Issue 3.1 – Flowers and Litter Pans

It had been a week since Hazel’s funeral. Charlie had not done much, choosing to be alone in his suite with his thoughts and memories. The phone would ring and he would muster enough will to answer. Unfortunately, the conversations were all the same, and thus his responses were almost rehearsed. “I’m ok.” “Yes, things are very different now.” “No, I don’t need anything.” “Thank you for calling.”

There were frequent notifications from reception informing him that another delivery of flowers had arrived. He was running out of spots to put all the plants and arrangements being sent. He had already distributed the ones from the funeral home around the Manor, but individual ones were coming from old friends and distant family members who were just hearing the news through word of mouth. The latest delivery had been placed precariously on top of the refrigerator, and the one before that was on the vanity in the bathroom. Charlie wished the deliveries would stop. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful, it was just that it all felt so unnecessary.

Nothing was going to bring Hazel back.

He sat down in his favourite chair to do another crossword. He had almost finished the book that James bought him two days ago. Cleo was on the coffee table eating out of a lasagna dish that Charlie had forgotten to put back in the fridge. “Cleo, don’t do that, you’ll get sick!” He brushed at the cat with his foot, but she didn’t budge, as she was completely invested in her scavenged meal and knew full well Charlie really wasn’t going to stop her. “Fine. But I’m not cleaning up your mess.”

Charlie suddenly became aware that he wasn’t cleaning up any messes. He could smell Cleo’s litter box which sat in the closet at the end of the hallway. How long had it been that bad? He looked around. There were dirty dishes piled in the sink. There was a heap of dirty laundry just outside the bathroom. Was he always this lazy? Sure, housekeeping would be by to assist, but the suite never looked like this when Hazel was there. She prided herself on doing a better job taking care of the place than the cleaners did. Charlie felt ashamed. Hazel would be so disappointed in him.

He put down his crosswords and made his way over to the sink. “I guess I better start doing some of these things, huh?” He turned to Cleo who was licking her paws after polishing off what Charlie had left out in the lasagna pan. “And after I’m done with these dishes, we’re going to deal with that filthy litter box of yours!”

Charlie filled the sink with water and got to work. Behind him, he heard a horrible hacking sound and turned around to see Cleo heaving up the lasagna she had just eaten. “Well, I guess, you’re the boss Cleo. Looks like I’m cleaning the floors first,” Charlie sighed.

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What do you think of this week’s issue? What do you think the biggest adjustments will be for Charlie now that he has to manage things on his own?

Share your thoughts and comments with us below.

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