin.
I fell asleep surrounded by the warmth of beating hearts and the comforting rhythm of familiar purrs and soft sleepy snorts.
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