Excerpt #12: Andrew's Key

From the author:

I remember writing this. Charlie and Rebecca had been sorting through a lot of old, unlabeled boxes. I remember that I thought it might be fun to have them find one actually labeled, but in a way that wasn't helpful. I also remember that at this point, I had no idea what was going to be in the box and I was a little worried about that.

From the book:

    I called Charlie a bit later, trying to hit his lunch hour.
    “Hi, Rebecca,” he answered. “What’s going on?”
    “Hey, Charlie. I’m sorry to bother you…”
    He cut me off. “It’s not a bother. I like hearing from you.”
    “I just… I thought you should know that I’m worried about your grandfather.”
    “Oh. Has he been weird with you, too?”
    “Yeah, he seems more forgetful and less… coherent.”
    “My mom and my aunt are worried, too. They’ve both called me saying how they hated to leave him in the mornings. They didn’t really expect me to be able to do anything about it. I think they wanted to prepare me for what might be a rough weekend.”
    “You should probably plan on staying with him all day Saturday.”
    “Maybe I’ll just sneak out while he’s napping and find out what’s in your box of miscellaneous supplies. You haven’t looked without me, have you?”
    “No, I’m still waiting for you.”
    “Excellent. I’ll call you tomorrow when I get in.”
    Charlie hung up and went back to work. At least I assume he did work while at work. I knew Andrew needed him more, but I’d gotten used to spending my Saturdays with Charlie and it was regrettable that I might not see as much of him. I assumed I was still invited for Sunday dinner and would have to settle for that.
    Charlie had found the box labeled “misc. supplies” in one of the bedroom closets. We had each other near hysterics guessing increasingly bizarre types of supplies that might be in the box. Eventually we decided that we didn’t want to know yet. We decided that would be the last box we opened. When we had no other boxes to open or furniture to move, then we’d find out about the miscellaneous supplies.
    Andrew came to tea on Friday and seemed pretty much his regular self. He called me Rose a few times, but I think that was because I looked like Rose and not because he thought I was my aunt. He apparently went to bed fairly early that night because Charlie called and asked if he could come see me for a bit in case he couldn’t get away on Saturday.
    Heavy rainclouds had arrived shortly before Charlie so when I opened the door for him I had a slight flashback to the night we met. “I felt a couple of drops,” he said as he came in. “I think I just beat the storm.”
    “Maybe you shouldn’t have come. I’d hate for you to have to go back in a downpour.”
    “Maybe I’ll just be stuck here until it stops.” He smiled a friendly, joking smile at me. I realized how much I had missed that smile and those happy green eyes while I’d been stressed about Andrew during the week. I suddenly wanted Charlie to kiss me. I wanted him to grab me like in the movies and kiss me before I could change my mind.

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