Issue 17 – The Little Things

Hazel’s knitting needles clacked together rapidly as she and Charlie watched the evening news. But her heart wasn’t in it. She had been feeling just a bit ‘off’ all evening, ever since Charlie had gotten home from the vet. She had been mad and frustrated at first that he would do something so irresponsible, but when her anger faded she was left feeling hollow. Keeping track of the registration had always been her thing. She had always known when it was due for renewal, unlike Charlie who always relied on the letter coming in the mail. She should have realized and remembered, but somehow she had managed to forget. And the registration wasn’t the only thing that had slipped her mind in the last while. She had missed paying the credit card bill a few times, and just last month she had misplaced the gas bill, and when she was unable to find it, she was forced to call the company to confirm the amount. In 60 years of living in this house she had never needed to do that before, even when she had three small children running around creating chaos.

She hadn’t mentioned any of these mishaps to Charlie. She didn’t want him to worry, besides, they were just a few small incidents here and there. Nothing to panic over, right? But when Charlie explained how he had been pulled over for driving with an expired registration, she felt an immediate flash of embarrassment. How could she have forgotten something so basic?

She glared at Cleo, who was perched on Charlie’s lap looking annoyingly content. This was all the stupid cat’s fault. If it hadn’t gotten sick, none of this would have happened. But no, that wasn’t fair. If Charlie hadn’t been pulled over today, it could have just as easily been herself next week. She felt a tear forming at the edge of her eye, and brushed it away angrily. She was not going to cry over vehicle registration, of all things. But it was no use. She felt the stress of the last few weeks welling up, and had to put down her knitting to brush at her eyes again.

She hadn’t noticed Charlie shutting off the TV or getting up, so she looked up in surprise when she felt his weight settle down onto the couch beside her. He wrapped an arm around her, and she leaned into him like she had so many times before. They sat like this for several minutes before Charlie spoke.

“We can’t keep going on like this. Something needs to change.”

************************************************************************* What should happen next? Share if you think Charlie and Hazel should call one of their kids. Like if you think it’s time that Hazel and Charlie start seriously looking into applying to seniors housing.


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