John arrived home tired and frustrated by his day. Captain Merrill had sent him home early, since he had come in around four a.m. to do paper work. He often did that when he couldn’t sleep. John lived alone, except for some goldfish, in a small one-bedroom apartment in Park Slope,
His living room was dark beige. He wasn’t sure it had been painted that color originally, but years had passed since anybody had tried to do anything with the walls. John didn’t mind the fading, since he was rarely home anyway. He was able to fit a recliner, a loveseat, and a nineteen-inch color television in the living room area. He had a small portable CD player on an end table next to the recliner. His bedroom was cramped with a double bed; a dresser; and one end table that held a phone, a lamp, and an alarm clock. The bathroom had a tub with a fish shower curtain.
The last area in the apartment was what some would call a kitchen; others would call it a closet. It contained a small oven with a four-burner stove, a refrigerator, a sink, and a small counter that separated the kitchen from the living room. He had two stools by the counter where he ate his meals. It was a small place, but he could afford it, and it was located only about twenty minutes from the precinct.
Out of habit, he went right to the answering machine and hit play. A familiar voice filled the air. “John, this is your mother. I was wondering if you could stop by for dinner on Sunday. Your sister will be here and . . . well, we all miss you. I love you, Honey. Call me.”
The next message was from some salesperson telling him he’d won free airplane tickets to
He couldn’t help but think how lucky he was to have a family who cared so much for him. They were always trying to make sure he stayed connected to them.
He felt a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a message from Mrs. Cavelli. He was about to press the button and reset his caller ID box when he noticed that it read four new calls. Funny, he thought he’d heard only three. He reviewed the calls listed and noticed that one of them was from
I wonder why she didn’t leave a message. He thought about calling her back but quickly dismissed the idea. Too risky. He didn’t want to get her in trouble. Thinking about his next move, he pulled open the refrigerator and saw there wasn’t much in there: some beer, an apple, and milk that was probably expired.
“Well,” he wondered out loud, “since there doesn’t seem to be anything for dinner, maybe I should go out to eat. And wherever shall I go?
© Nadine Z. 2007