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from Return to Sandy Shores by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2019–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 9 - Sam

After a tearful night of packing, hugging, and drinking, I said a final good-bye to my friends. My body was tired, but my mind was a whirlwind of activity. What would I do for a living in such a small town? Where would I live? Was Bernacki’s Bakery still on Main Street? Would I ever see Hot Guy again? Should I take Sally to the vet here or load her up and go to Maria Helena’s clinic when I got to Sandy Shores? How long would my savings last? And then I’d start at the beginning and ask myself all the same questions again. No answers would be forthcoming until I drove down I-69 and began this new phase of my life. I tossed, turned, and punched my pillow so many times that Sally gave up and slept in the living room. Poor kitty. Poor me.

With my second cup of coffee waking up my groggy brain, I decided to take Sally to the veterinarian before traveling. I loaded her into the cat carrier I’d purchased along with the rest of her paraphernalia and drove to the Vet Stop, a place I’d noticed from the bus window several times. Sally meowed her displeasure the whole way. The Vet Stop was painted a mellow yellow and had a good vibe going. I parked and carried the yowling Sally inside. There were barking dogs, a man with a parrot on his shoulder, (I avoided making pirate jokes) and an old woman with a ginger cat purring loudly in her lap. I set the carrier down, approached the empty reception desk, and waited for the young woman to finish a phone call from a person whose dog had swallowed some cleaning fluid. I was impressed with the advice she gave the customer, especially when she said to bring the dog in as soon as possible. Poor thing. I hoped it made it through.

“Can I help you,” she said as she hung up the phone. She had blue hair straight out of a spray can, pretty blue eyes, but she’d lined them with such thick, black liner that she seemed rough to me. The sleeve tattoo didn’t help soften her look. Her voice sounded like she’d been smoking for a long time, but she couldn’t have been older than twenty. I imagined she’d lived a completely different kind of life than me, but it was really none of my business.

“Found a kitten. I want to have her checked over and see if she needs any immunizations. I’m leaving town and want to make sure she’s OK to travel.” I picked up the carrier so she could see Sally crouched in the back corner and meowing.

“She’s a darling,” the woman said with a smile that took the harshness away and showed the young person hiding under all that makeup. She took my information and entered it into her computer. “Doc. Jensen will be with you in a moment. Why don’t yo...

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