That easy chair was calling
and Dee wasn't resisting. Loved though the children were one had to
admit they kept things moving. Now that they were gone home she dropped
down, flipped the foot rest up and glanced to one side to see Sam heading
toward his chair in the bedroom.
Her daughter was wheeling
her chair around to the computer. She already had one of her favorite CD's
on the machine. This was her break and escape after the children left.
The soft music, quiet house
and easy chair lulled Dee into a quick nap. Her dream was so real it was
as if she was again back on the streets of the little town of Tonkawa. In
her dream sleep she repeated a scene to have happened more than at least
thirty years ago.
At the quiet country town
she and her mother's car pulled up to the one red light in town. Crossing
the street in front of her was one of her beloved teachers she had while
she was in college.
“Well, would you ever?
There is Mrs. Strange. I haven't seen her in years.”
The very stylish woman
walked in front of the car, stepped up on the curb and was on her way down
the wide side walk in front of the stores. There was no question as to it
being her former teacher. Teaching home economics gave her the edge on
style and class. She really just reeked with it. Her clothing was always
tailored looking of very fine quality fabric. She was tall and thin and
walked with a sure stride but still, as though she was really just out for
a stroll. The walk alone was proof to Dee it was for sure, Mrs. Strange.
Too, her hairstyle was another indication. She wore her hair always neat
to the very maximum.
Dee drove the car up in
front of the café where they were planning to have lunch. While she was
unloading the wheelchair for her daughter she was looking down the street
for the lady she truly wished to see, but nowhere could she see her.
“Oh well. She probably is
already inside.” Everyone in Tonkawa ate at the same place and that was
Mary's restaurant. It was always a pleasant experience since they usually
saw people they didn't get to visit very often. Maybe just the owner was
the only one but that was fun too, since they had gone to high school
together for a time.
As Dee settled her mother
and her daughter into a table, she was looking about the room. Dee
couldn't locate the woman amongst the crowded tables. Determined now to
find her she told them to give the waitress her order. “I'm going to walk
down the street. Probably, Mrs. Strange had a bit of shopping to do and
has popped into one of the stores.”
Most of the stores were
open and one could see right through them. The little ten-cent store was
not as easy to see into so she went inside the store.
“I'm looking for an old
friend? Mrs. Strange. Is she here?” While she was asking Dee was
looking around and felt a little silly because the people were all
starring at her with strange expressions. They didn't open their mouth
but just shook their head, “no.”
“Golly, I've seen wall eyed
horses to have the same expression.” She smiled to herself.
Giving up the search Dee
returned to the restaurant. “You know I've just totally lost that woman.
Maybe she is in the bathroom. I'll ask Ginger when she comes through.
And, that was only a moment or so when the sparkly owner of the café came
to their table.”
“You know, Ginger. I saw
Mrs. Strange a while ago and after having searched all over, can't seem to
find her." I haven't seen her in such a long time. It would have been fun
to go over old times with her. After all these years her appearance was
just as striking. I always thought she was so attractive. We had so
many good times. When I was going through the ten-cent store, I
remembered all the times she used to send me on errands to pick up
something or other for our class. One time needles, another time a
can opener, or another time a piece of felt. She taught me so much
while I was in her classes. Having majored in home economics that was
where I spent most of my time.
“No Dee. You did not see
Mrs. Strange. Not today.”
“Oh? And why not? Has she
moved away? I'm sure she must have retired long ago.”
“Well you know, as a matter
of fact. I went to her funeral this morning.”
The shock of Ginger's
statement so startled the woman she couldn't speak. She looked over
toward her Native American mother and there was no expression on her face
and she had her head turned to look off into the distance rather than make
eye contact with her daughter. The Indians had an explanation for this
sort of thing and it was tied up with the thought of saying good-bys.
When she woke from the
dream it was so real she could still see the woman strolling so
nonchalantly across and in front of her car, as if to make sure Dee saw