Welcome! This week, we continue with "Too Late for Goodbye" as Jackie begins her new job as a companion to an elderly woman. Thanks for stopping by.
As if she had stepped back thirty, no forty years, Jackie stood in the kitchen and rested her hands on her hips.
Maxine cast a critical eye toward the young woman.
“What do you like?” Jackie opened the fridge door and bent over to peer inside. She spied a carton of eggs.
“What do you suggest?” Maxine countered.
“How about an omelet?”
“There’s cheddar in the cheese drawer and some rye bread in the back somewhere. I like my toast buttered, not too dark. And put up water for tea.”
Jackie took out the ingredients, filled the kettle then searched for a way to light the stove.
“Starter doesn’t work. There are wooden matches on the back.”
Jackie hunted out utensils and a pan. While the food cooked, she stole a moment to sit down. Her leg ached. When she was teaching, she sat whenever she could. Hugh Crawford, the principal, would wander in and shoot her a disapproving look.
“Would you say you’re a good cook?” Max asked, as Jackie placed a full plate on the table.
“Your letter said you can cook.”
“I can. But I’m no gourmet chef. I can follow a recipe and whip some stuff on my own.”
“The kettle is whistling.”
Jackie pushed to her feet, grimacing in pain.
“I take half a teaspoon of sugar and milk. I’ll have the Earl Grey.”
When the beverage was made and brought to the table, the younger woman returned to her seat. Her food was cold, but she ate it anyway.
“I didn’t intend to hire an invalid. What’s wrong with you?”
Fear of being fired on her first day sent a wave of panic through Jackie. “I had an accident. I’m almost all better.”
“You’d better be. There’s a lot to be done in a house this size. And climbing stairs is part of it.”
“Good. I’d hate to fire you so soon.”
Jackie dropped her fork on her plate.
“Besides, you make a pretty fair omelet. One of my favorites. Clean up in here then join me in the living room.”
The older woman pushed up from the table and made her way out of the kitchen.
Jackie sat back, her gaze traveling over the old appliances, faded counter tops, and ugly linoleum flooring.
There was even a rotary phone attached to the wall. It was the first one she’d seen. After piling the dishes in the sink, she turned on the water, and went to work.