I received my most recent royalties check in the mail today. I opened the chest freezer and realized I needed to go to Henry’s to stock up on meat. I took my collapsible shopping cart from its place under the table against the chest freezer. I put the check in my arc notebook in my mini backpack. I added my surface, because I might need it. I put my cellphone in my right front pocket and after locking the door, the key went into my left pocket.
First, the long walk to Pioneer bank to deposit the check. I took out two hundred in cash and deposited the rest. Enough to go to Henry’s Meat Market and get their Plan D, a shepherd’s pie, and an iced tea. I started planning a menu. The roast first, in the crock-pot, tomorrow night after a second shopping trip to Hannaford. That would last me a few days. Tonight a simple pork chop with applesauce. Humming to myself, I walked passed McDonalds and right up to the door before I realized Henry’s was closed. There were no lights on inside. No meats or products visible. The shelves were bare. The coolers visible on the far side of the shop were empty.
I walked quickly next door to the hardware store. “When did Henry’s close?” I asked.
The woman in the box with the registers answered “About a month ago.”
“That sucks. What happened?”
“The owner in Vermont decided to close the store.”
“Thank You.” I said with a sigh.
“I miss their cheeseburger sub.” The woman answered wistfully as I walked out.
I was upset. I walked over to Stewart’s and got a double scoop chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cone. Dragging the still folded cart behind me with my left hand, I went back to my apartment eating the ice cream along the way.
I finished chomping on the cone as I reached the door to my studio apartment. I switched hands for the collapsed cart to pull out the key. Then I opened the door and went in. I just leaned the cart against the dresser behind the door as I closed it. I would need it tomorrow or perhaps later today. I really wanted the roast. I placed my mini backpack onto the dresser with the key and cell phone.
I sat on the sofa next to the dresser and looked around my studio apartment. I kicked off my shoes and warmed my feet over the hot air forced vent in the floor. There was still a bit of winter chill and slush from our last storm. The bottom of my flannel pants had gotten wet too. I stood and went to the second left dresser drawer. I pulled out another pair of flannel pants and quickly changed. I walked passed the bathtub and dropped the pants into the washing machine. It was about two-thirds full. No need to run it yet.
I followed the clothesline diagonally across the apartment to use the toilet. Once done, I crossed the apartment to wash my hands in the kitchen sink next to the wine chiller. I crossed the apartment again, back to the freezer. I pushed aside a box of Thin Mints. Pulled up a package of ribs that came in a plan C I had bought last year to find a package of Bone in Chicken Breasts. I dropped the ribs and checked the other side of the freezer. Another chop, a steak, and a package of stew beef. I slammed shut the top of the freezer in frustration. It was too near empty.
The cellphone chimed. I walked over to it and looked. A new email. From the Waterford Library. My books were ready to be picked up. I put the phone back onto the dresser. I looked around the apartment again and sighed. I grabbed the nearly full bookbag from against the wall on the corner of the dresser. I took my surface and arc from the mini backpack and put them in the front pouch of the bookbag.
Not being in the mood to be helpful I plugged the ear buds into my phone. I picked the Irish Pub Rock Radio on Pandora, hefted the bookbag, and once again headed out.
I returned fourteen books to the library and picked up two. I walked out the front door and down Third Street debating. I could easily walk to Hannaford and get what I needed for a good meal tonight. I had room in the bookbag. Buying frozen vegis instead of fresh would keep the roast cold. A couple potatoes. More crock-pot bags. A small sweet tea to drink on the way back, not a two-quart bottle. Some hummus and crackers for a snack. On the other hand, a block of Colby Jack cheese would be good. I might have room to get both actually.
I looked to my left over the Hudson River. Distracted by the thoughts of food shopping I had headed straight towards Hannaford. I leaned on the rail and just looked upriver. The Sick Note began playing and I grinned. I stood there just listening to the story song. When it was over, I pulled out my cell phone, turned off Pandora, and pulled out my earbud. I stuffed the mess into my pocket.
“Hello.” I jumped and spun to the right. Nobody was there. “About time.” The disembodied voice said.
“I don’t suppose you will wait here until after I am done grocery shopping?”
“No.” He said like a petulant child.
I sighed. They were never willing to wait. “What would you like me to do for you?”
“I need to tell my Mother she was right.” He said earnestly. “And I need to tell the police where my body is before she can get rid of it.”