As I was loading my groceries in my car, Charlie pulled up beside me and rolled down his window.
“Happy Valentine’s Day you little shithead,” He said jokingly.
“I love you too, sweetheart,” I replied facetiously with a big grin plastered upon my face.
Charlie burst out laughing and drove on away. I do dearly love that man. Charlie circles the parking lot until his autistic son, Randall, purchases his nightly can of shaving cream and walks out to be carried home. It is an unfailing nightly routine for Charlie and his son.
I left Kroger and then drove over to Fat Albert’s to buy this week’s allotment of little cigars. Miki was on duty tonight and wasn’t feeling well. She perked up some when she saw me walk in though.
“The usual?” She asked as she forced a smile despite feeling so badly.
“The usual,” I replied as she rang up two cartons of cigars for nineteen dollars and twenty four cents.
“One more hour and you will be off of work,” I told her. “I know you will be glad to get home and get some rest.”
“I think I am coming down with the flu,” She replied. “This next hour will probably be the longest hour of my life.”
The conversation then turned to the subject of Carolyn. Miki and Carolyn are close friends and worked together for years at Fat's.
“Carolyn told me about you two breaking up. I hated to hear that,” She said. “You two were a good couple.”
“Yeah, the past month has been kind of tough,” I replied.
“She still loves you,” Miki said. “She told me the other day on the phone how much she misses you.”
“Well, she has a weird way of showing it,” I replied flabbergasted.
Our conversation was beginning to tread on uncomfortable territory. I didn’t want to rehash my failed relationship with one of Carolyn’s close friends. I politely told Miki that I had to head home to get in the bed early for a doctor’s appointment in the morning. I do have to see my psychiatrist at noon. I dread having to go do that tomorrow. It is such a long drive just for a fifteen minute visit to get my prescriptions renewed. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do though.