Sunday, August 14, 2016

Zoe Bleak #6

Zoe and Vanessa snuggled in bed, Vanessa lightly caressing Zoe’s arm with the tips of her fingers. “How long has it been?” Vanessa asked.

“We’ve had Zoe for about two months,” Zoe answered. “I’m so glad she’s spending the night with Heather.”

“Me, too,” Vanessa rolled over onto Zoe and kissed her. “Let’s go make dinner.”

They got dressed and went into the kitchen. “I’ve been thinking about having kids of our own,” Zoe said. “Since we’ve gotten Winnie, I’ve really warmed to the idea of having more kids.”

“Really?” Vanessa seemed surprised. “I’ve been thinking about it too. And before we go any further, I’d want to carry it.”

“I didn’t care who’d do it but I was leaning toward you because of your curly hair, your perfect nose shape, and your adorable freckles. Not to mention your almost perfectly proportioned body,” Zoe reached over and pulled Vanessa to her and they kissed, hugging each other.

“How would we go about this and are we wanting to do a sperm donor or do we want to look into adoption?” Vanessa asked, after pulling away from their kiss.

“I would be fine looking into adoption but I would like us to have a natural child.”

“Maybe one of each?” Vanessa asked.

Zoe got out some hamburger and put it into a pan. “Really? If we had more kids, we couldn’t stay here.”

“We can find some other place. Maybe we could rent this apartment out or move the bookstore,” Vanessa said, getting out spaghetti and filling a pot with water. “We’d figure out something.”

“Yeah, we’d figure out something,” Zoe smiled at Vanessa.

Winnie and Heather were sitting on the front steps to Heather’s apartment looking at her phone. They were taking pictures of themselves and looking at the social media accounts of cute boys they had in their classes. “Do you think your Moms will ever let you have social media or a phone?”

“I think so. They say it’s for a safety reason but that they’d talk about next year,” Winnie answered. “Does Devon have any social media?”

“Devon Munch?” Heather sneered. “But he has that stupid hair and that big nose,” she made a few taps on the screen of her phone. “Here,” she handed Winnie her phone.

Winnie began scrolling through his pictures of him at the pool. “Heather!” Winnie suddenly exclaimed. “Look, I think you can see his dick in this picture.”

“What?” Heather took the phone back.

“The outline anyway,” Winnie clarified and pointed to an odd lump in Devon’s swim shorts.

“Eh, I don’t know. Maybe,” Heather shrugged.

“Heather, Winnie,” Jasmine called from the apartment window. “Come inside and help set the table.”

“We’ll be right up,” Heather hollered back.

When they got back upstairs, they helped set the table. When they were finished, Jasmine gave them another task. “Go see if Grandma Belle wants some food. She needs to wake up to take her medicine anyway,” Jasmine said.

“Come on, Winnie, you can meet her. Grandma Belle is pretty cool if she’s awake enough. She has some really stories from the olden days,” Heather said, taking Winnie’s hand and pulling toward a closed door. They walked in and quietly went up to the old, sleeping woman. “Grandma?” Heather shook her softly.

Grandma Belle moaned and then coughed. “What? What’s going on?”

“It’s dinnertime, Grandma. Would you like something to eat?” Heather asked.

“No. No, child.”

“This is my new friend, Winnie,” Heather introduced. “She just moved here over the summer.”

Grandma Belle put her glasses that were hanging around her neck on and looked hard at Winnie. “I need to take my medicine, Heather. Can you go get me some water?”

“Sure, Grandma. Would you like some food?”

“Maybe. If you have any potatoes,” Grandma Belle acquiesced. Heather went out of the room, leaving Winnie alone. “I knew I’d see you sooner or later,” she said to her.

Winnie looked around the room, confused. “What?”

“I knew I would see you. I knew I didn’t have much time left but seeing you here, in my presence, has made me so happy. Please, take my hand.”

Winnie reluctantly took Grandma Belle’s hand and got closer to her. “I’m glad I could make you happy, Grandma Belle.”

“I can now die happy and assured,” Grandma Belle squeezed Winnie’s hand. “I tried practicing your teachings every day of my life and I know there were times when I stumbled but you were always there to pick me back up.”

Winnie started to panic. “Grandma Belle, who do you think I am?”

“My Lord and Savior, thank you for coming. I can now die in peace. Bless you. Bless my family. Jesus Christ. Amen,” Grandma Belle cried, let out a breath, and her hand, still holding Winnie’s, went limp.

When Winnie realized what happened, she pulled her hand away with a slight scream. She began crying and backed up against the wall. Heather came back into the room holding a glass of water. “Winnie, what happened? Grandma?”

“She died,” Winnie sobbed. “She was talking to me and holding my hand and then she died.”

Roy and Jasmine came into the room. “Grandma Belle died?” Roy asked and ran over to his mother. “Mom? Mom?” he lightly tapped her face and held his ear close to her mouth.

“Come on, girls,” Jasmine ushered. “No need for you two to be in here. I am so sorry, Winnie. Do you want me to call your parents?”

“Yes, please,” Winnie continued sobbing.

“We are so sorry,” Jasmine said to Zoe and Vanessa.

“It’s not your fault or anyone else’s. It happens. You lost a beloved family member tonight. Our condolences,” Zoe took Jasmine’s hands. “Winnie, are you sure you don’t want to stay?”

“Not tonight,” Winnie sniffled but she was over the crying. “I need to talk to you about something.”

“Okay. We’ll try this again. Again, sorry about Grandma Belle. We’ll be in touch,” Zoe said and all got into the car, waving to the Gratts as they drove away. “Are you sure you’re okay, Winnie?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just what Grandma Belle was saying to me as she held my hand,” Winnie said, gently rubbing the hand that Grandma Belle had taken.

“What did she say?” Vanessa asked.

“It was like she thought I was someone else,” Winnie said. “She said I was her Lord and Savior. She said I was Jesus Christ.”

Zoe and Vanessa looked at each other. “She’s an elderly woman,” Zoe said. “Her eyes aren’t what they used to be. You should take it as a compliment that she found that kind of comfort in you.”

“I guess,” Winnie turned to look out the window.

“I’m sorry your sleepover ended so soon,” Vanessa said. “You and Heather can have another one soon.”

They continued driving to their house, the rest of the way, in silence.