Bonnie set the muffins and drinks on the table for Mr. Lucas.
“Thank you so much, Bonnie,” he had acknowledged her presence.
“You’re so welcome,” Bonnie smiled back. Wonder if Mr. Lucas was ever gonna pack his things and leave that chubby wife of his? Just out of the blue, leave her stuck with that brick mansion and that white Mercedes. Maybe Mrs. Lucas might find herself walking down some hall with a tray of muffins one day. Might get that diamond bracelet caught on the coffee machine. “It’s just another world,” sighed Bonnie and started the long walk back to the coffee bar.
So the day passed, the food deliveries came and went. Eight, twelve, twenty people all locked in legal turmoil. Why couldn’t they just take those people out to eat? Lawyers liked to be waited on and they were cheap, sandwiches served to clients was a better deal.
On the bus home, Bonnie contemplated the next day. May have to go Tessa’s school and talk to her counselor. Why did that girl want to torment her mother so? The rain continued and traffic was backed up for miles. A sea of stalled cars with everybody trying to get somewhere, only to come back to it all the next day. She sat on the bus that would take her to the apartment in the housing project where they lived. She would have to hurry again to eat supper and get to her babysitting job that night. What was the use? The bills were never paid. No matter how much she worked, life was so full of pain.
Tessa sat at the kitchen table flipping through the pages of her Algebra book.
“Hello mama, I’m trying to finish this math.”
“Well, can you warm up some cornbread and that leftover casserole? I have to babysit tonight.”
“But mama, I thought you could stay home tonight, it is so stormy and everything.”
“No, I have to work, you know I’ve got bills to pay, so when I get the chance, I just gotta go do it,” Bonnie said.
“Okay mama, I’ll get supper ready,” Tessa answered, her eyes clouding.
“Guess I may have to see the counselor, did you bring a note from her?”
“No, it’s okay. Everything has been resolved,” Tessa said.
“Well, I’m sure to be up there in the next week or so, don’t know why you have to go and mouth off to teachers. You might be a little more thankful for the opportunity of an education. I never got to finish mine and look at me today working every chance I get…”
“I know, mama, and I am grateful, I’ll do better,” said Tessa.
Bonnie shook her head and left the room. All she wanted was for her children to have things. Why couldn’t they see that. Didn’t want them to live in a rented two bedroom apartment when they were fifty-five-years-old. She told Tessa goodbye and walked out the door.
At the Lincoln house, Bonnie waded through the toy strewn hallway to the twins’ room. They were sweet kids, but Bonnie had already worked a full day. She longed to to sit on her own sofa and drink tea from her own cup. Quite simply, she wanted to go home.
“Now kids, let me tell you a story. When I was a little girl, I lived on a farm.”
“With wild animals?”
“Well, there were bobcats, and sometimes they would get into the trees and scream.”
“And did they try to jump on you?”
“Well, one did try to jump on my grandmother when she was a little girl. It was in the tree and they were coming home late at night from church in a wagon. The night was real still and silent. The horses became jittery and finally they stopped and wouldn’t go no further. They looked up from the wagon just as the horses tried to pitch and they saw two green eyes glowing in the dark. Green and gold staring through the darkness and then that scream. It was a bloodcurdling scream that just echoed off the trees and all through the woods.”
“And what else, Miss Bonnie?”
“Well, I believe great grandpa fired off his shotgun and scared the big cat away. But they were always careful after that when going through the woods at night.
“What else happened when you were little?
“Let’s see, there was the time I was trapped in the cow lot and Mr. Gibbs’ new big bull came in for water. He wasn’t supposed to at that time, but being new and all, he didn’t know no better.”