U is for Unapologetic

“Totally unapologetic,” I answered.

“But doesn’t she know what she did?” Jenna asked.

“I think so,” I shrugged. “But she can’t apologize.”

***

“Mel!” a voice cried out.

Confused, I scanned around me until my eyes focused on Caroline, her bag tucked under one arm, a cigarette in her other hand.

“Oh,” I said. “Hullo, Caroline.”

“How are you?” she gushed.

“Okay,” I answered.

“How was the surgery?” she asked.

“Fine,” I nodded.

“You’re okay?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“No cancer?” she asked.

“No,” I shook my head.

“You got a clean bill of health?”

“Yes,” I nodded.

“I’m so glad,” Caroline gushed again. “I was really worried about you.”

“Oh?” I inquired.

“I thought you might have cancer,” she said reaching out one hand towards my shoulder.

I stepped back a few inches. Her fingers did not reach me.

“No cancer,” I replied.

“How was your recovery?” she asked.

I looked into her eyes then moved my gaze to the growing leaves on the ginkgo tree at the curb.

“It must have been difficult,” she said.

My eyebrows raised. “Yes,” I said.

“Well…” she began. “I don’t do sick…” Her voice trailed off.

“No?” I replied.

“Did Jenna help?” she asked.

I shook my head, “She was still away,” I said.

“Oh,” Caroline replied. “Yes. She was in England.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Who helped?” she asked.

“I hired someone from work,” I said.

“Not Paul?” Caroline asked.

“He was away too,” I said.

“But you were okay?” she asked.

“I survived,” I said.

“The girls were going to help you,” Caroline remarked.

I nodded.

“I didn’t tell them,” she said.

My hands splayed out; I shrugged.

“But you’re okay?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

Caroline looked at me. I turned my eyes back to the leaves growing on the tree. She puffed her cigarette.

“I’ve got ice cream.” I said.

“I won’t keep you,” Caroline replied. “I just wanted to say hi.”

***

“Unapologetic,” I repeated.

“What did she mean, ‘I don’t do sick’?” Jenna asked.

“Just what she said,” I answered.

Jenna shook her head, “How does she ever expect to keep any friends?”

I shrugged.

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