“Where in the world did all those red Cannas go?” asked Aunt Agnes looking out her window.
“The ones in the circle flower bed out front?”
“Yes, the ones in front of our building, Jillie!”
“My goodness, they aren’t there? I haven’t a clue!” I said as I looked out the window with her.
I hope those landscapers didn’t take them out; red is my favorite color. I like a nice red dress and some red lipstick to go with it,” she smiled at me.
There was a knock at the door. “Coming!” Aunt Agnes called out as she shuffled down the hall. “Well, hello Dorine. Come in.”
“You girls look spiffy today, I’ll bet you all are going Saturday shopping!” said Dorine.
“We might get out for awhile. It’s Jillie’s turn to buy lunch,” she looked at me slyly. Seems like it was usually my turn.
“Ya’ll coming to Bingo tonight too?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Aunt Agnes replied.
“You know, your boyfriend won’t be there,” Dorine said with a bit of a smirk.
“I don’t have a boyfriend, Antonio Banderas is taken.” Aunt Agnes retorted. “Who in the world are you talking about?”
“That Perkins Guy, the used car salesman.”
“Oh Good Lord, he’s not my boyfriend!”
“Well, you always sit with him.”
“He sits at the other table, are you blind?”
“Nope, I’ve got new glasses, but that’s still beside you. Don’t you want to know what happened to him?”
I was listening with one ear and glancing through the weekend newspaper with the remainder of my attention span.
“He took off with some woman. I think he was running a gambling ring and maybe an illegal house of sorts, if you know what I mean!”
“No, really? Who was it he took off with, do we know her?” Aunt Agnes was beside herself.
“Haven’t a clue. I’ll bet it was some floozy. Probably had red hair. Or blonde. He was always talking to blondes and redheads,” said Dorine.
“You know, I wondered how he got all that money. He had a Cadillac.”
“Well, now we know. Did his Cadillac have those horns on the front of it?” asked Dorine.
“I don’t know what his Cadillac had on it. I never got in it! That’s neither here nor there; do you know what they did with the Cannas?” Aunt Agnes asked her.
“The ones in the front of the building.”
“They aren’t there?”
“Nope, not since yesterday.”
“Oh dear. Nora in 5C. She loves red flowers! I just hope….”
“Hmmm, surely not. I think she likes pansies too,” mused Aunt Agnes.
“Matter of fact, I should stop by and check on her. I guess I’ll be going now. You girls have fun, and don’t spend all your money!” Dorine’s mischievous eyes danced all down the hall to the door.
“Anything any good in that paper?” asked Aunt Agnes.
“I’m looking for dining coupons.” Aunt Agnes loved the Corner Cafe. “Oh, look they have a spotlight on the pros of living here in this town. I remember reading, and it’s been awhile, that back in 1987, Whispering Falls was listed as the Most Average City in the U.S.”
“Yeah, that’s probably right,” said Aunt Agnes. She was staring at Mr. Martin walking out where the Cannas used to be. “Average food, average folks, below average doctors, though.” Aunt Agnes was currently in dispute with her heart doctor who had put salt on the Forbidden List of Foods because she liked bacon, and bacon was, well salty amount other things.
“Are you pouting, Aunt Agnes? What are you looking at?”
“Mr. Martin is out and about. He really needs to take it easy.”
“Ya think? What was it he had?”
“A lung transplant, a double lung transplant, actually.”
“Wow, I didn’t even know they could do that!”
“See, now I don’t have to stop smoking,” said Aunt Agnes, brightening up at the prospect.
“Yeah, what did the heart doctor say about that?
“Oh, I told her I quit years ago!” said Aunt Agnes with a chuckle.
“Aunt Agnes! Unreal, just unreal!” An article on lifestyles caught my attention. It might be good to live on the Texas coast,” I said out loud. “Have you ever been to Corpus?”
“No. That’s where that two-bit Electric Guy went, the one who was running for Mayor that got into trouble for drugs,” she said.
“I thought he went to jail?”
“He did for awhile for hiring someone to take a drug test for him….”
“Well, Corpus is a big town. He would probably never surface.”
Aunt Agnes liked it fine here. She liked sitting in the big sun room and watching the residents. The only thing she worried about was what they were putting in the water in this town. What we had left of water, anyway since the drought. I could almost read her mind.
“I think the Cannas died because the water is bad,” I snickered to myself. Her eyes widened.
“We better get some bottled water then, Jillie. Put that on your shopping list!”