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from They Call Me Nothing by Jenny Young

Copyright © 2018–2021 Jenny Young

Chapter 7

Friday starts badly. I wake to the sound of Marshmallow getting sick on my bed. “Off the bed!” I kick her off and she promptly gets sick on the carpet. "Stupid Cat!" I stomp out of bed and jerk my gown over my arms. "Can't you wait to get outside before getting sick?" Fudge, the other Persian cat, jumps off the bed and races to the door. Marshmallow follows once she's finished getting sick. I grump to the bathroom to get toilet paper to pick up the more solid bits of mess.

Of course, I regret my meanness. The poor kitty can't help getting sick. I find her sitting in a small patch of sun on the kitchen chair. I gather her in my arms. “Sorry I kicked you, Kitty. Am I forgiven?” She stiffens her limbs then wriggles out of my arms. She licks her long white fur as if totally ignoring me.

Dora bustles in with more bad news. “Madam, I think there’s something wrong with Jasper’s foot. He’s walking like an old man.” I open the kitchen door and call Jasper. My big tan Rottweiler limps to the door, all his usual spark dampened. “Let me see.” He stubbornly refuses to lift his paw so I can have a look. “All right, roll over then.”

While I scratch his chest with my slippered foot, I examine his paw. The problem is obvious. There is a big acacia thorn embedded between two pads. I give it a sharp yank and Jasper lets out a yelp and rolls onto his feet. There’s a spot of blood on the floor which I think is a good thing because the blood will wash away any germs that came with the thorn.

It’s funny how a day that starts badly continues to irritate. Dora seems to be everywhere I want to be. When I want to shower she’s cleaning the bathroom. When I want to have breakfast, she’s washing dishes.

Friday is one of my days for the counselling centre. The hours are advertised as from 9 to 5. I pride myself on being punctual, even though it is volunteer work. It looks like I am going to be late today. I grab a slice of cake left over from last night’s book club meeting and dash out.

The traffic seems to be worse than usual. I hoot at a lady sitting in her car doing her make up. Can’t she see the light is green already?

I skid into the church grounds at twenty past eight. Thank goodness there is nobody waiting for me. I take ten slow breaths and then proceed to the little kitchen to make coffee.

I might as well eat the cake while I have coffee to wash it down with. I relax in my counselling room with my coffee and cake. I hope nobody comes today. I just feel like losing myself in a book and not interacting with anybody. At my Book Club last night I finally got my hands on ”Perfect People.” Delray and Sam have already read it and raved about it.

I move the crumby plastic container and dirty coffee mug to the table next to the roses. I glance around and check the security camera. Nobody said I couldn’t read a book when I had no appointments but I would prefer not to have Mrs Professionalism catch me at it.

“All he can do is keep convincing Naomi and himself that yes, it is the right thing. That’s all. Doing the right thing. Really we are.” I turn the page to start chapter two. At that moment I hear the buzzer. I glance at the security screen. My breath catches. It’s that boy. What’s his name again? Nothing. Lutho.

I feel my insides agitate like water when dry ice is added. A polyglot of thoughts chase each other through me. How dare he com...

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