Kitty's Saga Chapter Three: Welcoming Gestures

Throughout the weekend Kitty took a few bus trips to her now abandoned apartment to ease the awkward moments between her and Sandy. That Friday had been a whirlwind of changes that Kitty had not completely soaked in. Sandy explained that she would need Kitty to help with the household chores to include working in the garden. Kitty was expected to cook some light meals and do the shopping once a week as Sandy could only stand for so long and had to lay down often. None of this was very offputting to Kitty who already had to act as a type of Cinderella to Pam for the majority of her life. It was when Sandy showed Kitty her room that Kitty nearly swooned at the thought of not having to sleep on the floor near anyone else. The room had its own bathroom and closet. The bed was twin-sized with an old mattress that was covered by flannel sheets and a patchwork quilt. To Sandy it was modest, to Kitty, it was pure glory. She couldn't wait to hang her second-hand clothes from her grocery bags in that closet. Sandy didn't waste time and had expected Kitty to begin work immediately. Even Kitty was surprised that Sandy had asked so few questions. Was Kitty still in school? Could Kitty fill out any paperwork? Did Kitty have any references? It never came up.


Kitty started Monday morning when she was to make a light breakfast for Sandy which was to be scrambled eggs on toast with decaf coffee. Kitty knew a handful of cooking basics from some years ago when she began middle school. A heartless school counselor bluntly told Kitty her life would likely involve being a waitress at best and to pursue any home economics classes she could. That was the response Kitty had received after she asked to be scheduled in a CPR class. When Kitty heard that though she cried all day for a week and never brought up her goals to another person since. Still, cooking for Sandy was not so bad. There was an awkwardness to not knowing if Sandy expected her to act as a companion and eat alongside her or to be more like wait staff and to quietly step away after serving her. Kitty took the safe approach by waking up early enough to have time to eat before her required task. She served Sandy as requested by 7 am. Sandy thanked her as she sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen. Sandy complimented her on her work and asked if Kitty would like to eat with her to which Kitty said that she already had. Sandy was uncomfortable in the silence, Kitty felt the emotion and excused herself to go do the laundry. Secretly Kitty snuck in her old dirty clothes with each load that had been away from her former apartment building's lone washing machine that accommodated the forty-odd tenants for too long.


Sandy had made a list of chores for Kitty to do each week. For the most part, Kitty was able to complete these tasks without much difficulty. She completed most everything except mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. This was something Sandy had written without considering that they were still in the dead of winter with snow on the ground. The eager to impress Kitty still asked where the lawnmower was. Sandy took her to the back of the house where the rusty shed was and where the ancient push mower had been sitting for some time. "Oh," Kitty breathed out when she saw it. She wanted to tell Sandy she had never used a lawnmower in her life because she had only ever lived in the city. Sandy sensing Kitty's reluctance to it went on to say that her grandson used to do the yard work every few weeks before he went off to school. Kitty tried to downplay her ignorance fearing Sandy would toss her out, by saying that she was not sure how to use that particular model (a lie on her part as she wouldn't know how to use any model). Sandy fearing Kitty would quit her unpaid job, shrugged it off explaining that her grandson would be back to visit at his next school break and he could show her what to do. They both went off thinking they had maintained their advantageous relationship over the other.


In the weeks that followed, Kitty found that as she caught up on things around the place combined with Sandy turning in just after dinner every day that she had a decent amount of downtime to herself in the place. Not that Kitty used it for much, as she was too nervous to push her luck and tended to tuck into her room where she was bored to no end. Sandy had no TV or much reading material there. All Kitty could do was read the unreturned textbooks that she kept after leaving school. Kitty wondered at night what the other students think of her not being there anymore. She assumed that they were either worried about her or the more realistic truth, that they thought nothing of it at all. Kitty marked in her notebook a date for her to drop in on her social worker as soon as she was eighteen in order to get her social security card and birth certificate. That was a few weeks off though, right then as she rested in her cozy bed looking out the window at the peaceful snow falling from the night sky onto the suburban houses, Kitty was in no hurry to be found.