Not Ready for Acquittal

I thought I’d do a little trip to take the full re-cycling containers to empty at the town bins, and then quickly into the grocery store for a gallon of milk, maybe something for supper.

But it was a Tuesday, with many clerks and few customers, so I ended up taking my time and finding a couple um, Sale items.  Well, is it really a bargain if I’ve never tasted it before and might not like it?
I did end up with some extras. I’m sure we’ll use them soon.

As I was getting into the check-out line, I heard a familiar voice say my name.  I looked, squinted, then stared a bit longer.
The woman was my former boss, from what seems a lifetime ago at the daycare center.

Her hair is dyed a different color, and she has lost weight.
The skin of her neck has that loose look which tells everybody about the before and after diet program.

I said I would not have recognized her at all with that hair color, and she got a bit sheepish, saying she just needed a change.

I asked how is it that she is out and about in the middle of the day, and the answer was her lunch break.
Apparently, she doesn’t hang out in the Break Room any longer.
I would usually eat my lunch, then read a novel or crochet.  On nice days, I’d walk down the block, but it never seemed worthwhile to get in the car, then drive anywhere while fighting traffic, waiting at train crossings, and watching the clock.

She asked what I’m doing these days.  I figured the safest route is the truth, so I sighed, said I’m loafing, being a kept woman.
For the last month I’ve been crocheting and getting over the side effects of my new thyroid medicine.
When I have the energy, I empty a shelf and carry out boxes of books for donation.
I told her where the sons are going to college and what they are studying.  That I earned an AA degree last Spring, but won’t start looking in earnest for a job until after my Women’s Retreat.
She gave a little half smile and said it’s nice that I still go out to the camp every Fall.

A very big and deep yearning in me wanted to ask if she was somewhat jealous.  I didn’t speak up.  I didn’t tell her that I had seen her name in the Divorce listing in the newspaper.
I know how hard it is to keep a relationship content yet fresh.

It came time for her to put her items on the belt and to find her little saver’s card.
I busied myself looking at a magazine with a picture of some starlet on the cover.

As she was gathering her bags, I told her to say “Hi” to everybody at the Center.
She just nodded, already moving on with her busy day.

Recently, I wrote to a buddy that someone at a job does not necessarily become a friend.  When a deeper connection happens, and when the job is over yet the friendship continues, that is a true blessing.
I would have liked to have her for a friend.
The last two years have not been able to erase what happened, the way the words were spoken on that one Monday morning.
~~love and Huggs, Diane

the picture card above is from The Pondering Pool

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