Turning a Corner Pt. 4


“I want to make sure you spell everything right. When you were a teacher you always taught that someone else should proofread a letter before it gets sent.”

Janie looked into Lena’s eyes and saw that that particular memory wasn’t registering. There was a searching on the older woman’s face for a frame of reference, but it was never found.

Lena nodded her head quickly and stood up from her seat. “I need to be getting ready for bed, Janie. And you need to get home off these dark streets. It’s not safe for a woman to be out gallavantin after the sun goes down.”

Janie bit her tongue and stood up silently. She grabbed a handful of star mints and jammed them into her purse while Lena tipped over to the front door.

“Call me when you get home!” Lena said avoiding Janie’s eyes as she opened the front door.

“Yes ma’am, I will.”

Lena shut the door just as quickly as she had opened it no more than 10 minutes earlier. Janie took one step at a time and walked slowly to her Cutlass Ciera. When she got in the car, she immediately pulled out her cell phone and called Lena’s oldest child, Douglas.

“How was she?” Douglas asked as if bearing for bad news.

“The same,” Janie said as she backed out of Lena’s driveway. “I think it’s about that time unfortunately. She was outside early in the morning calling herself walking down to the river. Had to have been past midnight when she did it. Said Mary Gross stole her cantaloupe, tomatoes and peppers. She’s in there now writing a letter to her.”

“Mary Gross? The woman who lives across the street?”

“Yeah, that’s the one,” Mary said as she turned onto the street from the driveway.

Douglas exhaled and said, “Well, let me call my sisters and I’ll call Manor Care tomorrow. Did she start an argument again and get violent?”

“No, not this time. She was just angry,” Janie said as she dug in her purse with a free hand for another mint.

Douglas exhaled again and they ended the call soon afterwards. On her way home, Janie thought to look up Mary Gross’s number so she could warn her about the letter. A sadness came over her as she realized it might be better to wait. Because there was a very good chance that Lena wouldn’t remember the letter the next day anyway.

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