This is part six of my story "Me and Marymae". If you want to refresh your memory or if you have not yet read the first five parts, click on the tab at the top of my blog (underneath the photo) titled "Me and Marymae". All six parts are included there.
I stammered, "Junie, I...uh...well..."
"Well, what?" Junie demanded.
"Marymae and I have spent a good deal of time together lately."
"And?" Junie persisted.
"She was beginning to open up to me. I'm afraid I may have frightened her off." I said softly.
"Don't be ridiculous!" June admonished.
"Come on, you have to admit, she was a little eccentric," Junie said. "Remember how she used to walk around her house three times. Every morning at exactly the same time, she would walk around her house. Three times!"
"What was that all about?" Junie squinched up her eyes and looked at me. "I suppose you know why she did that, too!" she exclaimed.
I looked away because, in fact, I did know.
I convinced Junie to go back to her house and make the phone call to the police department to report seeing the car that was parked in front of Marymae's house the night that she went missing.
I needed time to think.
During one of our talks, Marymae told me about the why of the "three times around the house" ritual.
It all had to do with the package she gave me the last time I saw her.
"Can you hold this for me?" she asked as she handed me a...
Handed me a what? What would Marymae have handed me?
Marymae was a ghostly figure without bones or flesh. She was only a whisper of a woman.
Oh, sure I could conjure her up, give her a face with the bluest of eyes, and snow white hair, but actually, she was the one who frightened me. I had to make her disappear. She was beginning to reveal too much.
Perhaps, it was a bit foolish of me, but I thought, this time, I might have been able to have a complete and intimate relationship with someone like Marymae. I fantasized about how I would nurture her, tend to her needs, care for her until she trusted me with her entire being.
I imagined a conversation that I might have with Terry Gross during an NPR interview on "Fresh Air".
"I loved Marymae. I cared for her, cared about her. She was strong, yet vulnerable. I cried when I found out...Well, I don't want to give anything away," Terry would say.
"Was she based on a particular person?" she'd ask.
"Well, Terry, isn't there a little of Marymae in all of us?" I would answer.
Dr. Thomas would have a field day with that one, I thought.
"Marymae may have buried her treasures, but you have the key," Dr. Thomas would say in her best non-threatening therapist voice.
Frustrated, I clicked on the "Me and Marymae" file and dragged it over to the wastebasket where it would unsteadily teeter on top of a virtual reality trash pile of other unfinished stories including the "Red Sweater Serial".
Lovey bounded down the stairs. She stopped at the front door, barking and running around in circles, her tail furiously wagging back and forth.
"Okay, okay, Lovely. Let's see who it is," said Fiona as clicked on the porch light and peered out the side window.
A shadowy figure stood there, under a black umbrella, his or her face barely visible. It was a dark and stormy night.