This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge”
What is it?
Blogging every day. It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
This is a fictional piece.
When I spotted her neon orange hat she was two blocks away. I immediately turned around, attempting to walk back in the other direction. But I had the dog with me.
Rico is a 15-year-old stubborn, little old man, white dog. He quickly let me know that he didn't want to turn around. He leaned back on his haunches, splayed his front paws out dug in, and refused to move.
I tugged the leash. I hissed through clenched teeth, ordering him to walk. He looked up at me and I swear he shook his head no.
Exasperated, I looked up and saw her waving at me.
Bernice is a small woman with severely cropped dark hair. Although her thin, slight build gives an initial impression of fragility, her low gravely voice quickly changes one's opinion of her.
Like that of a cornered bunny, I felt the panic rise up in me,
In the few minutes that it took for us to reach each other, I must have played out a dozen escape scenarios in my mind.
I could, after exchanging a few typical pleasantries, look at my Fitbit watch and say, "Gotta get going. Trying to get in my 10,000 steps, you know."
Hmm, no that wouldn't work. That would just give her an opening to complain about her Fitbit and how it had made her skin break out in a rash.
And anyway, it was apparent that Rico was out for a leisurely walk this morning.
Bernice, I secretly referred to her as Blathering Bernie, was a talker. Which is okay. Some of my best friends are talkers. But Bernice was a talker complainer. You know the type.
For example, I knew that if I tried to start the conversation off on a positive note, by saying, "Beautiful day, isn't it?"
Bernie's reply would be something like, "I heard it's going to rain later."
That's all it would take for the tirade to begin. She would blather on and on about how rainy days made her upset because it would remind her of the time,"You know during Super Storm Sandy," she would say. Then she would talk forever about how her garage got flooded.
Actually, her garage had gotten less than an inch of water.
This is ridiculous, I thought. Be assertive.
We approached each other. Bernice bent down to pet Rico. The little beast hopped around, wagging his tail, apparently all excited to see her.
As I watched her laughing and baby talking to the dog, I softened and thought, for just the briefest of time, that perhaps Blathering Bernie wasn't so bad.
"Rico, let Miss Bernice get on with her walk," I said.
Bernice straightened up.
Without so much of a "Hi, how are you?" She started in.
The topic of this day was how awful the new design of the Club House was. She pulled out a crinkled piece of paper from her pocket.
"I'm starting a petition to have the design changed," she said.
I kind of liked the new design. But, experience with Bernie has taught me that rather than disagree with her, it was easier to take the "Let me think about it" approach.
Lucky for me, Rico caught a whiff of his nemesis Chico, who was walking on the other side of the street.
Letting Rico lead me, I shrugged my shoulders and put my hands out as if to say, "Oh well, what can I do."
As I crossed the street, I heard Bernice calling out to someone. I turned around to see her waving her paper at Jackie, my neighbor. I sighed. Poor Jackie, I thought.