Narcotics Anonymous II
It was almost ten o’clock before Molly raised her head off the pillow. She jumped as if an electrical prod hit her, ran to the shower, and was halfway through soaping up when she remembered there was no school bell calling her to teach history to juniors. Shuffling into the kitchen she started the coffee and dropped down at the desk to check email. A note from Symantec that her Norton super duper protection was about to lapse. The tone of the message possessed the gravity of a platoon sergeant listing the many ways a soldier could be sabotaged by the enemy. That could wait; she’d check whether the update was free, and if not, would add this one more expense to her growing list of things she took for granted when there was a steady income stream. She trolled the remaining emails, lots of them, mostly from her friend Sarah. She opened the first to find a chatty note inviting her up to Santa Monica for a day on the Fourth Street Promenade. Sarah didn’t know about the busted up Nissan and the enforced leave of absence. She wrote back in terse little remarks about her meeting at the school and its outcome. Sarah already knew of Javier’s late night leave taking via police escort, and as a friend, was supportive through this time of loss. She’d call Sarah later today, much later, after she took time to settle her life in serious little rows of what she could and could not afford, and all the while knowing the ‘could not’ would far outpace the ‘could’.
The smell of the coffee beckoned her to the table where she brought a pad and pencil to begin her list, preferring the more personal touch of a pencil over the clacking of the computer keys and the official looking print out. Her list included a bunch of “To Dos” for today, maybe for the rest of her life. “Call SSI” was placed at the top. She hesitated thinking she should call the Union first. A feeling of shame came over her at being dumped by the school, the vice-principal, Robert, and now that she thought about it, the board and superintendent. Had she really been an agenda item at their meeting after Javier’s handiwork of bruises and sprained shoulder landed her at St. Mary’s emergency room? Guilt took over, the kind that Esther was so good at meting out, guilt about the lifestyle that led to all this.
“Bullshit,” she mumbled as she poured through the papers that Robert’s secretary placed neatly in a large manila envelope, all pages stacked just so. In the back she found the Union phone number and sipped hot coffee while waiting for Kathy McDougall to pick up. A voice message greeted her.
“This is Kathy McDougall’s office. Please leave your name and a phone number and I will call you back.”
The burden of taking care of herself began to feel heavier. She stuttered through the message and hit the pound key to hear “options”, and chose #3, to record a new message. This time she made it short and sweet. She tried for a light sound.
“Hi, Kathy. This is Molly Morris. I have some questions regarding medical leave pay. Please call me.” She left her school’s name and her phone number, and muttered a weak “Thanks.”
* * *
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish