Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Pink Canvas Bag - Part 2


The Pink Canvas Bag  

Part 1 of 2
She knew he was worried about her.   
“Please let me help you, Ell," he said.
“I’m fine, really," she replied. 
She couldn’t understand why he thought she wasn’t fine.  After all, this was just a matter of tying up lose ends. 
Eleanor began searching her closet for the canvas tote.   She thought she had put in on the top shelf, but it wasn’t there.   
Will came in the room.  “Whacha looking for?” 
“That pink canvas bag,” she replied.  “Have you seen it?”
She climbed up on the step stool.  “Oh here it is,” she said.  It had been pushed to the back of shelf.
Will narrowed his eyes, and with a quizzical look, asked, “You’re not taking that, are you?
Elenor sighed, “Come on Will, you promised you would let me handle this.
Will walked out of the room shaking his head.  
Eleanor was a tall woman who always looked perfectly put together.  She made sure she kept herself in shape, too.  She walked every day, rain or shine.  She had a standing monthly appointment with Judy, her hairdresser and a weekly Thursday appointment with Tami for a manicure.   
Nothing flashy, mind you.  She wore her hair in a straight bob, chin length, never longer.  She always wore the same color on her nails, Champagne Toast.  
She and Will had retired one year ago.
After a month long retirement celebration travel-vacation, which, as she told everyone, "was marvelous", they each went through a little rough patch of “retirement adjustment”.   
But now, after a year, they had finally eased into the next chapter of life. 
Typical for Eleanor, her calendar was always full.  She volunteered at the library on Monday’s. Wednesday afternoon she played Canasta with her new group of lady friends.  She and Will spent Friday together.  They called it their date day and took turns planning the activities of the day. 
Will found a second career as a consultant and private guitar instructor.   His temperament was quite opposite from his wife’s.   He was perfectly happy to wear his favorite, perfectly worn in, jeans and whatever was on top of the tee shirt pile.   Will was tall and lanky.   He had a full head of gray hair, which he would not bother cutting until Eleanor reminded him, “Will, it’s time for a trim.” 
Will called out to Eleanor, “Ell, are you just about ready?”  
Eleanor was right, Will was worried about her.   It had been only a month, after all.  But true to Eleanor’s nature, she seemed to be fine.   After all she was the strong one.  
Of course after a lifetime, they had gone through their life’s times, the ups and downs.  Mostly ups’, he reflected.  
During the not so good times,  Eleanor was the one to take charge, just as she was doing this day. 
Other than Will, Mia was the one with whom Eleanor let her hair down, metaphorically speaking of course.  Will chuckled to himself at the thought of Eleanor’s hair ever being out of place.  
Mia always made Ell giggle.  Imagine, Ell giggling, Will smiled at the memory. 
When it was time for Mia to leave, Will was the one who cried like a baby.   Eleanor comforted him, saying, “She has to, Will.”  "You know she can't be with us forever.
The pink canvas bag was full.  Eleanor slung it over her shoulder.   Will was waiting in the car for her.  She climbed in and said, “Okay, lets go!

Part 2 of 2
Eleanor had prepared herself for this moment.  Or at least she thought she had.  She had it all carefully planned out in her mind.  She was preoccupied, obsessed really, with it for several weeks now.  She supposed that was why Will was concerned.  She certainly had been preoccupied.  
Lately, Will would find Eleanor, sitting at the kitchen table, staring out the window.  She would hold her tea mug up in the air, as if she were going to sip it, then after several seconds, she would place the mug back down on the table, having not touched the tea. 
“Ok, Ell?” he would ask.  
Startled she would look over at him as if she was surprised that he was there.  
“Oh, Will,” she would say.  “Yes, yes.”  “I’ve told you a thousand times, I’m fine.
The drive over to the center was a short one.  
Eleanor repeatedly  checked the bag.  She wanted to make sure she hadn’t left anything behind.  
Will kept glancing over at Eleanor.  
He wondered how she managed to get through it all.  
When he asked her about it, she would say, “Will, I’m just not as freely open with my emotions like you are.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t experience the same feelings as you.  I just don’t express them the same way.
Truth be told, Eleanor was surprised how much Mia leaving had affected her. 
She found herself wandering from room to room, straightening this, fluffing that.  
Many times, she thought she heard Mia calling her.  
As they pulled into the parking lot of the center, Will asked again, for the thousandth, make that one thousand and one, time, “Ell, are you sure?
Eleanor sighed, “Oh Will” 
She looked at  him and smiled.  
As she opened the door to get out of the car, she said, “I’ll only be a few minutes.""Don’t forget, Will, today it's my turn to choose our Friday date day plans.” 
He watched her walk up to the door of the center.  He was relieved that she didn’t want him to come in with her.  He didn’t think he could bear it. 
He wondered what she had packed up in the pink canvas bag.   He wanted to keep all of it, but Eleanor insisted that Mia wasn’t going to be needing it now and the center was always looking for donations.  
He sat with the car running, listening to his favorite radio station, tapping on the steering wheel in time to the music.  
Will checked his watch.  Eleanor had been in there for much more than a few minutes.  He was about to get out of the car to go and check on her, when he saw her open the front door of the center.  She stood there for a minute talking to a woman and then she turned around waved at the woman and headed for the car.
He saw that she still had the pink bag slung over her shoulder.  
I guess she couldn’t part with it after all, he thought. 
As she got closer to the car, he noticed that she seemed to be holding the bag rather tightly to her.  She looked as though she had been crying.  
Elenor opened the door and handed Will the bag.  
The bag wriggled. 
As a head of white fluff popped out of the bag, Eleanor said, "Will, Meet Sabrina.”   




5 comments:

  1. Uh oh. I don't think Will was expecting a pet.

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  2. Totally surprised about it being a pet. Perfect thing for a couple to get for the empty nest syndrome. Well done!

    betty

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  3. Aww so awesome! Not what I expected but what a great story.

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  4. I'm hooked and look forward to your next chapter.

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  5. Hi Lynda,
    I loved the intrigue of Part 1, which left me wanting to read more. Your description of Eleanor and Will's characters captured my imagination.
    Your ending was a complete surprise! Happy ending which made me smile, though I am curious who Ellie was … or maybe that can be left up to our imagination. 5 Stars out of 5 !!!!!!
    LOL Cathy

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