“You can’t keep leaving her there all day.”
“She seems happy enough.”
“How would you know?”
“Look. She has friends there.”
“There’s Mrs. Friedl, Mrs. Abernathy…”
“Both of them as old as herself. And they’re not in the mall all day, either.”
“If you have a better idea, let’s hear it.”
“You know my idea. Medicare pays for most of it.”
“That’s because they know that as soon as you put your mother in one of those places it’s only a matter of months before she’s no longer a problem.”
“Better than dropping her at the mall.”
The realtor smiled, lipstick on her teeth. “Now for the best part,” she cooed, unlocking the back door. Her heels sounded like a cart-horse, he thought.
In the back yard stood a stone house, ancient and menacing. “Isn’t it wonderful? A historian said it predates the house by at least a century!”
“Can that be my playhouse, Daddy?” Dot asked, pulling his hand.
“Where’d this stone come from?” he asked the realtor.
“I’ll need to check,” she said, thumbing the listing. “Nothing in here.”
“It’s charming” said Margie.
He jabbed the mortar with his pocketknife, wondering about an outdoor fireplace.
If she’d spent the extra money for a private deck on the stateroom, I could have done it any time. As it was, I had to get her onto the Lido deck when nobody was watching.
She always had this thing about being mistaken for my mother, and made a point to kiss or caress me in public so there’d be no mistake. It got stares, let me tell you.
The timing was bad, since so many people had seen us together. I’m getting cabin fever, but it isn’t smart to be seen without her.
Somebody might start asking questions.