Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Angela Part VII

Inside her little room at the bed and breakfast, Angela sat down on the quaint bed, and huffed a great sigh. This trip so far wasn’t proving to work out how she had expected. She thought it would have been easy to go through her uncle’s things and determine what to do with the estate. The fact that the outside of the house would be in such disrepair never occurred to her, and she was mystified as to why her uncle would let it get to be in such bad shape. It was almost as if no one had lived there for years considering the condition of the front porch alone. There was no telling what else could possibly be wrong with the house. And of course everything would have to be fixed before she would be able to sell the property for any kind of decent profit.

Angela kicked off her Versace stilettos and wiggled her toes. She had not realized until now how sore her feet were from the antics of the day. As she looked around the room she realized that she was very much not in the same kind of city that she was used to. On her right was a window to the outside, overlooking the quiet street below. To the right of the window was a small vanity dresser with an antique velveteen-covered stool in front of it, to the left of the window was a small wooden stand about waist-high with a bowl on the top and two towels folded neatly beside the bowl. It was clearly a wash basin in the old-fashioned style. To Angela’s right was the door to the hallway, and in the rear corner by the bed was an old wingback chair with a ratty throw blanket across the seat.

Angela looked again at her scuffed and muddy Versace heels, which used to be as black as her Lexus that was still sitting in her uncle’s driveway.  She hoped that there were not any vagrants in the area—a stolen or vandalized vehicle was not something that she could handle right now.

Angela started to feel smothered in the small room garnished in yellowed lace and light pink curtains. It was like Granny Goose had decorated the whole thing. Her own grandmother might have been proud to be staying in such a well decorated room if she was not already in the grave herself. It was really upsetting that her shoes and her jeans were ruined. Her sweater sat next to her on the bed, her purse was flopped in the wingback chair with the blanket. Her sweater was dusty from her adventure underneath the bed. With despair creeping slowly into the room, Angela dumped out her purse in search for her phone. The battery was getting low, but she couldn’t find her charger. Dang, it must still be in the car. 

Angela struggled with the buttons on her phone but finally managed to dial her mother’s number. It rang endlessly, going to voicemail after what seemed to be an eternal wait. Angela hung up the phone and looked at the time. It was only ten-thirty. I guess I’ll try to take a shower and relax. Mom would probably tell me to do the same thing.

Angela’s hands were still bandaged, but she thought she’d give a shower a try, even if it was just a rinse. The bathroom was easy enough to find at the end of the hallway, and she had a small key that allowed her access to it. She wasn’t sure if it was a bathroom she had to share with other guests, but she knocked before entering anyway. The bathroom was fairly spacious, the old claw foot tub was roomy too, and a modern rubber bath mat had been placed in the bottom to prevent the user from slipping. The toilet and the sink looked modern enough, and she had faith in being able to use them without a major catastrophe. However, she still didn’t want to get her bandages wet, so she went downstairs to find the innkeeper, Aubrey.

Downstairs, Aubrey was behind the cute little counter, placing some paperwork into a filing cabinet in a meticulous manner.

“Still awake dearie? Rest would probably be a good choice for you.” Aubrey smiled gently at Angela, pausing momentarily in her filing.

“I can’t relax without a shower.” Angela leaned up against the counter, putting her weight on her elbows rather than her hands. “The only thing is, I don’t want to get my bandages wet.”

“Oh, of course. I’ve got some latex gloves in the kitchen, will those work for you?” Aubrey closed the drawer on the filing cabinet softly.

“Yeah, that will be perfect. Thanks Aubrey.” Angela smiled tentatively, trying not to show her delicate frame of mind. She had a tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve, no matter how hard she tried to appear tough.

“No problem sweetheart. Back in a jiff.” Aubrey ducked through a door behind her little counter and was gone for only a few moments before she returned with the gloves. “Do you need any help putting them on?”

Angela looked at the gloves and then back at her hands, contemplating the task.

“Actually, that would be great.” Angela held up her hands while Aubrey carefully placed the gloves over each hand, gently enough to not disturb the bandages or to bump Angela’s tender hands. The job was finished quickly enough, and Angela gave her thanks.

“I’ll have a neat breakfast around at eight in the morning if that works for you,” Aubrey informed her before she went back up the stairs.

“That sounds lovely. Is there any way you could set a wake up call? My cell phone is dead.”

“Of course. Seven thirty?” Aubrey pulled out a pen and paper to write down the request.

“Perfect.” Angela smiled at Aubrey, and wished her a nice evening before walking back up the narrow staircase to her room.

In her room, Angela pulled a towel from the wash basin stand and walked down the hall to the bathroom with her little key. Back in the bathroom she found a small cabinet that contained generic but not unpleasant smelling toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, several disposable razors, toothpaste, and disposable toothbrushes. She picked out the items she needed, placed her towel on the rack, and turned on the water for the shower.  It took a moment to warm up, but it stayed pleasantly warm for the duration of her shower.

When Angela was finished, she removed the plastic gloves and put them in the waist bin. They had worked better than she had expected them to, only the very outreaches of her bandages were wet, and even then they were barely damp. She dried off with the towel and took a small bottle of lotion from the cabinet and went back to the room.

Angela checked her phone again but it really was dead this time. She placed it on the nightstand and folded her dirty clothes neatly in a pile. She had no idea what she was going to wear tomorrow. I will have to worry about that tomorrow after breakfast.

Pulling back the pink comforter with old lace, she crawled between the faded pink sheets and pulled up the comforter. The light for the room was on the bedside table to the left, between the bed and the wingback chair. She reached over and turned the switch, plunging the room into a dark quietness that was almost as smothering as the yellowed lace from Granny Goose. It was very likely to be another long night. 

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