“Finished,” I sighed, clicking the save button. If I continued at this pace I would be done in the next few months.
“What do you think?” I asked my greyhound, Roxanne settled down beside my wheelchair. She then sat up, barking in approval as she wagged her tail. Giving her a pet I proceeded to shut down my laptop.
I got up pushing my wheelchair aside, I could deal without it most of the time. I was an arthritis sufferer, not crippled. Stretching my hands out over my head I wondered what I’d eat for lunch.
Rice, with a little sauce... no that’ll surpass my calorie limit... fruit salad? I thought, walking out the study, Roxanne hot on my trail. Walking into the kitchen, I took in the morning song of the birds outside through the window. I turned to open the fridge only to bump into Roxanne.
“Damn,” I muttered, feeling the burn on my ankles. The kitchen was smallish and just enough for me and Roxanne to get around, but that was okay. My cabin had everything I needed to write and stay alive. There was a supply store down in town. I had my solitude and I had Roxanne.
I’d moved here about two years ago from D.C. I had grown tired of the action-filled life that my sore bones couldn’t keep up with.
Or was it him?
I ignored my thoughts, and instead fished out some leftover frozen salad and some dog Keble from the above cabinet. I moved to the counters to warm up the cold salad in a pot since I didn’t have a microwave.
Is it so hard to admit you’re running away?
I’m not running away from anybody, I’m not running away from anything. I mean why would I? My royalty checks were getting better each week, I had the peace and quiet I’ve always craved. I tried to convince myself as I dropped the salad container into the pot filled with a cup of water.
“You don’t get out enough, come back home...”
I frowned, remembering my mom’s words from her call last week. What did she mean? I get out enough. I see enough people when I went to town for supplies. I even offered to relieve the Literature professors sometimes in the local universities by taking some classes.
I sighed, placing Roxanne’s bowl of Keble on the floor. I watched her eat for a while before turning back to my salad. I knew I should be eating more, but I didn’t want to be the guy that gained back all his weight, it was bad enough that I was as plain looking as they got.
My ears perked up and Roxanne barked at the sound of the living room landline ringing. I sighed, turning off the heat of the stove. Taking a hand towel, I wiped my hand before heading out the kitchen door.
“Hello?” I muttered into the phone, not bothering to check the number.
Oh no... I thought, bringing my free hand to my forehead.
“Drew? Speak to your Uncle, won’t you.”
“What do you want?” I asked in a frustrated voice. I don’t like my uncle. He’s a thorn in the neck and an even worse one when he wanted something. He was about to get married to his fiancée, she’s going to be his sixth if I counted correctly.
“Harsh aren’t you? Well, if you ask I want you to accommodate my soon to be step son for a while. He—”
“No,” I said sternly. Review his benefits to go into a deal with a company, sure. Do that. No.
“Please, he’s been newly enrolled in that college... Den... Um...”
“It’s Denfort,” I corrected, rolling my eyes. Why would he enroll someone- his soon to be stepson to a school he barely knew the name of?
“That’s right. I need you to help me out with his keep.”
“I can’t. If he’s of college age why don’t you just get him into the school dormitories?” I asked, looking for a way to slip out of this. I couldn’t let someone invade my heaven.
“The costs are too expensive for what they’re providing.”
“Oh really...” I trailed, sarcasm staining my tone. I leaned on the wall, feeling the strain of my weight on my ankles. I wanted to get this talk over and done with.
“I can’t help you,” I said, closing my eyes in frustration.
“Drew you just have to, he’s going to be at the train station tomorrow.”
I cursed, balling my hands into fists in disbelief.
“Tomorrow? Tomorrow?! What’s wrong with you?!” I screamed into the phone.
“I assumed you’d be easy to convince...” I groaned. It’s just like him; always ‘assuming’.
“I’ll make it up to you, I’ll send money for his keep I just need him away until I marry his mother.” He tried through the phone. I sighed, so that’s what this is about.
“I’ll do it.”
“Yes, forget the keep money just send the details of his enrollment and arrival.” I sighed not quite believing I was helping my uncle with woman problems again.
“Of course, that’s my nephew...”
“Goodbye uncle,” I sighed, hanging up. Why couldn’t my father have had more normal brothers? Looking around the living room I wondered if a seventeen, maybe eighteen year old would want to live here. It was a small reserved simple town, and it was a little far from the college.
I shook my head, trying to get the doubt out of my head. I already agreed to this, and I’m not the one turn back on my word. Wondering away to the extra room, I turned on the lights to take a look. I frowned at the pile of dust building on the bed and furniture. Shaking my head I wondered what exactly I had been expecting, no one had really used the room.
I walked to the windows opening them to let in light and fresh air. I undressed the bed, taking the bed sheet and pillowcases with me out of the room. I needed to get fresh sheets, maybe clean out the drawers and do some light dusting. The bathroom would prove to be a problem too.
I walked into the small laundry, dropping the bed sheets in a hamper. Roxanne walked in waging her tail.
“Rox,” I muttered, squatting to pet her.
“Seems we’ll be having a visitor,” I muttered, stroking her fur.