Week 12 – Thursday
Welcome to SeniorVu’s daily ‘flash fiction’, with the continuing saga of Mary Lu at the Vu. Mary Lu is a 78-year old fictitious resident of a fictitious senior living community called Hickory Hills View (a.k.a. The Vu). Every night, while her husband Bobby (he’s fictitious too) sleeps next to her, she sends her sister Carolyn (yup, fictitious) an entertaining email updating her on the day. These are her stories. We hope they become as addictive as your morning cup of coffee.
Disclaimer: Even though these stories may sound familiar to your community, the story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
My meeting with Anna Aaronsen wasn’t at all what I expected.
Before I tell you about it, you need to remember what she was like. Spoiled. Entitled. Cocky. A brat from a rich family who was used to getting what she wanted. She had the best clothes, perfect makeup and even drove her daddy’s car to school. Her only disadvantage was a name at the end of the alphabet and she overcame that through marriage.
That’s what I was expecting to see.
The Anna Aaronsen who met me for lunch today was gaunt, pale and in loose fitting clothes. She walked with a cane and dragged a cart with oxygen. She wore a scarf to cover a head laid bare by radiation treatment. She was ill.
And, as I found out later, she was dying.
That’s why she wanted to get back in touch.
You see, ten years ago, she volunteered to organize our 60th high school reunion coming up next summer. Now, she’s not expecting to make it that long. She hoped that I could take over for her.
“I need to know it’s in the right hands,” she said. “You’re the one I trust.”
Then, she shocked the hell out of me.
“I should have been a better friend to you in school,” she said. “I was always so jealous. You seemed to have your life together. Good grades. Lots of friends. A boyfriend. My boyfriend.”
I told her I only dated him because they broke up.
“We broke up because I caught him leering at you,” she told me.
“It didn’t last long. Larry was a loser,” I said.
“Tell me about it. I was married to him for eleven years.”
Turns out, she’d been thrice divorced and twice widowed. She’d lost her inheritance through bad investments and bounced from job to job. She was one of those folks who peaked in high school. And here she was, in the fight of her life, essentially alone.
So of course I agreed to take over the reunion duties. We had a small class anyway and there were only 19 of us left ten years ago. The remaining survivors could probably all fit in a big booth at Denny’s. We could have our reunion at The Vu.
As we were leaving, I told Anna I still hoped to see her at the reunion. She said she’d try.
She came back and asked me one more question.
“How the hell has your hair not gone gray?”
I shrugged and smiled.
“Just lucky, I guess.”
And I realize now that I am.
LuP.S. To catch up on all of my previous Mary Lu at The Vu posts, click here to go back to Day 1.