“Why don’t you both come in?” Nana offered. “Please make sure you close the gate on the way in, dear,” she said to Tia. “Give it a good pull until it clicks.”
Jenny more floated than walked to Nana’s kitchen table, guided by her host like a balloon in a child’s hands.
“Put those down on the counter next to the sink,” Nana instructed. “There’s a mug and bottle over there; if you drink the same thing I have cups on that side, and there’s cans of pop in the fridge.”
“No pop,” Jenny said, her head still hung.
“This must be a bad one,” Nana replied. “Let me see that bottle, dear… Hmm, there’s another one in the closet under the stairs.”
When Tia left to get more rum, Nana asked Jenny, “So is she also not going out on the lake with you?”
“No, it’s not that,” she replied
“Does she know about the activities you don’t do on the lake?”
“And she’s not going to give you any- Oh thank you,” Nana said to Tia as she came on in. “Do help yourself to some.”
“Can I get you a glass?” Tia asked.
“Oh, no, I’ll just have some pop, thanks.”
Tia fixed a straight rum for Jenny and herself, and poured a can of pop into a third glass for her host. She sat down next to Jenny, opposite Nana.
“Now,” said Nana to Tia, “why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself, dear?”
“Um, well…” Tia looked between Nana and Jenny, the silence getting longer as her eyes went back and forth between the two of them.
Jenny took her mug and drained it, with a steady pace. Its bottom barely touched the table before she began, “I messed up. And I mean big.”
When neither of her listeners commented, Jenny continued, “I got involved in things I shouldn’t have, and it all went to hell.”
“You mean your going out on the lake?” Tia asked.
“Crap no! That’s the one damn good thing to happen to me in my life. And if I just stayed out there and didn’t have to keep coming ashore, it’d be f’n’ great!”
“So what then?”
Jenny sighed and said, “I spoke to Russell.”
“That nice boy who became a cop?” Nana asked. “Shame you two didn’t stay together.”
“Not helping, Nana…”
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan