After hearing a repeated knock, Caleb simply pulled the covers over that shaved hard head of his and tried to ignore the thumps from mom’s front door. Still, after several minutes of relentless barking from the dogs, it was time to get up and find out who was disturbing this peaceful morning.
The door barley creaked open before a brilliant morning sun blinded the view. Lisianthus Glass asked “Is Gabriel up yet?” The aroma from a platter of stemming cinnamon rolls tightened the knot in Caleb’s very empty stomach. It growled in an angry protest but he turned his nose away to let in the new neighbor.
Lisianthus preferred to be called Lisi and since moving in next door about a month ago, she had practically adopted Caleb’s mother Gabriel. Caleb, who now lived right outside an Air Force base in Ohio didn’t know what to make of Lisi. She came by to check on Gabriel every day and made sure all her needs were taken care of. Upon pushing her way through the door she added, “I’m not sure if you’re allergic to bleached flour like your mother but Merry Christmas anyways. Did you know you look like hell this morning?” The cheerful smile was warm and welcoming so Caleb greeted it back with a grin and “morning” mumble.
Kindness from strangers was an unknown concept in this household. He assumed she would just hurt then in the end, just like everyone else has done. For now though it was time to practice the Golden Rule and treat others like you want to be treated, at least until they screw up and reveal the beast hidden within.
After situating the rolls on their kitchen counter, Lisi started a pot of coffee. The coffee pot was one of the pride and joys of this home since it was a high priced Bunn Maker. A pot was ready in three minutes every time. The perfect jump start for anyone needing a caffeine fix.
The only way Gabriel was able to afford nice items like this was because she sold her excess prescription pain meds. It wasn’t something any of them were proud of. Caleb detested the fact that doctors had not only turned his mother into an addict by trying to ease her pain, but she had basically turned drug dealer as well to pay bills. Resisting the urge to go back to bed, Caleb sat on mom’s worn green couch to socialize for a few minutes. It was at least distracting from the cursed thoughts that continued to pop up. “If only the job market was better, I could help mom out. If only I hadn’t gotten that infection in my eye and still had vision in both eyes.”
As a plain black cup of Folgers Black Silk was presented to each, Lisi ask “what was all the commotion last night? Are you OK Gabriel – Caleb?”
“It’s too bad they always bring this shit back up when you just want to forget about it.”