I grew very worried when I didn't hear from Rosa yesterday. It is not like us to go a day without talking. I feared she had had another round with her crack cocaine addiction and was at the crack house. My worst fears were abated when I drove over to her house this morning. She was alive, but just barely.
"Sweetheart, I have been worried like hell about you," I said as she opened her front door after I knocked. "I didn't hear from you yesterday and you aren't answering your phone."
Rosa looked pasty and white – like death warmed over.
"I've got the old stomach flu," she said. "I haven't eaten since the day before yesterday."
I walked into Rosa's kitchen to check her cupboards and fridge for anything light I could fix for her. She badly needed groceries and didn't have anything to drink.
"I'll be right back," I told her as I left to go to the grocery store just up the street to buy some stuff for her.
I arrived back at Rosa's house after spending $30 dollars shopping. I pulled out a big pot from under her stove and started some homemade chicken noodle soup. I poured in cans of chicken stock and then emptied foil packages of white meat chunked chicken, sliced celery, carrots, wide egg noodles, and an onion. Rosa was also overjoyed that I had bought her two twelve packs of Sprite which is a soft drink that is easy on a sick stomach. Soon the smell of the chicken noodle soup was wafting throughout her house.
"Thank you so much," Rosa said as she stood in the kitchen next to me drinking a lukewarm Sprite. "That soup smells delicious. I am starving. I hope I can keep it down."
"That is what friends are for," I replied as I stirred the soup one last time and put the lid on. "Let this simmer for about an hour."
"Can you do me one more favor?" Rosa then asked.
"Sure," I replied. "You name it."
"Can you go by the convenience store and buy me some cigarettes? I ran out the day before yesterday and felt too ill to get out of the house to buy more."
I left and bought Rosa four packs of cheap cigarettes down at Fat Albert's and took them back to her. She surprised me with the haste at which she opened up a pack and lit up. Rosa was desperate for some smokes. I bid my friend good bye and told her to call me tonight to let me know if she was able to eat and was feeling better. The stomach flu is just one of those ailments that has to run its course. She will be fine in a few days.