Swinging my legs carelessly on the porch, I saw him first. Head bowed, he turned the corner hopping about. From my vantage point, I saw he was in pain and needed assistance.
Should I help him out? Would a parent or a neighbor stop me? Better yet, would they immediately think I had something to do with his injury?
The pained expression affixed on his face said it all. I bounded down the steps to the end of the block. He collapsed on the lawn of my best friend. Gasping for air, I bent over the injured pup and said softly, "It's okay, pal, I'm going to take care of you."
As I slowly slid my body out of bed, I should not have watched Netflix all night. Looking around the room, I see the Spanish worksheet and algebra problem sets still on the desk where I left them the day before. Man, this is only my second week of school and I'm falling behind. I could text Trina and ask her to meet at the library. Nah, she already thinks I'm a nut case cause I can't get enough of the Walking Dead.
I hear mom's heels stomp across the hardwood floor like horses. "Randy, it's 8 o'clock, are you alive?"
With a voice that's in need of water, I convey my illness. "Got a sore throat. I slept with the windows open."
Margie cracks open the door, just before I jump into bed and pull the covers around my shoulders. "I'll call Willow Creek High and inform them of your excused absence."
"Thanks," I lamely whisper before the door closes. I reach for the Kindle. Time to catch up on my Netflix binge. WTF: Wi-Fi is down.
Upon opening the door, she's greeted with manilla folders and discarded take-out wrappers, on the carpeted floor.
"Hi, you must be Sue," a big guy says hiding behind two truck loads of paper. "I'm Dennis. Welcome to Metro Pest Control." With a swipe of his meaty hand, he clears a chair, while throwing more paper on the floor.
"Uh, Dennis, you did say at the interview is today at 10, right?"
With a sheepish grin he add, "Yeah, sorry about the mess. My partner tore up the office looking for a file. That's why we need someone like you to get this place in order."
"Dennis, dear, you can't pay me enough to be your admin assistant/bookkeeper," she whispers. Standing up, she smiles and leans toward him, careful not to step on a file or wayward paper. "Call your wife, girlfriend or mother. They should be able to file your paperwork and take out the garbage. No wonder you're in the pest control business.
"Hi, welcome to Northeast Stonewall Homes. My name is Lis. I'll be happy to tell you about our community and provide you with info on the single-family homes available at Woodlawn Hills."
Just as the couple walks toward the breakfast nook, a single guy strolls in. "Hi, thanks for stopping in. If you'll all join me in the kitchen, I can provide you with the information you need about available home sites."
"We're just looking around for design ideas," the woman commented. "Can we take pics?"
"Absolutely! I'll be with this gentleman."
I follow him upstairs. Before I can get a word in, he pulls me into the walk-in closet and kisses me. "Oh, baby, I missed you so much, I just had to see you."
Flushed and annoyed, I try to regain my composure. "Dex, honey, I'm at work here. I've got to sell a few homes today. I'll be home at seven."
"Got a call from Manakin College on the coaching position. You're looking at the new coach of the men's lacrosse team."
"Okay, I've got five minutes. Close the door and let's celebrate."
Talking to oneself can be therapeutic. Dressed in two sets of layers, down jacket and Sorel boots, I close the apartment door, backpack slung over my shoulder and coffee mug in the other.
"Take your time, girlie," I cautiously whispered to myself as I exited the carpeted hallway.
"Hey, Kasie, looks like you're ready to go snow tubing with my kids at Whitetail Resort, my nosey neighbor bellowed in laughter.
Losing my concentration, I nearly slip on the surrounding snow and ice. "Toni, I'm busy having a meaningful conversation with myself. I'll talk to you when the ice melts.
Happy New Year! Candace weaves her way from the crowded dance floor as the New Year's celebration kicks into overdrive. She spots two middle-aged men who look out of place. What happens next would change her life forever.
"Excuse me, miss," the dark-haired guy says. "We would like to grant you three wishes."
Candace slowly approaches the men. "Are you kidding?"
"No. We outlined our business 20 years ago," the other guy said. "We want to give you the opportunity to prosper."
"Okay, my first wish is to strengthen services to veterans. We all know homelessness among female veterans is growing."
They nod in agreement.
"My second wish is to share your success with the world by writing about your business."
"That's a great wish," intoned the dark-haired guy.
"I don't want to hear my boyfriend complain about the Washington Redskins again. My third wish is to hire a coach and create a team to compete in the NFL Eastern Division."
"Well, that's going to be hard," the other guy remarked. "This wish could take a few seasons."
'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house everyone was in an uproar because packages had not arrived for granny, Uncle Casper, Little Timmy nor his teenaged sister Wendy.
"Okay, okay, we'll re-gift last year's fruit cake to Granny Mae," said mom. "How many quarts of oil do you have in back of the truck? Let's give it to Casper."
"Just great," moaned dad as he sadly shook his head in agreement. "You know that truck leaks oil like a nursing woman."
As for the kids, what are we going to do?
Dad asked, "Why did our presents arrive on time?"
"I purchased our gifts through Amazon Prime, mom beamed. "Stop being so cheap using regular mail."
"Hey, buddy, pick your lane and stay in it," I yelled as I accelerated past him.
It's Halloween. I'm heading home but just can't get there fast enough. I told myself to take Sebastian's blow-up doll to beat the congestion with a stress-free ride home. With the Kim Kardashian wig, old North Face jacket, strapped in the passenger seat, I would have been home 45 minutes ago.
Now, I've got to put Plan B into practice. I grab my workout bag and stuff the towel, shorts, socks and t-shirt under my shirt. For emphasis, I empty the remains of the water bottle onto my lap. I look in the rear view mirror, turn on my signal, and enter the HOV lane.
As I enter the house, Sebastian is helping the twins with their costumes. Alex is asking for help tucking is Big Papi Red Sox jersey into his jeans. Gabriel has on his 49ers Colin Kaep jersey and football helmet. "How did you get home so soon?"
"I stuffed my gym clothes under my shirt and poured water to make it look like I was going into labor, while cruising the HOV lane." He smiles and shakes his head. "Okay pregnant lady, you deserve two pieces of candy for that ingenious trick."
Breathe slowly. Take your time. You can do this. I near a clearing and survey my surroundings. I crouch low near a fallen tree to get a closer look at the target. I try not to make any sudden movements to draw his attention. As I wait for the right moment, I know I'm going to get him this time.
Just then, the wildlife picture of a lifetime was coming into focus: a young deer drinking water from the creek. I move into action steadying the GorillaPod and Canon lens. Click. Click. Click. Click.
As I pack up my gear, I see a buck in my path. He's coming toward me. I've got nothing but a camera bag and $2,000 worth of equipment. At three o'clock, I see a hunter. He's signaling me to stay put. At nine o'clock I see another hunter who has his sights on the buck. I've wet myself. The hunters take down the buck in three rapid-fire shots.
No more wildlife pictures for me. Now is a great time to get into portraits.
With fingers each as thick as a bratwurst he awkwardly typed using his index fingers. The sound of keys being punched was enough to elicit stares.
"Shh, we're trying to study over here," I reminded my fellow classmate.
Rick peered up from his laptop to see Navy ROTC Midshipmen Jamison standing by his table. "Sorry, man, I'm emailing my rep about my Montgomery GI Bill payment. I'm sick and tired of this stalemate."
"I feel you," commented Jamison as he pulled out a chair and sat opposite the Marine Corps veteran. "Last week's training event was put on hold. Don't know if I'll get my NROTC stipend or not. The support staff has been furloughed."
"After 16 years in the Corps, I'm glad to be out," Rick drawled. "But, this wait and see crap is hurting all of us."
"Instead of emailing the military tuition assistance program, you need to email your elected officials," Jamison said. "We, the people deserve better than this."
I saw you hanging around the Quad with the fraternity pledges. I saw you again as I headed toward the gym for a yoga class. Once outside, I caught a glimpse of you making a nuisance out of yourself.
Why don't you simply fly away, you little bugger?
I've longed to touch you. A desire burns within me to hold you, to cherish you, dear one. Beads of sweat line my forehead, as my arms ache to hold you close to me.
There you are, my red bottom shoes. Oh, how the five-inch heels flatter my long, sexy legs. I simply adore the nude closed toe and black peep toe pumps. I now know the meaning of love at first sight. Today, I give in to my shoe fetish.
The kid turned to wipe away his tears. He'd had enough of the pushing, shoving and name calling. He was determined to stand up for himself.
Tim took out his cell phone and called his uncle. A former Big-10 linebacker, Uncle E. knew how to tackle and come out on the winning end of a fight.
"Listen lil bro, fights eventually end on the ground," he boomed into the phone. "You simply need to learn how to defend yourself using Ju Jitsu. I'll stop by this weekend and show you a few techniques."
With the help of his uncle, Tim learned quickly, practicing with Sam, his his best friend.
"Sam, are you hurt?" Tim asked out of breath.
"I'm okay," she smiled with a toothy grin. "We've learned to defend ourselves against the bullies."
I saw you. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. I saw you with my own two eyes at the intersection of Vine and Alfred Streets. We were at the red light together. On my way to shop for groceries, I waited for the light to turn lime green.
You were on the phone. After the conversation ended, that's when you proceeded to do the unspeakable. How could you? What came over you? Now, I'll have to share with everyone at work how my boss was digging for dollars at the red light.
While I'm at the store, I'll be sure to pick up a pack of Kleenex for you. The proper way to clean your nose is to use tissue, not your index finger.
Attention drivers: you'll never know who is out and about wielding the multi-purpose index finger.
don't wait up for me tonight. I've got tons of work that needs to be completed by 8 am tomorrow. Of course, my team dropped the ball. It's up to me to pick up where they stopped and carry it in for a department touchdown. My fourth quarter bonus hinges on this report.
"Hey, Deidre, are you coming downstairs?" summoned Karl. "Everybody's in the Flex, ready to jump-start Monday Night Football."
"Yep, just sent the email."
Work comes in different forms. Tonight, Dee will work on $3 hot wings and shots while watching the Eagles take on RGIII. Sorry, Harry, she's got tons of work to do.