The Mouse

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

This morning Harry and I weeded the garden in the rain. It wasn’t heavy— gentle temperate rain—the wet earth easily gave way. I did the easy stuff like crab grass, and Harry clipped the hedges and low-hanging branches. My mother always told me “to water after planting or weeding”, and I decided to compromise. Time was of the essence. I was meeting an old friend for lunch whom I hadn’t seen in years.

Downtown at the Bluebird Café, we sat in a booth so we could hear each other talk. We recognized each other, and she seemed to be in good spirits. “Pris, it’s so good to see you. I want to apologize for not getting in touch, but I was in a long-term relationship that turned out to be life threatening. I eventually got out, and I’m alive, free and hopefully safe. I didn’t realize how horrible it was until I got away.” We talked about abuse, my nursing career and the domestic violence cases, my children and grandchildren. I asked her where she was living, and she told me she had a small apartment not far away. “I found a mouse running around and the landlord sent over an exterminator. He had to come back two more times to “get rid of the problem”, and we started talking. He thinks I’m beautiful. I’m attracted to him, but I told him I’m sixty-five—I’m afraid. He said he didn’t care, and he’s forty-eight. We’re having coffee and going for a walk on Saturday. I’m so nervous. He says he is, too. I’ve never had a loving relationship with a man. I don’t trust myself. I want it, but I don’t know what to do. What if I make the wrong choice again? How do I behave? What do I say?”

Take good care of yourselves,