Melanie S. Wolfe
Chris jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom and splashed his face with cold water. He put on his deodorant, carefully detailed his hair and smiled and winked at the handsome guy in mirror. This was going to be a good day, he told himself.
He danced his way to the coffeemaker, which was steaming and waiting for him. Karen barked while he poured his coffee. “Okay, okay. Hold on,” he said to his bossy Corgi. She had been the only female in his life for the last year until the window girl.
Karen gobbled up her food while Chris took his mug and sat it on his work desk in front of a window that hid behind some blinds. With a big inhale, he pulled the blinds up and with all his heart he hoped she would be there waiting with that pretty smile.
His mouth lines fell upside down. Her blinds were down, yet again for the seventh day in a row. Chris’s heart grew heavy. What had he done wrong? The last day he saw her she held up a sign with her email address and then wrote, let’s Zoom tonight. They had so much fun waving at each other every morning, pretending to choke themselves while on calls with co-workers and showing each other what they were eating that particular moment.
Chris went on with his work that day but with less of a bounce. He thought about emailing her but the thought of getting rejected kept him from doing so. After taking Karen to the dog park, he shopped for groceries online, then scrolled TikTok for hours, sighing every once in a while. Finally, he fell asleep.
The next day, he sat at the edge of his bed and listened to his mom’s voicemail, “Hi, honey. I really hate that we all have to be separated on Thanksgiving, but I guess it’s the best. Anyways, I love you and miss you. Happy Thanksgiving. Call me if you get too lonely.”
Chris went on with his morning routine. This time much slower than the day before. Karen bossed him around again, and Chris submitted to his canine queen and ran her down stairs to do her business and then back up to serve her breakfast. Before sitting down, he opened the blinds to let some light in and peeked over at his silent window friend who still was not there, and then he sat on his sofa to enjoy the day off. The fall sun felt nice and warm on his skin. So he used the time to meditate and do some reading.
Later that afternoon, he got up and warmed the Thanksgiving meal for one he bought online and when he sat down at the desk to eat, he noticed something big and white in the young woman’s window. It was a sign with black sharpie letters that read: ARE YOU THERE?
Chris smiled big and waved, and said, “Yes! I’m here” although she couldn’t hear him. He wrote on a piece of paper with marker: Zoom? J
She smiled and shook her head up and down.
He opened his laptop and sent her a link for the video chat. A few seconds later, there she was, up close and personal. Chris loved her smile immediately.
She waved. “Hi! Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!” A rush of emotions filled him. “I thought you moved out, what happened?”
She smiled a little and then the smile faded. “My dad got Covid…and my mom is handicapped, so I was helping out around their house.” She pulled her hair behind her ear and rubbed her neck. “I kinda came home to get a break from them…and to self-quarantine…again.”
“I’m sorry about your dad. Is he going to be okay?”
“Yeah, he’s getting better.” She tilted her head. “Some Thanksgiving, huh?”
“Yeah, well, how about we make the best of it and enjoy it together? I was just about to eat my dinner. Do you have something there to eat, we could eat together and talk. Kind of like we’re at a restaurant. If you feel up to it, that is?”
“Sounds great, I have some wine” She held up a wine glass. “And some leftovers in the fridge. Let me go warm it up, just a sec…” Her head disappeared from the screen and then reappeared. “By the way, I’m Amanda.”
“Chris,” they both laughed at how weird yet not so weird this all seemed. It was 2020, after all. “Nice to finally meet you, Amanda.”
Thanks for reading. I wrote this late last night after the idea popped into my head (the very moment I closed my eyes). Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving 2020! – Melanie