Remember this conversation?
Today, I got a phone call from Audrey. She asked me to come over to her apartment “for just a minute” during my lunch break.
“You know my apartment number?”
“Yes, Audrey. I’ll see you in about 15 minutes.”
I walked to her front door and knocked.
“OPEN! OPEN!” I could hear a faraway voice shout.
I cracked the door open. “Hello?”
“Oh hello! Hello! Come in!” said Audrey, rushing to the door in a nightgown, robe and slippers. “I left the door unlocked just for you. I knew you were coming over.”
“Thanks,” I said. “How are you today?”
“Good, good. I brushed my hair for you today, can you see?”
“Yes! It looks great!”
“I know. Thanks. So listen, here’s your Valentine’s Day gift. Did you think I’d forgotten?” she said, handing me an orange.
“No, I’m glad you remembered!”
I took the orange from her hand and looked down at it. It was a little squishy and had a few green spots on it.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Audrey reassured me. “They say that’s normal. It’s still good on the inside.”
“And here. Do you like choc-o-late? My daughter got me these wonderful chocolate cookies for Valentine’s Day. Here, have one. Eat one now.”
I popped the heart-shaped cookie in my mouth. “Yum!”
“I’ll give you some to take home. You know I’m watching my weight. Here, just one or two.”
Audrey dumped the contents of the cookie tin into the previously used sandwich bag that had been sitting on her counter. She zipped it shut and presented it to me proudly. I took the tattered bag from her and glanced at it, wondering what had been in it before.
“And here. Let me wrap up this delicious orange for you.”
She unfolded a napkin that had been sitting on the counter next to the sandwich bag, placed the orange in the center, and wrapped it up.
We talked a little about her week, how she hadn’t left the house since Thursday because of the cold, except to watch her “noisy, stupid” neighbor scrape ice and snow off of her car in the freezing cold Friday morning.
“What do you mean you watched her clean her car off?” I asked.
“Well, she’s so loud and stupid. She left her car in the driveway on Thursday night, and wouldn’t you know it, the next morning she went out there, and it was covered in snow! And ice! She had to stand in the freezing cold and scrape it off! I stood in my garage and watched. What goes around comes around, you know.” Audrey beamed with delight.
Finally, I headed toward the door. “I’m really hungry. I better get going,” I said.
“Oh right. You need to eat. You’re not allowed to eat anything in the office. Do you want a banana? I know you love fruit. You can eat it in the office.”
“No, that’s ok. Thank you, though. That’s very generous.”
“All right. Call me later and tell me how the orange was. I hope it’s delicious. It came all the way from Florida! Call me and tell me. And when you speak to your mother, tell her that you got a delicious Florida orange for Valentine’s Day.”
“I will, Audrey. Thank you.”