The phone was shrill in the dark morning silence of the house.
Audrey looked up from her book, worried. She kept the house phone because it was the number she’d had forever, the only one her mother could remember.
Well, used to be able to remember.
Still, it if wasn’t Abilene calling, it was the nursing home.
Audrey popped up from her chair and caught the phone on the third ring.
“Audrey, I just want to tell you that I’m leaving this place.” It was Abilene’s weak, craggy voice.
Audrey was flabbergasted. Her mother hadn’t spoken in months and hadn’t been out of her wheelchair in years.
“Oh, mother, you can’t leave.” Audrey replied.
“I can and I am. Tonight after dinner, I’m walking down to the 7-Eleven to get a Slurpee.”
“Oh, mother,” Audrey repeated, saddened by her mother’s mental state. “You don’t know what you are saying. That 7-Eleven has been gone for twenty years!”
“Well, just wanted you to know, so you wouldn’t worry.” The old lady hung up the phone.
Audrey had intended to call the nursing home back that day, just in case, but life got in the way, and time slipped away.
She was just settling in at the kitchen table for a late dinner when the phone rang. Startled, she lunged across the room and snatched the receiver.
“Audrey Loes? This is Kammy calling from Sunset Gardens. We have a little … situation. Have you seen your mother today?”
Audrey’s mind flashed back to the phone call that morning. “No, but …”
A loud knock at the back door made her jump, and Audrey turned to the window.
On the porch stood Abilene, toothless grin on her face, and, held up high where Audrey could see … a Slurpee cup in her hand.