Keith was just about to begin work on chapter five after rereading and editing chapter four. Keith was startled by a loud knock on his front door. When he got up from his comfortable, black leather office chair, he saw a young woman who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties. The young female was dressed all in black and was probably a goth. Keith had run into the odd goth here and there when he subbed in some of his local high schools.
“Hey, I’m Tamara. I’m your new neighbor. I’ve been dying to meet you so I brought over some spicy broccoli soup and sandwiches. I thought that maybe we could have lunch and then hang out for a while.”
Tamara’s voice was a bit shaky and she probably had to really pump up her courage to knock on her new neighbor’s door. Keith noticed that Tamara was wearing the classic black Nirvana tee shirt, the one with a smiley face and gold lettering on it. She wore extra large, round, gold earrings and had several piercings through her eyebrows, nose and lips.
“Tamara, I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Keith Ross. I’m a senior citizen. There’s just me and my dog Rex living here now. I’d like it very much if we could have lunch together.”
“Cool,” Tamara said as she started arranging her food on Keith’s kitchen table. Keith’s furnishings were very modest. When he and his last girlfriend split up, she took all the good, newer furniture for herself. Keith and Tamara could hear loud barking coming from the backyard.
“That’s my dog, Rex. Do you mind if I let him come in the house?” Keith asked.
“No problem. man. I love animals. What kind of dog is it?”
“Rex is a German shepherd with a very sweet disposition. Rex loves people, especially young people.”
As soon as Keith opened his back porch door to let Rex in, he immediately started to bark at the stranger. Tamara held out her hand for Rex to sniff. He handed over to Tamara a plastic baggie filled with chopped up Rollover Sausage and asked her to give his dog a treat. Rex jumped up for the treat so fast that he almost bit Tamara’s fingers.
After receiving his treat, Rex was now ready to make friends with Tamara and to get some affection from her. Rex turned over on his back signifying the canine submission position.
“Are you ready to eat lunch now, Keith?” Tamara asked as she moved towards Keith’s black with orange polka-dots kitchen table. Which drawer is your cutlery in?”
“The second drawer on the left-hand side,” Keith answered. Tamara found two soup bowls and dished out some soup in Keith’s red bowl.
“Thanks, Tamara. It isn’t very often that someone brings me lunch,” Keith said as he put a large spoon in his bowl of soup.
“Don’t you have any family or friends?” Tamara asked.
“No one that visits me much anymore,” Keith answered.
“Why is that?”
“Well the truth is that I outlived my only real friend. He passed on from lung cancer last year.”
“Were you close friends?” Tamara asked while putting some crackers in Keith’s soup.
“Yes, we were. I knew Paul from our elementary school days. We lived on the same block and sort of grew up together,” Keith added.
“That must’ve been a terrible loss for you,” Tamara commented as she put one of her hands over Keith’s left hand. Keith wiped a tear from his eye.
“How about family, Keith?” Tamara asked.
“I don’t see or hear from any of them very often. I have a brother and sister who are quite a bit older than me. Both live in managed care facilities now,” Keith said.
“Did you ever have a wife or kids?” Tamara asked.
“Yeah, I was married once. About thirty years ago. My ex-wife and I had one son together,” he said reaching for one of Tamara’s homemade corned beef sandwiches.
“So you’re divorced?” Tamara asked.
Keith nodded his head.
“What about your son? Do you ever hear from him?”
“Not very often. Maybe once or twice a year. I think he still blames me for the breakup of our family.”